Dalriada teacher becomes Limavady school principal

Nicola Madden and Helen Leighton
Nicola Madden and Helen Leighton

Nicola Madden joined Dalriada in September 1998 as a teacher of Geography.

Previously she taught in Dunluce School, Bushmills as Head of Geography. On arrival at Dalriada she soon became involved in extra-curricular activities including the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and she also coached various junior hockey teams.

In May 2000 Nicola was appointed as 16-19 Key Skills Co-ordinator and a year later she was appointed as Head of Years 9 and 10.

She was appointed in a temporary capacity in September 2004 as Senior Teacher responsible for Public Relations. In this position she played an innovative role in raising the profile of Dalriada School in the local community and beyond.

Nicola was also appointed as Head of Sixth Form in September 2005. She excelled in this post displaying her commitment to the pastoral care of the students in her care.

Her expertise in pastoral care was acknowledged in 2008 when she was appointed as Pastoral Deputy Head replacing Joe Slater. Nicola relished these enormous challenges and set about developing pastoral care and support systems which, two years later were acknowledged by the Education and Training Inspectorate as “outstanding” in our 2010 inspection. This was a fitting tribute to Nicola and her pastoral team and reflected the quality of pastoral care which continues to exist in Dalriada.

In 2011 Nicola was jointly responsible for Dalriada gaining the prestigious Investor in People accreditation which was extended for a further 3 years in 2015. In 2014 she was appointed as an Associate Inspector with the Education and Training Inspectorate. In addition to extending her own professional development, this position has allowed her to share information and standards regarding school inspections. In May this year she was appointed as Head of Limavady Grammar School, taking up post in September.