A ceremony held at Omagh High School to celebrate the successes of past pupils has been described as a ‘very important day’.
In attendance at the Prize Giving were parents, staff members of the Board of Governors, Friends of Omagh High School and past pupils.
Prize Giving 2016 Platform Party
Guest speaker on the day was past pupil, Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell. His wife Jacqueline, who was a former Head Girl, presented the prizes.
2015/2016 AS Pupils
“As a school we continue to recognise our past pupils and are always very interested in what they are doing” said Acting Principal Mrs Elkin. She went on to say “It is a very important and special day for each of the young people to be presented with various awards and certificates and I want every single pupil to know that we – both staff and parents – are immensely proud of them in what they have achieved.” She added, “At A Level, outstanding results need to be recognised. The top student was Naomi McFarland, with other excellent results from Kathryn Johnston, Laura Jones, Samuel McGonigle, Nicola Phair, Rebecca Crawford, Rachel Graham and Louise Maclaine.” At AS Level, the top student was Denise Rainey followed closely by Bonita Clarke, Nicole Breen, Jeanna Colhoun, Laura Donaldson, Jonathan Hall, Daniel Smyth and Jonnie Woods. “We are extremely proud of the achievements of all our AS and A2 students,” Mrs Elkin said. “They have yet again excelled and we wish them every success as they progress to further/higher education or employment”.
Mr and Mrs Caldwell with Nina Faulkner, Top A Level student Health and Social Care
Omagh High School pupils who excelled in their GCSEs included, Beth McIvor, Adam McCollum, Jill Alderdice, Adam Short, Jack Crawford and Kerry Rankin. Mrs Elkin explained how the outstanding results provide the hard working pupils with a solid foundation to proceed with confidence to further their studies at A level and wished those students who have chosen to follow an alternative career path every future success and happiness. She also acknowledged the support and co-operation from the Omagh Academy and South West College staff in the collaborative links. This collaboration provides the broad and balanced curriculum necessary to deliver the entitlement framework.
Beth McIvor and Adam McCollum with Mrs Elkin
Special guest, Emily Alexander who was school secretary for almost 42 years was also in attendance at the ceremony. “Emily has watched several generations of families pass through Omagh High School doors,” Mrs Elkin reflected. “She took great interest in all their achievements and her diligent and professional approach to her work was outstanding. She is greatly missed, however we wish Emily every happiness in her well-deserved retirement.”
Additionally, during the ceremony tributes were paid to all former pupils whose lives were cut short through accidents, tragedies or illness. “Their memories remain with us in our hearts and will never be forgotten,” Mrs Elkin continued. “Omagh High School continues to be a very caring and supportive school. We pride ourselves in our pupils’ academic achievements, as well as the nurturing of the other skills and talents essential in personal development, hence preparing them for further and higher education and ultimately for entering the world of work and family life.” She continued to reflect on the huge range of activities which were undertaken throughout the year in addition to classroom teaching.
General Proficiency Awards
All the trips, STEM activities, Career events, YPI, Young Enterprise and the participation of the School Council, along with the extensive range of extra-curricular provision were praised. The importance of competitive and recreational sporting activities for the balanced development of all pupils was also highlighted including football, hockey, rugby netball and athletics. A further extra-curricular and vital role of school for the year was reaching out to parents and the wider community in the local area as well as supporting the many charities throughout the year.
Mrs Elkin updated the audience on the progress of the Strüle Shared Education Campus Omagh (SSECO) where the six Principals continued to meet weekly, focusing on the detailed plans for their individual schools and the shared areas including the Shared Education Centre (mainly for Post 16), the Sports Centre and the outside spaces including the sports facilities, grass and all weather pitches. She commented, “Arvalee School opened its doors at the start of September and it is a magnificent building, giving us great encouragement to fulfill our own aspirations for our new school and the opportunities to enhance sharing.” She continued to emphasise the priority of Shared Education in our present educational system and stated that during a recent visit, the District Inspector, Mrs Karen McLoughlin, was very impressed with the level of sharing that took place and was most complimentary of the lessons she observed, the standard of teaching and learning, as well as the exemplary pupils in our school.
Mrs Elkin concluded that the successes and achievements being celebrated and with the increased enrolment, that “Omagh High School offers a top quality educational experience and that we strive to maintain our outstanding status.”
Naomi McFarland, Nina Faulkner and Kathryn Johnston receiving their A Level awards
Finally, Mrs Elkin showed her sincere appreciation to all the people who make Omagh High School so successful – the Staff, Board of Governors, Friends of Omagh High School, Classroom Assistants, Ancillary Staff, Caretakers, Canteen Staff, all the external agencies, the local community, the Head Boy and Girl and the Deputies.
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