Schools shine in tables
Tuesday, 12 August 2014
A number of district schools have performed impressively in the most recent league tables published for both non-grammar and grammar schools.
The table features the top 50 schools in Northern Ireland with the highest percentage of pupils achieving five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C. Top of the list is St Louise's ,Belfast where 99 per cent of pupils passed five subjects at those grades. That school is closely followed by Rathfriland High school on 97 per cent. Other local schools in the area who have been ranked in the top 50 are St Catherine's Armagh (95 per cent), St Joseph's Crossmaglen (92 per cent), St Mary's Newry (90 per cent), St Paul's Bessbrook (90 per cent), St Patrick's Keady (86 per cent), St Mark's Warrenpoint (83 per cent), Kilkeel High school (77 per cent) and Markethill High school (77 per cent).
The table also details the percentage of pupils at each school achieving five-plus GCSEs at grades A* to C including GCSE English and GCSE Maths. It is this aspect of some school's performances which has come in for criticism as quite a number of the schools on the list have fallen below the target set by the Executive's Programme for Government. That target was 61 per cent for 2012/13, rising to 66 per cent by 2014/15.
The second placed school, Rathfriland High, performed with great credit on this score as 71 per cent of its' pupils fell in to this category. This compares very favourably with the top school who only had 43 per cent of its' students who also had English and Maths in their five GCSEs at grades A* to C. St Patrick's Keady also had 70 per cent of their pupils in this category, Kilkeel had 61 per cent and St Mary's Newry had 59 per cent. The average last year for Northern Ireland was just 38 per cent. All schools in the area bar one - St Joseph's Crossmaglen (37 per cent) - were above the average.
Commenting on the schools' performances, Education Minister John O'Dowd said: "In the last year, there has been a modest improvement in the proportion of pupils leaving schools with at least 5 GCSE's A* to C or equivalent, including GCSEs in English and Maths.
“Ensuring that more are leaving with English and Maths remains a challenge and given the central importance of those skills it is one I remain determined to address."
Meanwhile, on the Grammar schools list for the year 2012/13, there are also several local schools showing highly. That table ranks schools according to performance at both A-Level and GCSE. It features the top 30 schools with the highest percentage of pupils achieving three or four A-Levels at grades A* to C. Where two or more schools had the same percentage of pupils with three good A-Levels, the proportion achieving seven or more GCSE's at grades A* to C was used as a tie breaker.
St Louis' Kilkeel was fourth with 91 per cent of pupils scoring three or more A-Levels. Our Lady's Newry was 10th (88 per cent), St Patrick's Armagh was 18th (84 per cent), Sacred Heart Newry was 19th (83 per cent), Royal school Armagh was 21st (83 per cent) and Abbey Christian Brothers was 27th (81 per cent).
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