County Armagh School wins Secondary School of the Year

Wednesday 24 Jun 2015

St Patrick's High School in Keady has been named as the best secondary school in the UK.

The school has won in the Secondary School of the Year category – supported by exam board AQA - at the TES Schools Awards.

St Patrick's was one of eight schools in the running for the award, which recognises the dedication and commitment of schools that do outstanding work to prepare young people for the future.

The school's mission is 'Excellence, Every Day for Every Child' and in 2011 they abandoned the banding of pupils and embraced mixed ability groupings.

Reacting to the award, Pat McGuckian, Principal at the school, said: "This award is for all the pupils labelled by ability at 11 years old in Northern Ireland. Please believe in yourselves. We believe in you."

"We were thrilled just to be shortlisted and we were humbled at the thought. This award is a boost for staff and pupils who have worked really hard to achieve the success we are enjoying. Now that we have won, we will celebrate, continue our mission and embark on publicising further our unique approach in Northern Ireland to improve life chances for all pupils."

Andrew Hall, AQA's Chief Executive, said: "We know about the positive impact that committed and passionate teachers can have on their pupils' achievements. The Secondary School of the Year award is recognition of teachers' hard work to meet the needs of all pupils, including high academic achievers and children with moderate learning difficulties. Hearty congratulations to St Patrick's High School on winning the award this year, and I hope it gives even more encouragement to the entire school."

The winners were announced at a ceremony in London on Friday 19 June 2015.

This is the second year that AQA has supported the Secondary School of the Year category at the TES Schools Awards.