The annual prize giving ceremony took place at North Coast Integrated College on September 19.
Welcoming all the prize winners and their parents, the principal Mrs Passmore, offered her congratulations to the pupils for their individual achievements and to the parents for their unwavering support and encouragement.
Mrs Passmore was joined on stage by Parent Governor Maggie Swarbrick and Vice Principals Mrs Casson and Ms McClements. The guest speaker at the ceremony was Mrs Faustina Graham.
The principal said it was a great privilege to welcome Mrs Graham to the College, as someone with invaluable insight and interest in student achievement. Mrs Graham began her
career as an English teacher and she has worked in a series of roles since, such as
policy director for integrated education and Irish medium education.
As the lead inspector for English and, more recently, as Assistant Chief Inspector she has been instrumental in driving initiatives to ensure young people get more involved in creative learning. At present, Mrs Graham has been seconded to the Department of Education and is currently leading policy reform for 14 – 19 year olds.
In her address, Mrs Graham told the prize winners that they should all be very proud of their achievements and hard work. She talked of how pleased she was to see how the next generation have so much to give and that everyone can look forward to a bright future. She encouraged everyone to continue to give their best in all that they do.
The principal Mrs Passmore went on to address the audience: “What makes North Coast Integrated College different – even special? It is of course Integration, educating pupils together.
“We are Integrated in the way we deliver education. All teachers work hard to ensure our curriculum is suited to pupils’ needs; we are flexible and creative in our thinking and we strive to ensure that all our pupils have the best opportunities.
“We are Integrated with our community of parents and past pupils. Last year we had lots of events that opened the school doors to the community in the evening and weekend. We are Integrated with local business and industry, providing work experience opportunities for our pupils and receiving generous support with our wide range of events and activities.
“We are Integrated with other schools and education providers. We work in partnership with local primary schools, and other secondary schools primarily through the Coleraine Area Learning Partnership. We too enjoy a good working relationship with the Northern Regional College and Ulster University, Coleraine.
“We are Integrated in our pastoral care - we work with parents, carers and our young
people in order to understand fully what will help them succeed in school.
“The African proverb says “It takes a village to raise a child.” It is not exclusively the
job of teachers or parents, guardians or relatives to help develop a child’s full potential. Our hope and our objective here, is that we work together in an integrated
way for the benefit of all the children in our care.
“The opposite of integration is segregation. This is a word with many negative connotations. It means closed doors, working in isolation, with the potential for
loneliness and failure. We are proud to be the antithesis of that. We are proud to be
“To our parents here today, thank you for your support, your patience and your feedback. The doors of the school are always open to you; your friendship is integral to the ethos of the College. We are now well into the second generation of families passing through our school and I love meeting former pupils who are now parents.
“I would also like to thank and pay tribute to our teaching staff. We offer a broad and
carefully selected curriculum. We have sought out the best programmes, courses and pathways for the mix of pupils at the College. We enable pupils to leave here with qualifications which suit their ability and profile and enable them to move onwards into the world of work, further education, apprenticeships or university.
“Central to this is our teaching staff and I would like to thank them for the effort and
professionalism they bring to the school every day. I also would like to thank our
support staff in the office, the canteen, classroom assistants and caretakers. It takes
many willing hands to keep North Coast Integrated sailing in the right direction.
“The most important people that we need to thank and recognise here today are our pupils. We have shared many, many interesting and enjoyable moments over the last few years. At times the idea of exams and assessments have perhaps raised stress and anxiety levels but, we have seen you rise to the challenge and work to be the best you can be.
“When I am asked what is the most important thing that I could wish for you, our pupils? The answer is happiness...pure and simple.This one fact is at the core of all that we do at North Coast Integrated College.”