Pursue your interests to succeed

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One of Northern Ireland’s top consultants has urged pupils at his former school to pursue their interests as a means to succeed.

Dr Damian Fogarty returned to Garron Tower where, as a boy, he was a boarder attending St MacNissi’s College.

Before presenting prizes at the college, now called St Killian’s, Dr Fogarty explained his work as consultant nephrologist at Belfast City Hospital, which is on course to complete 100 kidney transplants this year, transforming the lives of the patients.

Dr Fogarty said he had never been top of his medicine class at Queen’s University – “not in the top 20 per cent, nor in the bottom 20 per cent”.

However, he had found his interest and had pursued it.

Principal Jonny Brady said 2015 had been an historic year for St Killian’s “with the examination results achieved confirming that non-selective education delivers excellent results at GCSE, AS and A level, underscoring the high quality of learning and teaching that is the hallmark of this college”.

He noted that: “The 2015 GCSE students represent the first year intake as St Killian’s and I am delighted to report they set the bar high for those who follow. Last year’s GCSE results attained by St Killian’s students placed the college as the top performing non-selective school in NI when measured against the percentage attaining seven GCSE grades A-C, including English and maths.

“This year’s students rose to the challenge and 90 per cent achieved five grades or better at A*-C which is significantly higher than the NI Average and our best set of GCSE results to date.”

Mr Brady added: “Our AS students did fantastically well, with 77 per cent achieving grades at A-C with 55 per cent achieving A-B grades, which gives them a superb foundation for the completion of their A-Level courses.

“A-Level students did exceedingly well, with 85 per cent achieving grades A*–C and 100 per cent attaining two good A level passes.”

The principal was pleased that of 90 Year 14 leavers, 85 students had gone on to studies in higher and further education.