Strathearn School has climbed over 35 places to feature in the top 20% of UK state secondary schools, according to The Sunday Times ‘Parent Power: Schools of the Decade’ report.
Previously ranked at 65, Strathearn School – a girls’ grammar school based on Belfast’s Belmont Road – is this year ranked 27th in the top 150 state secondary schools across the UK. The rankings also place Strathearn as the top girls’ grammar school in Northern Ireland.
The rankings are based on 2019 examination results, when pupils at Strathearn School recorded 83.3% grades A*-B at A-level. The same year, three quarters (74.8%) of all GCSE grades achieved by Strathearn pupils were A* or A – the highest year on record for the School.
According to the report, “Northern Ireland’s education system is the envy of mainland Britain”, with the 23 Northern Ireland selective grammar schools in the rankings accounting for one in eight of the 150 schools featured.
Strathearn School Principal Nicola Connery commented: “We are thrilled to rank so favourably in this prestigious report, particularly given the exceptionally high quality of grammar schools listed across Belfast and Northern Ireland.
“But whilst these rankings focus on examination results, Strathearn’s success transcends all aspects of school life. Our ethos as a school centres on a caring and nurturing environment in which every pupil is celebrated for their own individual talents and is encouraged to realise their full potential across a wide range of both curricular and extra-curricular areas.
“This success also extends to our Preparatory Department, Penrhyn, where an average of 97% of P7 pupils secure a place at a grammar school of their choice each year, alongside the many tremendous achievements recorded by girls in P1-7 in music, drama and sport.”
Mrs Connery attributed the pupils’ success to the combined efforts of the pupils, families and staff making up the Strathearn community – something which she said has been more apparent than ever throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Any success achieved by our pupils is ultimately down to their own hard work, talent and determination, encouraged by their families at home and the inspirational dedication of our outstanding team of teaching and non-teaching staff.
“This year, more than ever, we have seen the Strathearn community really pull together throughout the COVID-19 crisis,” she said. “Supported by their families, our pupils have demonstrated remarkable resilience and agility in adapting to the virtual classroom at home and a new and unusual learning environment in school.”
Paying tribute to the staff at the School, Lynsey Mallon, Chair of the Board of Governors, commented: “Led by Mrs Connery and our Vice-Principals, Mr Anderson and Mrs Sinnerton, the staff of Strathearn School work exceptionally hard throughout the school year to encourage and empower our pupils to excel in all that they do, and this reflects in these latest rankings.
“This year, our teachers have proactively embraced the many challenges brought by COVID-19, implementing new technologies and methods of teaching to ensure that our pupils could continue to learn and progress throughout the pandemic.
“That our pupils have continued to benefit from the high quality of education and enjoyable learning experience to which they are accustomed, through even the most challenging of times, is testament to entire staff of Strathearn School, under the excellent stewardship of its Senior Leadership Team and Board of Governors.”