30 Sept 2022

Derry school which has won a major award thanks everyone who has supported them

St Cecilia's pick up Secondary School of the Year accolade

Derry school which has won a major award thanks everyone who has supported them

Staff and students at St Cecilia's celebrate their success.

The principal of St Cecilia's College in Derry has thanked all those who helped them secure a presitigious award.

The local school won The Award for Making a Difference: Secondary School of the Year category in the 2020 National Teaching Awards.

The UK-wide award winners were announced live on the BBC's The One Show on Friday night.

In choosing St Cecilia's for the award, the judges highlighted that the shcool was within an area in the top 10% of the most disadvantaged electoral wards in Northern Ireland.

The judges stated: “The school aims to ensure that its students are provided with opportunities to achieve qualifications, employability skills and cross-community experiences and the mindset that break a cycle of deprivation.

“The school does this through comprehensive pastoral care programmes, engagement of community groups, the setting of high aspirations through award-winning careers provision, and high-quality learning and teaching.”

St Cecilia's principal Martine Mulhern said it was a 'fabulous' achievement for the school to win the award.

Mrs Mulhern thanked all those in the local community who have supported the school for so many years.

She also thanked all the 'girls in green' who were pupils or past pupils at the school.

“We are so proud of you each and every day and I hope today you are really, really proud of the school you go to or have gone to,” she said.

“And to all your wonderful families, all those mummies, daddies, grannies and grandads who have supported us through the years. Again, thank you.

“And to everyone in our local community who have really supported us, developed innovative partnership programmes to make sure that every child in our school was always able to achieve to their potential.

“The Bogside and Brandywell Health Trust, the Old Library Trust, Rathmor Centre, Unheard Voices and, of course, our youth clubs, St Mary's Youth Club and Long Tower Youth Club, thank you for everything you do and will I hope continue to do.”

Mrs Mulhern also thanked local businesses and the school's Board of Governors for their support.

She described the staff at the school as 'amazing'.

“Every single day I watch as you go the extra mile for our girls, looking after them, making sure they are ok and pushing them, expecting more and trying to make sure that every child reaches their potential in a safe, caring and loving enviroment.

“I am so proud of you all. I am so proud of everyone in our school community. Every single one of you owns part of this award, every single one of you have contributed to it.”

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