A school serving the whole community with a Christian ethos and a commitment to preparing young people for life in a rapidly changing world was the theme of the annual Open Night at Cookstown High School on Thursday, January 16.
Hundreds of P6/7 pipils accompanied by family members packed the assembly hall at each of the two introductory talks to hear the Principal Gwyneth Evans present the school’s Christian ethos and aims as well as the school’s accomplishments.
Departments engaged prospective pupils in interactive activities, games, crafts, experiments, challenges and of course the chance to sample some tasty delights in Home Economics.
Each introductory session started with a video of a year in the life of CHS before being addressed by the Principal. The sessions also heard from Dr Heather Kane the Head of Year Eight, the Head Boy Andrew Shaw and Head Girl Lauren Mitchell who talked about what the High School means to them followed by Year Eight pupils Lois Cunningham and Charlie Millington who each spoke very enthusiastically about their experiences of starting ‘big school’.
Principal Gwyneth Evans said “We believe that timeless values such as personal discipline, good manners and respect should be combined with a fun and rewarding educational experience to ensure that all the young people who come here are well prepared for their future.”
She went on to refer to the school’s legacy of over two centuries of educational achievement and to ambitious plans for refurbishment in parts of the school and an update of the ICT and sports facilities subject to funding.
Attention was drawn to the sporting and cultural successes of the school, the high quality provision in the Learning Support Centre and the school’s uniqueness as a combined grammar and secondary school.
“We are a grammar school and a secondary combined into one campus. That means that whatever aspiration your child has we have provision for them. Pupils are placed in the grammar pathway on the basis of their academic attainment at Primary School without the need to sit extra transfer tests. However, pupils who have sat the transfer tests are welcome, and do enrol here every year. Our system means that a child’s ability to improve and avail of a grammar school education is based on their actual academic ability. Equally, children who seek a more vocational pathway can study for GCSEs and avail of a tailored package to meet their needs.”
Miss Evans thanked the staff and pupils of Cookstown High School for helping to make the evening such a memorable one and of course also extend the thanks of the school community to all the Primary School pupils and their parents and guardians who came along to see the vast array of talent and activities that Cookstown High School can offer.