Relief, celebration, and a few tears of joy were mingled at the Royal School on Thursday morning as another fine set of A Level results were recorded by pupils.
These were the first A Level results since 2019 achieved through external examinations alone and there had much speculation in the media about an anticipated drop in attainment.
Finally, at 8am, the anxious wait was over, and many breathed a deep sigh of relief as they realised they had achieved the demanding grades required to progress to their chosen university courses.
These days many pupils access their grades remotely and are able to confirm their university placement from early morning but it was fantastic to see those who came into school to share their good news and in many cases thank their teachers.
Overall, the grades represented an improvement in attainment as compared to achievement in 2019, the benchmark standard as the last year when full examinations were held. Whilst across Northern Ireland 37.5% of all grades awarded were A* or A at the Royal School 51.54% of entries achieved those grades and 75.5% of all grades were within the A* – B range.
With regard to individual pupil achievement an incredible 44 pupils achieved 3 or more A*/A grades representing 32 percent of the year group.
This included Cherry Chan who attained 4A*s and Daniel McBride with 3A*s and 2 As. A further seven pupils achieved at least 3 A* each.
The percentage of pupils achieving three A Levels at the top grades, A*-C, increased to 80% while the overall A Level pass rate was 100%.
In congratulating the pupils, the Headmaster, Mr. Graham Montgomery said: “Firstly, well done to everyone. This success is a credit to the young people themselves who have studied hard and performed well. It is also a tribute to the commitment and professionalism of our well qualified teaching staff and clear evidence of all the encouragement, support and co-operation of parents and wider family circles.
“What is particularly nice for us is that, despite media predictions to the opposite, our pupils’ attainment in these examinations was actually better than attainment in 2019.”
Mr. Montgomery continued: “It’s fantastic that through our range of traditional A Level and applied subjects we continue to witness improvement in standards of achievement. While it is particularly pleasing that the percentage of top grades awarded to our pupils comfortably outstrips both the UK and Northern Ireland averages, it is vital to remember that A Levels are a key stage in the educational journey of individuals. Education is about opening up life opportunities for young people and behind each batch of cohort statistics is an actual young person and a real family whose dreams have moved a step closer to realisation. We are so proud of all our pupils because we know how hard they have worked.
“I’m delighted that we have helped the overwhelming majority of our pupils to access their first choice of course whether that’s a traditional university course or a modern apprenticeship, and I congratulate everyone involved in securing these results. On behalf of everyone at the Royal School I want to thank our Year Fourteen leavers for the magnificent contribution they have made to school life in these past years and wish them every success as they leave RSA to embark upon the next exciting stage of their education.”