School head makes a pledge to do his best to plot a way through education reforms

Students presented with a platinum award

Students presented with a platinum award

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We will do our best to plot a way through the difficulties arising out of educational reform.

That was the pledge from St Ninian’s High School head teacher Andy Fox to students and parents.

He was speaking at the Douglas school’s annual awards evening, where the guest of honour was former deputy head teacher Richard Miller.

Mr Fox said one of the factors that had made 2012-13 an exciting year was as the school ‘continues to ride the rollercoaster of educational reform that the UK Government seem determined to pursue no matter what’.

He said education secretary Michael Gove and the UK’s Coalition Government ‘seem to come up with a new policy on a regular basis’.

Students found out their speaking and listening assessments will no longer contribute towards their final grade in GCSE English language, despite having already completed the tests.

Most recently, changes to vocational education in the future with Tech Levels and applied General Qualifications were announced.

Mr Fox said: ‘Last year I spoke at length about the UK Government and this situation.

‘I believe this year suffice to say we will do our best, with the Department of Education and Children, to plot a way through the difficulties for the good of our students. Also, you the parents and students as well as staff will be consulted on the big decisions that lie ahead.’

He said that in difficult times financially for the Isle of Man and educationally with major change and uncertainty in England, it was important to build and maintain strong relationships at all levels.

In total, 89 students sat their A-levels last year. They achieved a pass rate at E grade or higher of 97.4 per cent, while 19.4 per cent of grades were at A* or A.

Out of the 25 subjects on offer, 21 out of 25 had 100 per cent pass rates.

Meanwhile, at GCSE level, 218 students sat their exams, with 63.8 per cent gaining five A* to C grades.

The overall pass rate at grade G or higher was 99.6 per cent.

Platinum award winners for five years’ excellent work were Agata Bojanowska, Hannah Morrison, Elinor Kinrade, Freddie Black, William Bradley, Krysia Boruch, Matthew Ogden, Daniel Parkin and Grace Coleman.

He described the facilities at the lower school site at Bemahague as ‘amazing’ and said it had always been the intention for the community to have as much use of them as possible.

‘I feel it is fair to say that no other site or institution on the Isle of Man, apart from the NSC, has more community bookings than St Ninian’s High School,’ he said.

Last year there were 4,181 hours of community lettings.

Some 69 per cent of these were on the lower school site, representing 44 groups.

He said the school enjoyed a very successful year in sport.

The Year 10 and 8 boys won football shields, the senior girls won the hockey final, year 10 won the basketball title and the junior girls won their badminton competition.

In cross country, St Ninian’s took the senior boys and intermediate girls’ team titles and the Year 8 girls won the athletics team championships.

He thanked the Friends of St Ninian’s High School, which was set up three years ago, for their efforts.

It has enabled a minibus to be bought.

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