Erne Integrated College held their annual Prizegiving night last Thursday, September 20 as pupils, parents and guests were treated to a night of music and celebration.

In his speech on the night, principal Jimmy Jackson-Ware began by applauding the students who took the time out to entertain the audience with their musical and singing talents, coming together to belt out songs from Fleetwood Mac amongst others.

He extended a warm welcome the night's guest of honour, Roisin Marshall, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education(NICIE).

Parents, grandparents, carers were thanked for their active support and commitment to the school which is so vital to making it so successful. The Board of Governors for their tireless work on behalf of ht eschool and last but most importantly, the students for whom the night was all about.

During his speech, Mr. Jackson-Ware described the theme of the evening as "Change at Erne Integrated College" which there have been quite a few.

From the teachers, Mr. de Napir and Dr. Baxter, who are no longer a part of the school life for one reason or another to the people who have come in and replaced them like new Music Teacher, Mr. Doherty.

"His impact on our student’s learning experience is already very evident from the performances you enjoyed tonight," commented Mr. Jackson-Ware.

"The Grammar Entry / Stream is now up and running at Erne Integrated College and so far it has been a great success. This development gives parents and prospective students the opportunity to opt for grammar entry. 35 per cent of places are allocated to students whose parents opt for grammar entry to Erne Integrated College. 65 per cent of places are offered with no reference to academic ability. With grammar entry now in operation we ensure that there are the full range of abilities at Erne Integrated College, a core aim of integrated education.

"With grammar entry in place, parents can have confidence that there are pace setters for their children and that the curriculum offered on their journey through the school matches both their needs and aspirations."

Mr. Jackson-Ware went on to detail the best ever examination results in the school's 24 year history where there was 78 per cent of students at GCSE achieving grades A* to C while there was a 43 per cent improvement in A Level results.

"The bar has certainly been set very high for both our current Year 12 & 14 students and I have every confidence in them.

"These results are the product of a lot of hard work by our students.

"However, a vital component in their success is the very talented team of teachers and learning assistants who supported our students on their educational journey. I cannot praise them enough for their hard work, commitment and dedication."

Another positive change at the college was the recent handover of the new £4 million state of the art facilities which include a Learning Support Base, 6th Form Study Centre, Fitness Suite and Dedicated Sports Hall.

"As you can see all the pieces of the jigsaw are coming together and I am hugely optimistic and excited about what the future will bring for Erne Integrated College.

"I am passionate about Integrated Education and the contribution it is making to society in Northern Ireland. Just like you as parents I have walked the walk. All three of my children attended integrated primary and post primary schools. I commend you for the very positive decision you have made to send your child or children to this school. I thank you for your support and encourage you to actively campaign and support the development of integrated education in Northern Ireland."

Guest of Honour, Roisin Marshall, told the audience Erne Integrated College celebrates diversity and enriches society.

"Erne Integrated College is being the difference it wants to see in Northern Ireland. My invite is for you to be the change you want to see in your communities and families. You are lucky even though you might not realise it ...yet.

"Know that NICIE and the Integrated Education Fund (IEF) are walking with you down that less travelled route and trying to signpost it as a way for others.

"Thanks for inviting me, for the fabulous entertainment and for reminding me of why I do the job I do. I hope you find your passion and be the best that you can be at it."