Ballymoney High School Open Night a great success

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There was a fantastic attendance at Ballymoney High School’s Open Evening.

The evening commenced with performances from the Chamber Choir and a selection of instrumentalists accompanied by Mrs G Brown.

Illustrating the centrality of the pupil voice and child-centred ethos at the school the main presentations commenced with the Head Boy James Drain and Head Girl Hannah Scott interviewing four Year 8 pupils, Molly Buxton, Alexina Foster, Thomas Williamson and Tom Smyth about their experiences in the first few months. This provided those present with spontaneous and honest perceptions from the children.

Principal, Mrs Currie, then shared with those present some of the many strengths of the educational experience on offer for young people at Ballymoney High School. In particular, she highlighted the school’s mission statement of ‘Educating with Care to Encourage Success for All. She shared how the school has been recently recognised for their excellence in pastoral care and safeguarding including a positive report by ETI and in being the first school in NI to be awarded as a member of the Anti Bullying Prevention guild.

She also shared how the school is truly an all ability school with children of all ability ranges in each year group including pupils who are capable of grammar school placement, pupils of average ability who with the support they receive at the school can grow in confidence and achieve highly, pupils who need some additional help and support to access aspects of the curriculum and pupils who need more specialised support through the Learning Support Centre.

She explained how the wide range of subjects on offer in both the vocational and academic pathways, the pace of the lessons and the differentiated and tailored learning and teaching methodologies ensures that the school caters for all these abilities and learning styles, challenging and supportingeach child as appropriate. She also shared with those present the very positive examination statistics for the summer past which were clear evidence of pupils being

enabled to succeed and achieve.

She also highlighted how consultation was currently underway to develop Sixth form provision at the school for pupils after Year 12 and that first stage public consultations had been successful. She shared how it was her hope that this process could be expedited in the near future if a decision making body were to be returned to Stormont.

Visitors to the school then had opportunity to engage in a range of interactive displays around the school with plenty to do, see and taste! All subject areas were on display with plenty of opportunity for those in attendance to enjoy the activities in each room at their own pace. Also on display were some of the activities from the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer at the school including areas such as Music, Drama and Sport where there are strong traditions and records of success.

Also open on the evening was the school’s Learning Support Centre with the specialist teachers in the Learning Support Centre available to discuss provision in the centre and indeed special needs support and provision in the wider school.

Those present commented on the ‘friendly’ and ‘approachable’ manner of staff and pupils and the confidence of pupils in sharing aspects of their experiences. Many expressed how impressed they were with the many recent changes and developments at the school including the extensive new build extension and the updates to the main building and how this had transformed aspects of the school’s facilities and had added even more opportunities for the young people.

Anyone who missed the Open Evening should contact the school on 028 27662361, consult the school website or make an appointment at the School Office to arrange a

tour. All school documentation is available on request.