Sunday Times Secondary School of the Year 2023

St. Mary's Grammar School

School of the Year

St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt revealed as The Sunday Times NI Secondary School of the Year

As the school approaches their centenary year in 2027, the governors, staff and pupils are excited and delighted to have been announced as The Sunday Times NI Secondary School of the Year.

As well as outstanding success in a range extra-curricular avenues of school life, not least lifting their second MacRory Cup, pupils at post-16 broke records with the quality of their outcomes.

Three quarters of pupils taking ‘A’-Level subjects achieved an A* or A grade in that area, that number increasing to 92% for A*-B grades.

Principal Paul McClean expressed his delight for the school community following the publication of the information in the Sunday Times Parent Power online and paper publications.

“I recognise I am very lucky to be joining a school which is performing to such a high standard.  From my first day in post, I have received such a warm welcome from staff and pupils, and it is not hard to see the capability of individuals and teams across the broad spectrum of our school.”

“This very prestigious recognition is based on a range of factors, most notably the pupil academic outcomes, and the outstanding quality of those grades, in the last academic year.  This is a wonderful reflection of the myriad of elements that go together to make a successful school; a huge range of extra-curricular opportunity, hard-working teaching and support staff, a supportive and responsive parental body, high expectations and high-quality learning and teaching, and of course, our dedicated and ambitious pupils.”

“I wish to thank our governors, Mr Dunlop, our senior leadership team and our staff right across the school, for their efforts and energy over the past number of years.

“We are delighted with the achievements of St. Mary’s Grammar School pupils in the last year, not least given the disruption to their GCSE and AS levels of study.  However, the academic outcomes, which are first class at every level, are a by-product of the culture of challenge and support that exists here, both in the classroom, but also extending far beyond.”

“To me, the fundamental goal of a Catholic school should be the notion of community and how each of us, from first year pupils to our leavers, from support staff to our teachers and myself, should attend St. Mary’s each day prepared to do our best to reach our own potential and support those around us in doing the same.”