COLERAINE Inst held its annual Open Night for prospective Year 8 pupils last Thursday night.
As in previous years, the event attracted a large turnout, highlighting the popularity of the school in the local area. Visitors were greeted by music from the school orchestra under the direction of Mrs Suzanne Cameron, Head of Music and Head of Year 8.
In his welcoming speech, the Headmaster, Dr David Carruthers outlined the school’s examination results for the Year 2011/12 and discussed the academic and curriculum provision for new Year 8 pupils. He explained the admissions process for September 2013, pastoral care system and Coleraine Inst’s extracurricular, sporting and cultural opportunities. The school has an impressive sporting history and offers an extensive range of facilities and coaching.
CAI has produced three Olympic oarsmen, one US Open Golf winner and a host of Ulster and Irish rugby players. In recent years it has held Ulster or Irish titles in Swimming, Squash, Golf, Football and Badminton. The Headmaster was joined by Head Boy Daniel Hatcher and Year 8 pupils Ben Scott and Cameron McCauley, who gave their perspective on life at CAI.
Visitors to the Open Evening were shown round by enthusiastic pupils of all ages keen to show and explain what Coleraine Inst has to offer. Throughout each department displays of pupils’ work were in evidence and there were lots of opportunities for visitors to get involved as well. Refreshments were served in the library and guests were invited to view the extensive work carried out by former History teacher Mr Joe Cassells in the museum.
In the History department visitors inspected models of first world war trenches and weapons from medieval times, and were given the opportunity to play interactive History games on the Internet. In Modern Languagesm visitors were invited to try French and Spanish interactive quizzes and worksheets and viewed a powerpoint on the upcoming language trip to Barcelona. Unsurprisingly, Home Economics also proved to be a popular stop en route, with tomato soup, apple crumble and breakfast muffins on the menu, all served by HE pupils from Years 8–11.
At Information Technology, guests were encouraged to try Pivot, Scratch and Audacity – programmes which allow the creation of animations with sound editing. In Art, pupils’ work at GCSE and A-level was exhibited, whilst the Science department provided exciting interactive experiments and proved to be very popular among the young visitors. In Biology, guests could watch a heart dissection and were offered a test for colour blindness. In Chemistry, pupils demonstrated tests for oxygen and hydrogen, while in Physics, visitors could make electricity and experiment with magnets.The Geography department displayed models of volcanoes and earthquakes together with pictures of houses designed to withstand these huge natural forces. Visitors also learned about land use in towns and cities.
The old 1860 building, formerly the school’s boarding department, houses the departments of English, Journalism, Drama, R.E. and Learning Support. Extensive displays of pupils’ work at both Key stage 3 and 4 as well as novels and textbooks were on view in the English department. There were also power point displays, wordsearches and crosswords. In the Drama studio, budding actors did improvisations and learned a little about stage lighting. In Journalism, photos of the recent Year 11 and Year 12 trip to the UTV/BBC studios were exhibited. The R.E. Department featured pupils in the dress of Palestine at the time of Jesus, as well as GCSE and A-level work.
In the Technology department, visitors were shown CAD (computer aided design) work by current pupils. Pneumatic and mechanical displays together with other practical work were explained by staff and students, and prospective Year 8 boys were given an insight into some of the exciting things they could be designing and making at CAI. In the Maths department, pupils took part in the “24 Game” for the entertainment of visitors, who were also introduced to interactive Maths games on the Internet.
Motor Vehicle and Road User Studies (MVRUS) has proven itself to be an extremely popular subject at CAI. Here, prospective boys and parents could view examples of course material and pupils’ work together with pictures of the school’s Karting team. Incidentally the department has a moped which the pupils learn to ride.
Both in the gymnasium and at various locations along the route, displays of the school’s extensive sporting and extracurricular activities were very much in evidence and underline the breadth of opportunity provided for all pupils at Coleraine Inst. The school has unrivalled sports facilities, and is the only school in Northern Ireland which can boast its own swimming pool, boathouse, rugby pitches and athletics track at the school’s location. In addition to sport the school offers Duke of Edinburgh Award, the Saphara Expedition to India, Young Enterprise, Drama, Chess, Bridge, Angling, Karting, Scripture Union, Gardening, 24 Club, Debating and Public Speaking, Music, and Survival Cookery!
The evening again proved to be hugely successful and it is clear that Coleraine Inst remains a popular choice for post-primary education in the area.