The school year 2014-15 was “one of the most successful” in the recent history of Larne Grammar School, principal Jonathan Wylie has reported.
The headmaster said these were “exciting times” for the school, which welcomed PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton to the annual prize distribution last week.
While he stressed that the Grammar has never been merely “an exam factory”, the principal was nevertheless proud to inform parents, pupils, governors and staff that A Level performance had increased for the third successive year, and in the summer the school celebrated its “best ever” GCSE results.
Mr Wylie was also pleased that the percentage of Year 14 pupils achieving three A*-B increased by over nine per cent; 9.5 per cent of subject entries were awarded an A*; and over 66 per cent of entries were graded A*-B (up six per cent from 2014).
”Every year at the rehearsal for this event, I tell pupils and staff of my enjoyment of Prize Night,” said Mr Wylie.
“I know that this enthusiasm is not universally shared,” he added. “In fact, I have heard attendance at Prize Night described by one pupil as being a ‘punishment for doing well’. I hope that this view was expressed, at least partly, in jest.”
He told pupils their presence was “recognition of a full year’s work and effort”, adding: “It is reward for the home works and the exams, for the effort and the perseverance, the determination and the diligence.
“The reason that I enjoy Prize Night is because I am proud of this school and I am proud to be part of it. I am proud of the pupils and I, along with my colleagues, take enormous pleasure in the success of the students with whom we are privileged to work.”
Chairman of the board of governors Roy Logan paid acknowledged the contribution of Very Rev Dr Victor Lynas, OBE, who passed away this year having served on the board for 64 years.
Chief Constable Hamilton said he had been struck by the vibrant, community atmosphere that he experienced on his arrival at Larne Grammar that evening. He encouraged pupils to develop themselves as “valuable members of the community by embracing equality, fairness and respect for others”.
Mr Hamilton urged the pupils to relish their success, but to develop resilience to bumps that may come in the future. He revealed how he took disappointment at GCSE and turned it around to become a resolute learner who achieved future success.
The final speeches were delivered by head girl Rebecca Wharry, and head boy Callum Sittlington.