Crumlin Integrated College - Annual Presentation of Awards

Thursday 24 October 2013

Mr Smith, Chairman of the BOG, Distinguished Guest Speaker, Mr Geoff Wilson, invited guests, Parents and friends of the school, boys and girls it gives me much pleasure in presenting Crumlin Integrated College's  Annual Report for the school year 2012/13, which paints a picture of a pupil   centred, purposeful, happy and achieving school.

Chief, although not the only indicator of a healthy school, is that of external examination results, measured against what can be realistically expected of its pupils. I am pleased to report that in the GCSE examinations of 2013, results have improved considerably from 52% of pupils achieving 5 or more A*-C grades last year  to a very commendable 61.1%.

It is appropriate that we highlight the individual performances of some of our top students:  

Isaac Anderson, Amy Barron, Christopher Collier, David Graham, Matthew Hull, Adam Frazer and Conor Reid all achieved 8 GCSE’s at Grade C or higher.  Outstanding results were also attained in many departments including 100% achievement in DA Science, French, Art and Design, Engineering and Mother Vehicle Inspection.

Indeed 9 subjects are to be commended for achieving 80% or higher at Grades A* -C.

The ETI follow- up inspection report of March 2013 commented, “The quality of teaching has improved significantly with the majority of lessons observed being very good, with well targeted individualised planning, teaching and assessment”.

This personalised approach  enables our young people to overcome barriers to learning and ultimately  contributes to raising standards.

It is little wonder ladies and gentlemen that the  ETI follow-up inspection concluded that the education provided by Crumlin Integrated College has improved and is now SATISFACTORYTonight, of course, we celebrate the success achieved by young people of all abilities.

Indeed, it is highly evident from these excellent results, that the staff are continuing to use data to benchmark and  track pupil progress, set individual targets and  put in place strategies to improve performance!  This approach to differentiated learning means that all learning styles may be catered for, pupils can be challenged and everyone can fulfil their true potential.   Last year we focused on after school revision classes, study skills seminar, blitz classes, target cards and academic mentoring programmes as well as motivational speeches from two past pupils to name but a few....

Tonight, we reap the benefits of all these strategies.

We wish to congratulate all of our pupils  the results this year.  Such an achievement is a reflection of the dedicated hard working pupils who have been supported by committed teachers,  classroom assistants, and parents. We wish all our pupils every success in the future, and we trust that irrespective of their different levels of success, all of them will have happy and enriching lives and that those lives will count for the good of all in our society.

Significant developments have also been made in careers provision. Under the watchful eye of Mr John Jamieson, a structured and meaningful programme features in the senior school timetable. Last year, the Year 12 cohort also enjoyed a careers convention at Cambridge House Grammar School where a wide variety of post 16 opportunities were showcased! This, along with the advice on career progression routes by our skilled Careers Officer, Mr David Simpson, provides our pupils with the opportunities and pathways open to them at the end of their time at CIC!  A work experience at the end of Year 11 also affords an opportunity for pupils to experience a 'hands on' approach in a real working environment. During a personal conversation that I had with one of the inspectors after he had interviewed Year 12's, he described them as fulsome young adults who were aware of their career pathways.

Little wonder, ladies and gentlemen, that by the end of the summer, not one pupil failed to be placed in employment, training or Further Education.

A Positive Behaviour policy is now firmly embedded in the school, where good behaviour is encouraged and rewarded and those with difficulties are supported in their endeavours to follow the Learning Behaviours.  2012/13 saw the development of an Anti Bullying Policy drawn up in consultation with staff, pupils and parents.  All pupils have agreed and signed an Anti Bullying Charter which is displayed in the school foyer.  The ETI  in their follow up visit commented on the significant progress in developing the pupils' personal and social skills,  their attitudes and dispositions  through the focus on promoting positive learning behaviours and the high levels of consultation with pupils.  Indeed the declining numbers of school exclusions over the last four years indicate the effectiveness of this  positive behaviour policy.

The pupil voice within the school continues to be recognised through the development of the Student Council where each class is represented and suggestions are presented at monthly meetings.  The voice of the Student Council has also been invaluable as we come to agree on a definition of Bullying and finalise the school's Anti Bullying Policy which has now been shared by ALL stakeholders!  Pupils also carry an aid memoire with contact details  should they be required.  More recently their opinions were sought on changes to the  school’s assessment arrangements.  A cheque to the NI Chest Heart and Stroke Association for over £800 was also attributable to their work.  For all of this we are indebted to Miss Stacy McGookin for  her leadership and guidance.  Mrs Latifa Lynch replaced Mrs Pauline Morgan of New Life Counselling, a service which sees our pupils well supported on a weekly basis.

