Success celebrated at school’s annual Prize Night

On Tuesday the 19th of September Larne Grammar School celebrated the successes of its pupils in both the internal and external examinations. The Guest of Honour for the evening was Mr Justin Edwards who is the current Chief Executive of the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment.

The evening began with the Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr Roy Logan, paying tribute to the pupils, staff and Governors on what has been yet another record breaking year for Larne Grammar School in external examinations.

Mr Logan addresses Prize Night

Mr Logan addresses Prize Night

Mr Wylie, making his sixth report as Principal of Larne Grammar School, was keen to highlight the upward direction of achievement in Larne Grammar School. As well as advances in Literacy, Numeracy and E-Learning over the past year Larne Grammar School have, in the past three years, obtained its best ever GCSE results in 2015 and best ever ‘A’ Level results in 2016 and again in 2017. 

Commenting on this Mr Wylie said: "After the success achieved by our ‘A’ Level students in 2016 led to Larne Grammar being one of the top 20 performing schools in Northern Ireland, we were delighted that our 2017 ‘A’ Level results were, once again, well above the NI Grammar School Average with the consequence that the school was, for the second year running, one of the highest performing in the province."

There was also considerable success to celebrate outside of the curriculum. Among a long list of activities there was notable success for the Sailing Team who retained the Schools Cup, the 1st XI Hockey Team who won the inaugural Super League competition and the 4x100m Junior Boys’ Relay Team who were crowned Irish Champions

Mr Wylie delivers his report

Mr Wylie delivers his report

After the distribution of the Junior and Senior prizes Mr Logan introduced Mr Justin Edwards to the pupils and parents that were present.

Appointed as Chief Executive of CCEA in December 2014, Mr Edwards is responsible for the operational delivery of examinations and assessments to thousands of pupils across Northern Ireland, the monitoring of standards in qualifications and the forming of relevant policy advice to the Department of Education. His previous roles include Assistant Chief Executive and Director of Curriculum at Belfast Metropolitan College.

It was during his time at Belfast Metropolitan College that Mr Edwards' career path was to cross with Mr Logan's. Having had this opportunity to work together Mr Logan realised that Mr Edwards was destined for great things, particularly due to his ability to bring about technological innovation and lead change within the organisation.

Mr Edwards began his speech by congratulating the pupils on the awarding of prizes and the school on the successes highlighted on the night. Having outlined his educational heritage, which included having a mother who was a headmistress, he shared that he asked her for advice on what he should say in his speech. Based on her advice he promised the parents and pupils that he would not be political or take too much time.

He highlighted that his job allowed him to meet high achievers from a range of disciplines. He said that of all of the high achievers he has met have one common thread – hard work and effort. He encouraged the pupils present to continue to work hard and persevere.

For those moving on to university he advised them that they will meet many opportunities over the next few years, comparing these opportunities to busses. He said that choosing which bus to go on, and sometimes when to get off a bus, is the most difficult challenge they will face.

Mr Edwards went on to say that one of the most of the important skills that he has learnt is to be kind and courteous to the people that you meet. He went on to share that a chance encounter with a man in China, who he had stopped to help carry a bag, led to him dining with a collection of Chinese millionaires at the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Finally, he encouraged pupils to learn from other people and continue to learn throughout their life. Through his own career, he said, he has found that much of what he has learnt was from the people that he had the opportunity to work with.

Mr Edwards talks to pupils on Prize Night

Mr Edwards talks to pupils on Prize Night

The final speech of the evening was from the current Head Boy, Jonathan Farquhar, and the Head Girl, Rebekah Boyd. In their speech they thanked their teachers and parents for supporting and encouraging them over the past six years. They also shared funny and memorable moments from both inside and outside the classroom during the past six years at Larne Grammar School.


The Head Boy and Head Girl speak at Prize Night

The undoubted stars of the night, however, were the pupils who received prizes that rewarded the hard work and dedication they have shown throughout the last academic year and, in many cases, for a number of years. Well done to them all.

A full gallery of named prize winners can be viewed below:


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