Excellence in learning and teaching is the core purpose of St. Patrick's Grammar School. Our continued success is due to our ability to provide a modern, broad, balanced and enjoyable curriculum for our pupils within the statutory regulations. Pupils are imbued with the skills, dispositions and values that will lead to success at both school and in their adult life.
As a high performing self-evaluating school, St. Patrick's Grammar continually reviews its provision, mindful of the changing needs of society and the needs of individuals within the school community. An excellent curriculum is supported by an outstanding Pastoral Care system and numerous opportunities for involvement in a wide range of extra-curricular activities. Diagnostic assessment of pupil progress is central to our continued success.
There are four internal assessments during each academic year which are reported to parents and opportunities for teacher-parent consultation, both formal and informal, are provided throughout the year. In addition to the one formal written report and Parent Teacher Meeting, the school maintains regular contact with the home to ensure effective communication and sharing of information.
The overarching aim of the KS3 curriculum of St. Patrick's Grammar is to develop our pupils as lifelong learners, who strive to achieve to the best of their ability, thus enabling them as individuals and as contributors to society, the economy and the environment.The curriculum covers all the main areas of the Northern Ireland Curriculum (The Arts, Language and Literacy, Mathematics and Numeracy, Modern Languages, Environment and Society, Science and Technology, Learning for Life and Work & Religious Education).
Cross Curricular Skills and Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities are infused throughout the areas of study. Pupils with particular needs are identified and supported both internally and in partnership with external agencies. Effective learning and teaching is supported by strong Pastoral Care. Pupils are assessed in the Cross Curricular Skills of Using Communication, Using Mathematics and Using ICT at the end of KS3 through an internal portfolio of approved tasks that is externally moderated by CCEA.
Year 8 pupils are supported in their transition to the KS3 curriculum by a team of trained Year 14 Mentors.
All students in KS4 study at least 10 subjects, with many increasing this number to 11 or 12 through accelerated programmes of study for the Gifted and Talented. The following subjects are compulsory at GCSE: English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and Religious Education. Students take at least one Science, at least one one subject from the Environment and Society suite and at least one Modern Foreign Language. A wide range of additional subjects are included to ensure the needs of all students are met.
Students also follow Physical Education, Personal Development and Careers programmes designed to support their academic studies. Guidance on the selection of GCSE subjects begins in January of Year 10 and every effort is made to accommodate the combinations of non-compulsory subjects.
St. Patrick's Grammar School offers a wide range of academic and vocational courses at Post-16 level and students can access others through our active involvement and leadership of collaboration with schools within the Lecale Learning Community. Admission to the Sixth Form is dependent on GCSE performance and the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available each year.
All students in Year 13 take four AS subjects with accelerated pathways and the opportunity to take additional subjects available to Gifted and Talented students. Our curriculum is designed to ensure that career options remain open and that entry to the high demand university courses remains a reality. Hand in hand with the pursuit of academic excellence is the strong pastoral support that ensures our students are able to make the transition to the demands of Higher Education.
All pupils follow a comprehensive careers programme designed to address and support their individual pathways and opportunities are provided for interaction with local businesses, community and further education institutions. Our A-Level students are successful in securing places locally at both Queenís University (including St. Maryís University College) and the University of Ulster and further afield including Oxford and Cambridge, Trinity College Dublin, St. Andrews, Heriot-Watt, The London School of Economics, Imperial College London and prestigious Ivy League Colleges in the United States.
Students are also encouraged to participate in the wide range of enrichment activities, such as sport, music, drama, voluntary work, charity work and outdoor pursuits as well as the many opportunities that exist within our School Outreach Programme. All of these are central to ensuring we develop our students as well rounded individuals, with the qualities and competencies that will render them capable of making a difference in society.
The pupils develop as reflective and critical thinkers in an atmosphere of enquiry and intellectual challenge
ETI, March 2014
The pupils attain outstanding examination outcomes at GCSE level.
The percentage of pupils attaining 7 or more GCSE examinations at grades A* to C, including English and Mathematics, is significantly above the NI average for similar schools.