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Ballyclare High School
31 Rashee Road, Ballyclare
Tel.028 9332 2244

D. A. Knox (Headmaster)

Ballyclare High School is one of the largest grammar schools in Northern Ireland. The popularity of the school and its attraction to pupils, many of them from beyond its immediate hinterland, is the result of a long tradition of academic success and a distinctive school ethos that encourages self-discipline, mutual respect and tolerance. The high level of academic success achieved by our pupils is the result of a competitive ethos, high standards of teaching and learning and good relationships in the classroom. Those pupils who choose to transfer to Ballyclare High School experience a breadth and diversity of educational provision

that meets needs other than the purely academic and which develops values, aptitudes and skills for life.As past winners of the Ulster Bank Enterprising School Award, we are committed to enterprise in the widest sense. This is manifested in our broad range of European and International links and in our Personal and Social Education programme, including Health Education, as well as through our music, drama, art and debating. A wide range of sports is played and a full programme is scheduled every Saturday morning involving a large number of pupils and staff, who willingly give up their time.

The prospectus gives further information on all our activities, opportunities and achievements. Summaries of current provision and school policies as well as the necessary procedures for admission are also contained in the transfer booklet collated by the NEELB on behalf of schools.

Specialist Schools

Speaking at the launch of the Specialist Schools’ pilot in St Louise’s Comprehensive on Tuesday 14th March, the Minister, Angela Smyth, said ‘When I invited schools to apply for specialist schools status I indicated that the aim was to include 10 schools.

I am pleased to announce that I will be issuing letters of offer not to 10 schools but to 12 schools. I have been extremely impressed by the potential, by the innovation and by the creativity within these bids.

They have clearly demonstrated that not only do they wish to raise standards within their own schools but are willing and able to share best practice for the benefit of pupils in the wider community.’

Specialist School status will enable Ballyclare High to build on its nationally recognised very good ICT practice.

Angela Smyth was keen to point out that ‘this initiative is not about introducing another school type in Northern Ireland. It’s about enabling existing schools to develop their own distinctive ethos.

’ We’ll simply use this opportunity to enhance our reputation as a progressive, County Antrim Grammar school … one that works in partnership with the local community to make Ballyclare an area of outstanding ICT practice.

Speech in full by the Minister: Angela Smyth a the launch of the Specialist Schools' pilot

Further information about Specialist Schools can be found:

DENI Site Relating to Specialist Schools or

Specialist Schools Website

ICT is the main focus of the submission and deals with it as a curricular subject and a tool in support of learning and teaching.

The successful bid will attract: £100,000 capital grant and £100 per pupil each year for the next 4 years.


In Ballyclare High School pupils are given the opportunity to study drama initially in year eight and nine. Pupils follow a programme of study designed to equip them with an understanding of the key skills of drama.

Drama is offered at GCSE and the Sixth form have the option of sitting the RADA Shakespeare Certificate exams in bronze, silver and gold. Ballyclare High School is the centre for the RADA examinations in Northern Ireland .

The drama suite includes a large workshop space, with mirrors and curtains installed to the highest professional specifications. Additionally there is a green room for pre-show make-up and state of the art lighting facilities.

The power of drama to facilitate self-expression, and to develop self-confidence is widely documented. The value of drama as part of the curriculum is widely recognised and accepted by educationalists.

In a world where the ability to communicate successfully in a range of employment contexts is prized, drama is at the forefront of creating assured communicators. Drama builds confidence and aims to refine the skills of naturally competent communicators. Pupils enjoy the freedom of working outside the traditional classroom context, in a safe and supportive environment. The drama workshop encourages pupils to collaborate on their learning by practising the skills of drama.

This year pupils (from Year 8 – 11) have the opportunity to participate in the school’s junior production of Annie. Previous shows have included “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Animal Farm”. Visits by practising theatre companies, drama and dance specialists are frequent. Since September 2005 pupils have attended three theatre performances and more are planned for the future.

primary schools in Ballyclare, secondary schools in Ballyclare, schools in Ballyclare

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