Mr Robinson, Headmaster of Lurgan College, was delighted to report that his Y12 pupils were fairly rewarded for all their diligence and dedication over the past two years with an outstanding set of GCSE grades which reflected the ability and the application of this very talented year group.

‘I was deeply concerned initially that the awarding bodies’ fatally flawed algorithm would deprive this very able year group of the top grades which, based on previous achievement in GCSE modules, GCSE controlled assessment, ‘mock’ examinations and class tests, they richly deserved. Thankfully common sense prevailed and the pupils have ended up receiving their appropriate grades which was based solely on the Centre Assessment Grade, provided by the school to the awarding bodies in early June.

Carrying on the College Walk school’s proud tradition of academic excellence, 8 extremely gifted pupils managed to secure 11 A*/A grades each. Such is the academic ability of pupils who commit year on year to the very successful Dickson Plan system of education with its unique system of academic selection at age 14.

Mirroring the exceptional results at A Level and AS Level last week, the 2020 cohort of Year 12 pupils has truly excelled at GCSE level.

I congratulate our hard-working pupils, their highly dedicated teachers and their very supportive and, at times, long-suffering, parents on these pleasing examination performances. Once again I am keen that our colleagues in Lurgan Junior High School and in our local feeder primary schools feel that they can share in our pupils’ academic success. I thank all of those schools who every year furnish Lurgan College with able, mature and conscientious pupils of the highest academic calibre.

A more detailed examination of the grades secured by the 117 Year 12 pupils in their GCSE examinations reveals an extremely impressive set of results by any standards. Both the percentage of grades A* to B and the A*-C pass rate were again well above the NI Grammar School average. The encouraging number of A* grades this year was also very gratifying.

8 extremely talented pupils managed to achieve an amazing 11 straight A*/A grades each. Worthy of particular mention, however, is former King’s Park pupil, Patrick Wilkinson, who notched up a breath-taking 11 straight full-course A* grades! This is a phenomenal achievement by any standards on the part of this extremely able young man and one which will not be matched in many other grammar schools in the province.

The following pupils were awarded 11 straight A*/A grades: Heather Archer, Beth Baird, David Combe, Juliette Fulton, Rebekah Gordon, Chloe Hamilton, Siena McConaghie and Patrick Wilkinson.

The following pupils secured 10 straight A*/A grades: Alex Boyd, Eva Corr, Angus Cunningham, Jessica Cunningham, Holly Ellis, Rosie Lappin and Nicole Thompson.

Katie Archer, Laura Cregan, Ethan Geddis, Max Hollingsbee, Madison McConaghie, Fergus McDonald and Zohar Sohail all recorded a 9 A*/A grades.

The following pupils achieved 8 A*/A grades: Bella Allen, Harriet Archer, Tanya Fisher, Katie Hamill, Lydia Harvey, Erin Humphries, Luke Nicoll, Millie Nunn, Hannah Reavie, Katie Whaley and Rhys Whithorn.

The now annual late release of the results coming so near the start of the new term, coupled with the confusion surrounding the grading at GCSE this year and the new COVID-related restrictions, has put considerable pressure on the system. The College staff have been extremely busy advising and guiding pupils as they make their all-important subject choices for next year with the majority returning to embark upon the study of AS Levels in the Sixth Form of Lurgan College.

With a significant increase in strong applications from pupils attending other schools, numbers of pupils studying in the sixth form at the College are at their highest ever in the prestigious history of the 147 year old school. In addition, with the increased admissions at Year 11 this year, the overall enrolment number at the school has also risen to its highest level ever. All of this surely augurs well for the future of Lurgan College as a 14-19 selective grammar school as it will continue to serve the young people of Lurgan and the surrounding district for very many years to come.