With ongoing support from NICIE (The NI Council for Integration), our teaching and support staff continue to embed the integrated ethos of the school and showcase events such as integration week and special thematic assemblies.  . Other opportunities for pupils to recognise diversity and appreciate one another's culture was afforded at the Woodhall Residential in October for Year 8 pupils.   Not surprisingly,  the ETI in their November visit commended the values of integration, indicating that it was evident in the very positive school ethos.


I CT continues to play a vital role in the up skilling of both staff and pupils. The extensive use of the Interactive whiteboards provide a valuable asset to pupil learning, and teachers track pupil attendance at every class with the use of 'Lesson Monitor' .   Further developments in 2012/13 saw the introduction of a  Wi Fi zone  making access to the internet easier for staff and pupils.  The advances of Fronter, a new learning platform, affords opportunities to enhance staff and pupil learning.  In fact the student council is already using it as a discussion forum to raise ideas outside of their meetings.   The school’s website is now one of our main strategies for communicating with parents and the wider community. Favourable comments regarding our website have also been very much appreciated.  All of these advances indicate that the school is keeping pace with modern technology.  

Under the guidance of the school's SENCO, an effective and cohesive team of classroom assistants support and guide our pupils. During 2012/13 emphasis focused on the development of Education Plans to suit the needs of some pupils. These included, for example, an analysis of appropriate data, target setting, input from parents and pupils and an annual review of progress. With effective Education Plans everyone involved in the learning process, can move forward with the assurance that the experience for all pupils in all subjects, is quality driven, reflective of ability and both relevant and stimulating!  Those pupils identified as having specific learning difficulties receive support from the LTSS and for this we thank Mrs Judy Gilliland, Mrs Breige Devlin and Mrs Roberta Connolly for the progress the children have made with them.

2012/13 continued to see two support teachers plan, benchmark, withdraw, support and monitor pupils at key stage 3 who may not achieve their full potential in literacy and numeracy. For this support, we are deeply indebted to the Ministry of Defence for funding which enabled us to employ Mrs Pauline Aitken, Mrs Ruth Camlin and Miss Toni McCracken, who in addition to their duties provided an after school homework club in school and at RAF Aldergrove for services families, so potentially all of our pupils are benefiting. For all of this, we express our appreciation to Mr Bill Mundy, the senior welfare officer at Aldergrove who made this possible. Such was the  success of this intensive programme that the majority of the pupils progressed at least 1 level across the key stage in literacy and numeracy.

 It was with much sadness that at the end of May 2012 we said goodbye to our vice principal, Mr Philip Smyth.  Mr Smyth dedicated his services to the school for almost 18 years. As a pastoral VP he always had the best interest of the children at heart, working daily with them and their parents, to ensure they reached their full potential. His legacy will live on particulary in the positive behaviour policy . He is well settled in his new role as principal of Dunluce High School, taking with him the skills and experiences of his time at Crumlin Integrated College. The many gifts and messages of good will in May highlighted the esteem in which he was held.

In April, it is  with sadness that we learned of the passing of Mr John Morris, the first principal of the school when it officially opened in 1963. Mr Morris devoted almost 25 years to the education of young people in the Crumlin area. The huge turn out at his funeral as well as the tribute in the Belfast Telegraph by local journalist, Mr Eddie McIlwaine, were indicators of his popularity and dedication to the school. Indeed for many years after his retirement, he continued to attend school Prize Night.


On a brighter note the school welcomed Mrs Donna Crawford to the Home Economics  department, replacing Mrs Sheree McCabe who is currently on maternity leave.  Mrs Crawford has already made a distinctive contribution not only to the department but to the life of the school. Mr Alister Bell replaced Mrs Joyce Moore as the school crossing patrolman to ensure the safe crossing of pupils on the main street. His good humour and positive relationships with our pupils are very much appreciated.

 In March, we were pleased to welcome back Ski Olympian Miss Lucy Best and we are delighted that Lucy and her mum can join us this evening. Lucy, a past pupil of the school, won two bronze medals at the the Ski Olympic Winter Games in South Korea and for this are we extremely proud. Lucy's presentation in assembly, including  memories of her time at Crumlin Integrated College especially, on those unforgettable ski trips were fondly remembered. I, of course, choose to forget about all of those times she whizzed passed me on the slopes. We send our good wishes to Lucy for the next Ski Olympics which will be held in Austria in 2017.

We are also indebted to last year's prefects, ably lead by head boy David Graham and head girl, Shannon Moses, for their never ending support. A Macmillan coffee morning raised over £200 and Connor Reid’s contributions in assemblies were simply un for gett able. All of these young people took on their duties with a conscientious attitude and much pride as they worked together for the betterment of the school.


