Loreto College - Coleraine, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland
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Mr M. James, Principal, with Education Minister John O’Dowd and local Principals at a Stormont Reception to reward excellence - View Full Size Image
Mr M. James, Principal, with Education Minister John O’Dowd and local Principals at a Stormont Reception to reward excellence

Loreto College is celebrating coming ‘top of the class’ following a reception at Stormont at which Education Minister John O’Dowd congratulated schools which had been rated Very Good or Outstanding in ETI Inspections this year.  Schools and pre-schools across Northern Ireland that achieved very good or outstanding inspection reports from the Education and Training Inspectorate this year were awarded certificates at an event in Stormont to mark their achievement.

Loreto College was the only post-primary school in the Coleraine area to be represented at the reception this year.  Following an inspection in early February, the College was graded outstanding in Leadership and Management and ETI also found Loreto’s pastoral provision to be “outstanding”, describing it as “rooted firmly in the Loreto ethos and philosophy” and possessing a “commitment to developing pupils who are willing and able to play their part in the betterment of society”. It was noted that a particular feature of pastoral care at Loreto College is how effectively it is embedded in teaching and learning across the curriculum, extending beyond the well-designed pastoral programme.

The Inspection report also highlights the continued achievements of the students, with the percentage of pupils attaining seven or more GCSE grades at A*-C including GCSE English and Mathematics remaining well above the NI Grammar average over the past three years. Likewise, in a similar time-frame, the percentage of pupils obtaining grades C or above in at least three A2 levels is again consistently above the corresponding NI average.

The Inspection report describes Loreto College’s students as “highly motivated, confident, ambitious and articulate.” The students are described as engaging well in their studies, setting effective targets and showing a respectful and sensitive approach to the needs of others.  The students’ behaviour is described as “exemplary”; the report enlarges on this with comments on the high expectations set both for and by students, and the excellence of the senior students as role models for their younger peers.

With the College demonstrating its capacity for sustained self-improvement, and with words such as “excellent”, “exemplary”, “inclusivity” and “high self-esteem” emerging prominently throughout the Inspection Report, the College Principal, Mr Michael James, commented that, with such a positive endorsement of the school, there is much to celebrate following its publication.

Speaking at the reception, Minister O’Dowd said:  “Today’s event goes some way to recognising the wonderful work being done in schools day and daily to help our young people succeed in school, in work and as they go forward in their lives.  The role that schools play can never be underestimated and today I want to thank school governors, principals, teachers, teaching assistants, parents and the wider school community for their hard work, professionalism and commitment.

“Schools represented here today are delivering for all our children and young people including those with Special Educational Needs, from early years right through to Key Stage Four or post-sixteen study.  The schools here today are high performing and all have demonstrated strong leadership, which in turn fosters good teaching.  They are an example to be followed and I congratulate them on reaching the top of the class.”