Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

A-level results: Northern Ireland students outperform counterparts in top grades - gallery and video

Pupils (L-R) Alix Bell(1AStar AB),Katie Dolaghan(1AStar 2A's), Basma Salmon(1AStar 3A's) and Jenny Salmon(3AStar's 1a) from Victoria College in Belfast.
Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pupils (L-R) Alix Bell(1AStar AB),Katie Dolaghan(1AStar 2A's), Basma Salmon(1AStar 3A's) and Jenny Salmon(3AStar's 1a) from Victoria College in Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Head Boy Jack Walker,Head Girl Chloe McMaster, deputy head Gareth Thompson, deputy head Rachel Cullen and deputy head Andrew Wright from Grosvenor Grammar School in Belfast pictured on A Level results day. Photo Arthur Allison
Pacemaker Press Belfast 13-08-2014: A-level results: Northern Ireland students perform strongly. Pictured pupils (L-R) Laura Doran(1AStar 2 A's), Aya Helmy(5AStars) and Sophie Dalzell(3A's) from Victoria College in Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 13-08-2014: A-level results: Northern Ireland students perform strongly. Pictured pupil Ross Neill 3A Stars from from Grosvenor Grammar School in Belfast and will going to study Law at Christ College at Cambridge . Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 13-08-2014: A-level results: Northern Ireland students perform strongly. Pictured pupils from Victoria College in Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 13-08-2014: A-level results: Northern Ireland students perform strongly. Pictured pupils from Victoria College in Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pupils from Lumen Christi College in Derry who are celebrating after receiving thier A Level results. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 13-08-2014: A-level results: Northern Ireland students perform strongly. Pictured pupils from (L-R)Head Boy Jack Walker,Head Girl Chloe McMaster, deputy head Gareth Thompson, deputy head Rachel Cullen and deputy head Andrew Wright from Grosvenor Grammar School in Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 13-08-2014: A-level results: Northern Ireland students perform strongly. Pictured pupils from Victoria College in Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 13-08-2014: A-level results: Northern Ireland students perform strongly. Pictured pupils from Victoria College in Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 13-08-2014: A-level results: Northern Ireland students perform strongly. Pictured pupils (L-R) Laura Doran(1AStar 2 A's), Aya Helmy(5AStars) and Sophie Dalzell(3A's) from Victoria College in Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 13-08-2014: A-level results: Northern Ireland students perform strongly. Pictured pupils from (L-R)Head Boy Jack Walker,Head Girl Chloe McMaster, deputy head Gareth Thompson, deputy head Rachel Cullen and deputy head Andrew Wright from Grosvenor Grammar School in Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Northern Ireland- 15th August 2014 Picture by Jonathan Porter/Presseye.com A Level results out across Northern ireland. Campbell College in east Belfast. Chris Heath
Northern Ireland- 15th August 2014 Picture by Jonathan Porter/Presseye.com A Level results out across Northern ireland. Campbell College in east Belfast.
Northern Ireland- 15th August 2014 Picture by Jonathan Porter/Presseye.com A Level results out across Northern ireland. Campbell College in east Belfast.
Northern Ireland- 15th August 2014 Picture by Jonathan Porter/Presseye.com A Level results out across Northern ireland. Little Flower in Girls School in north Belfast.
Northern Ireland- 15th August 2014 Picture by Jonathan Porter/Presseye.com A Level results out across Northern ireland. Belfast Boys Model in north Belfast. Rory Strapp
Northern Ireland- 15th August 2014 Picture by Jonathan Porter/Presseye.com A Level results out across Northern ireland. Dominican College in north Belfast. Twins(L-R) Kathryn and Olivia McCloskey
Northern Ireland- 15th August 2014 Picture by Jonathan Porter/Presseye.com A Level results out across Northern ireland. Bloomfield Collegiate n east Belfast. L-R Victoria Bates and Abbie Hearte
Northern Ireland- 15th August 2014 Picture by Jonathan Porter/Presseye.com A Level results out across Northern ireland. Campbell College in east Belfast. Chris Heath
Northern Ireland- 15th August 2014 Picture by Jonathan Porter/Presseye.com A Level results out across Northern ireland. Belfast Boys Model in north Belfast
Northern Ireland- 15th August 2014 Picture by Jonathan Porter/Presseye.com A Level results out across Northern ireland. Belfast Boys Model in north Belfast
Northern Ireland- 15th August 2014 Picture by Jonathan Porter/Presseye.com A Level results out across Northern ireland. Belfast Boys Model in north Belfast. Ian Smith.
Northern Ireland- 15th August 2014 Picture by Jonathan Porter/Presseye.com A Level results out across Northern ireland. Belfast Boys Model in north Belfast
Northern Ireland- 15th August 2014 Picture by Jonathan Porter/Presseye.com A Level results out across Northern ireland. Bloomfield Collegiate n east Belfast. Lauren McDonald
Northern Ireland- 15th August 2014 Picture by Jonathan Porter/Presseye.com A Level results out across Northern ireland. Little Flower in Girls School in north Belfast.
Northern Ireland- 15th August 2014 Picture by Jonathan Porter/Presseye.com A Level results out across Northern ireland. Belfast Boys Model in north Belfast. Nevin Martin
Bloomfield Collegiate, east Belfast.
Pupils from Victoria College in Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pupils from Lumen Christi College in Derry who are celebrating after receiving their A Level results. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com.
Ross Neill 3A Stars from from Grosvenor Grammar School in Belfast and will going to study Law at Christ College at Cambridge . Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Head Boy Jack Walker,Head Girl Chloe McMaster, deputy head Gareth Thompson, deputy head Rachel Cullen and deputy head Andrew Wright from Grosvenor Grammar School in Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Little Flower Girls School in north Belfast.
Little Flower Girls School
Dominican College in north Belfast.
Dominican College in north Belfast.
Dominican College in north Belfast. Twins(L-R) Kathryn and Olivia McCloskey
Dominican College in north Belfast.
Bloomfield Collegiate School, east Belfast. Victoria Bates and Abbie Hearte
A delighted Hannagh Kennedy a pupil at Coleraine High School phones home after getting 3 A* in her A Level results. Hannagh who is 18 is going to Glasgow to study medicine.
Belfast Boys Model in north Belfast.
Belfast Boys Model in north Belfast