The school's relationship with the local community continues to develop and its facilities are used by a diverse range of groupings, from zumba to kick boxing, GAA to flower arranging, and the NEELB Youth service as they run their Youth Club two nights per week. For all of this as well as their daily duties during school hours, we are indebted to our caretaking staff, Miss Tina Williamson and Mr Raymond McBride for their hard work and continued services to the school.


Within the school, clubs and societies continued to flourish: such activities help young people to develop inquiring minds, artistic and sporting skills and hopefully will serve them well as they pursue various interests and leisure activities into adulthood. The vast array of after school clubs and societies included: Hockey, netball, Panto trip, a Halloween Disco with devilishly spooky activities  a visit to the True Colours Art Exhibition in the Ulster Museum ... and the list goes on! I am confident, Ladies and Gentlemen, in reporting that it has been a busy and action packed year which has served to enrich  the lives of the young people who have participated in these various programmes.

Students also benefit greatly from educational outings and in 2012/13 residentials have taken place to Woodhall Outward Bound Centre, Alton Towers, and of course no year would be complete without the 'thrills and spills' surrounding the annual ski trip to Bulgaria. Our year 12 pupils once again enjoyed the celubrious surroundings of Galgorm Manor for their  end of Year formal. All looked stunning, some unrecognisable, as they turned out in style on the evening! Even the staff made an effort!! After a paparazzi reception organised by FOCIC, staff and pupils made their way to a fun packed evening. However, it was Chris Collier and Jodie Abraham who stole the show as prom king and queen and Paul Smyth and Chelsea Hayton who were voted the cutest couple!

All of these experiences not only foster closer links between pupils and staff, but also live on in the memories of our young people!

With the support of Mr Adam McKeown, the Education Welfare Officer, and vouchers donated by Tesco Crumlin to recognise full attendance, our statistics , continue to increase.  This incentive not only motivates the pupils but hopefully increases their chances of performing better in their schoolwork as we believe that attendance is vital to attainment! Employers also value good attendance and punctuality. Crumlin Integrated College in partnership with Educational welfare Services' Community development  organised a very successful attendance workshop   to raise awareness of the responsibilities of  parents, pupils and the school to continuously promote good attendance! A reward trip at the end of the year recognised the improvement of a small number of pupils who were experiencing difficulties regarding attendance, the class with the highest attendance and pupils who had received 100% attendance at the end of the year.

Central to all of our endeavours has been the role of parents. Their strong commitment to the school and partnership are valued, and the huge turnout this evening is testament to the support that is evident to the overall education and development of these young people. Ongoing liaison includes weekly monitoring of homework diaries, parent text messaging service, termly news sheets, parent/teacher consultation afternoons, updated information and policies on the school's website, stakeholder audits and open nights to name but a few.


FOCIC - friends of Crumlin Integrated College now in its second year worked tirelessly in the background to raise the profile and support the school and to the committee, I  express a sincere thank you..  Events such as the Fashion Show in April managed to transform the stage into a catwalk as this featured highly in the school's 50th year celebrations! Mrs Bronagh Macauley's collection of clothes reflected the last 5 decades of fashion as pupils, parents, staff- teaching and non teaching modelled the clothes in style. The sixties music also brought back a few memories!  In June, the ever popular Crumlinwealth Games saw an influx of  100 pupils from local feeder primary schools experience athletics,  rugby, hockey , golf and of course a very completive tug of war. For all of this we again say a sincere thank you to FOCIC and to the local community for their never ending support  especially, Randox!.

A team of governors under the leadership of Mr Stanley Smith continue to guide and support the school and to them we also express our appreciation.

I am happy, therefore, to be able to report on a school which is productive, vital to the community, and in which relationships between staff, pupils and parents are positive, caring and productive.

I pay a sincere thank you to all of the support staff this evening, including the classroom assistants, John Nesbitt, our technician, for his never ending support, caretaking staff and canteen ladies - you will sample the quality of their work later - for their professional dedication and commitment to the well being of our pupils, and I would particularly like to single out Charlotte, our Executive Officer in the school office and Alison the Senior clerical officer who work tirelessly to ensure that the school operates effectively.


Pivotal to our success this year, was the never ending commitment of a highly skilled and professional teaching staff who through unity of vision and purpose did not falter to deliver anything that was asked of them. Their willingness to go that extra mile in the interests of these young people has greatly contributed to the results this year, and they deserve huge credit. and as I draw to a close may I repeat that the GCSE results in 2013 for 5 or more  A* -C grades -  61.1% and it is without doubt one of the main indicators which the ETI use to identify a successful school.

Finally, I pay tribute to the young people of the school who continue to be the heart, the soul and the very pulse for why we exist. This evening, we celebrate their achievements and wish them every success as they progress into adulthood.