A bumper year for GCSE results has been reported across Derry, with many local secondary-level schools and colleges recording their strongest ever results.
As excited students gathered at schools across the city yesterday, several principals yesterday said that their pupils are bucking the national downward trends in English and Maths.
Pat O’Doherty, principal at Lumen Cristi College, said: “We are delighted with the results this year with all of our students attaining 7 A* to C grades and two-thirds of them having at least 7A* to A grades.
“35 students had all A*to A grades and ten attained a minimum of 10A* grades. “At every level the results this year were outstanding and the students can be immensely proud of their efforts.”
There were also celebrations at Thornhill College, where principal Ms Marguerite Hamilton said: “These results are quite simply outstanding. 99% of students achieved 7+ A*to C grades including English and Maths.
“53 students achieved 9 or more A*/A grades, 35 of them achieving 10 or more A*/A grades. Our two top students were awarded 13 A* grades.
“These excellent results reflect the hard work, motivation and collaboration of students, staff and parents.”
At St Joseph’s Boys School there was big competition for places on sixth form courses.
Principal Damien Harkin said: “We are very pleased with the GCSE results this year, particularly with the substantial increase in the number of A*to C grades in Mathematics and English.
“The boys can now continue their studies at A level with confidence and with our sixth form now operating at full capacity we will again be requesting extra places to accommodate all Year 12s who have worked hard for their grades.
“Congratulations to the boys on their success today and to the parents and staff who have supported them to achieve these results.”
Marie Lindsay, principal at St Mary’s College, said that the school had recorded their best ever results:
“We got on brilliantly and we are delighted with the great results the girls have achieved,” Ms Lindsay said, adding: “We are particularly pleased with the superb performance in Maths and the very strong performance in English, against the trend. The pupils are excelling in STEM subjects and the humanities.
“I want to congratulate the pupils, thank the parents and thanks to the staff and our educational partners for helping the students achieve what they have.”
Martine Mulhern, principal of St Cecilia’s added: “We are really, really pleased with our results. There is such a buzz out there in the foyer today, so many people looking forward to the future.
“I want to thank the parents for all the support and pay tribute to all the hard work of our teaching staff and non-teaching staff.”
Across the river in the Waterside there were also scenes of jubilation.
Jill Markham, principal of Oakgrove Integrated College said: “I am delighted with the results. It’s a testament to the hard work and commitment of both staff and students. We have had some outstanding individual results as well.”
Frank Orr, principal at Immaculate Conception College, meanwhile said: “We are absolutely delighted, we are up from last year, and it looks very much like we have over 90% five A* to C grades in GCSEs. I’d like to pay tribute to the pupils and teaching staff for the hard work. We had a lot of after-school clubs and it paid dividends.”
In Claudy, St Patrick’s & St Brigid’s principal Mrs Deirdre O’Kane said: “We are absolutely delighted with our results this year. There has been a slight improvement on last year and last year we topped the scale. We are over the moon.”