Northern Ireland students have outperformed their counterparts in England and Wales in grades A*-A.

Almost 30% received the coveted higher marks, with pupils performing well in sciences, maths and art and design. However at the very top mark they lagged slightly behind the average across the three countries.

A one-off rise in the number of pupils taking film or media studies was linked by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) to the filming of the Game Of Thrones fantasy drama in Northern Ireland.

However the number of political studies A-level entries over the one year was down by a fifth, a decrease of 223.

Children went online from countries as diverse as Oman, Hong Kong and the United States to receive their grades from early this morning. Almost 24,000 logged on first thing this morning.

Aoife Malone, 18, from Co Armagh, was celebrating after being awarded two A*s and two As and will go to teacher training in Belfast. She said: "I never dreamt I would get that. I worked hard but you don't think you will get that."

Results overall remained fairly stable, with a slight increase in the percentage receiving the top A* grade, rising to 7.3%, JCQ said. That compares to 8.2% across Northern Ireland, England and Wales.

At A*-A there was a slight increase of 0.8% from last year to 29.9%. That compares to 26% averaged across Northern Ireland, England and Wales. Almost half of maths entrants in Northern Ireland achieved that standard.

The number of A-level subject entries dropped by 3.8% from almost 33,000 last year to 31,600 this time, expected to be a short-term change. Girls again outperformed boys in winning top grades.

The most popular A-level subjects overall included biology, maths, religious studies, history and English.

The percentage achieving grades A*-C was 83.7%, and 98% earned at least a grade E.

Girls outperformed boys in achieving the top grades. The most popular subject for boys was maths while for girls it was biology.

This year saw the highest number of AS-level entries since the qualification's introduction in 2001, in line with the rising population.

A quarter achieved an A and three-quarters at least a C.

Stormont education minister John O'Dowd said: "Every pupil is different and they stand the best chance of succeeding if they follow courses that interest and inspire them.

"Pupils here continue to perform particularly well and I am delighted to see STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects such as biology and maths ranking amongst the most popular choices for pupils."

Jarlath Burns, principal at St Paul's High School in Bessbrook, Co Armagh, said teachers were working closely with employers to ensure pupils had the skills to succeed in a workplace which included major local industries like veterinary pharmaceuticals firm Norbrook Laboratories.

"We are absolutely delighted, we think it is our best year ever."

Chris Keates, general secretary of the largest teaching union in Northern Ireland, NASUWT, said standards had been maintained across the board.

"Credit must go to teachers who have, yet again, pulled out all the stops to ensure that young people are supported to achieve their best.

"That teachers have achieved these results despite savage pay and funding cuts, job losses and the continuing uncertainty over the future of the A-level system in Northern Ireland is a testament to their dedication and skills."

GCSE and A-level exams in Northern Ireland are to remain largely unchanged.

Mr O'Dowd's decision came after the former education secretary for England and Wales said he would introduce dramatic changes to the way they conduct their exams, meaning they come after two years study rather than at intervals during the course.

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