Mr Howland, Chair of the Governing Body told the assembled students, parents and staff at the Ballakermeen High School prize-giving at the Villa Marina. In a break with tradition, this year the school did not invite a guest speaker to address the annual event. Instead, the proceedings were led by Head Boy Tim Payne, and Head Girl Abi Forrest. Together with other students they celebrated the many successes achieved in the past twelve months academically, on the sports field, in extra-curricular activities, and in charity work. In addition to the multi-media presentation, entertainment was provided with musical items: Laura Corkhill played a piano solo, the cast of Guys and Dolls (this year’s school show) gave us a taste of their forthcoming production, the Balla Belles choir repeated their Guild success, as did the Xenakis Singers. Finally Isaac Murtagh and Connie Watson performed a stunning duet to round off the afternoon.
Earlier, Head Teacher Adrienne Burnett gave her annual report to an audience including MHKs Rob Callister and Julie Edge, the Chief Constable and Director of Education, before prizes were presented. She highlighted some outstanding examination results:
At ‘A’ level 53% of grades achieved were A*-B
26 subjects had a 100% pass rate
Year 11 students were faced with the new ‘stiffer’ Cambridge examinations and achieved 84% A*-C in English and Science
Additional Science students scored 85% A*-C which is 15% higher than the Island average, and 27% better than the UK
Mrs Burnett paid tribute to retiring and departing members of staff, including Deputy Head Teacher Keith James, driving force behind our Chinese links and the Confucius classroom, and Chris Coole, who has taken up the headship of our sister school, St Ninian’s High School. She spoke of the benefits and challenges of change and a constant desire to make the school a happier and more successful place, and thanked the governors and DEC for their tireless support.
Mr Howland closed proceedings by congratulating all who had contributed to a memorable occasion, and commenting favourably on the conduct of the packed audience.