The students of Mount Lourdes Grammar School were told they have the ability and imagination to not only shape their own futures, but to make a difference to society for generations to come at the school's annual Prize Night.

In her speech on the night, principal Maureen McKeever praised all aspects of school life as she congratulated the students on their successes.

"Tonight is a night of celebration, an opportunity to come together as a school community to congratulate our students on their many achievements. These successes are due, in a large part, to the support of you their parents and the dedication and support of their teachers.

Girls, we take great pride in each and every one of your achievements and are delighted that your commitment and hard work have been rewarded.

"Here in Mount Lourdes, our students are at the very heart of our community. Our aim, in partnership with parents, is to create the environment in which each student reaches her academic potential, while at the same time developing the core values of the Mercy Order who founded our school in 1909."

Mrs. McKeever continued to explain how the Christian values held in the school play a central part in helping to develop young people to become confident and self assured and give students the skills to find success and fulfilment in their chosen careers and she paid tribute to the fantastic results achieved in 2018.

"Yet again our 2018 results speak for themselves and are a fitting reward for the consistent hard work of our students. We can be especially proud of how well Mount Lourdes students have performed at Northern Ireland level; in total six students were placed first, second or third in their respective subjects.

"While our students have achieved outstanding academic results, we are also very proud of their ability to embrace all the opportunities offered in school, opportunities which nurture in them a sense of responsibility and a social conscience.

"Our own lives are enriched when we help and give to others and our Mercy ethos encourages our students to use their talents and abilities in the service of others."

As well as the academic success of the school, Mrs. McKeever praised the extra-curricular activities that take place in the school such as the Eco Committee, which encourages involvement in conservation and environmental projects, the Youth Ministry, which plays a role in developing a spiritual life for the students, and the many sporting and music based opportunities provided for the students.

"The achievements which we celebrate tonight reflect our success in meeting our responsibility towards our students. Credit is due to a skilled, dedicated teaching staff who ensure that our students have access to an enriching range of activities, programmes and experiences. Credit is also due to a student body that works with us to achieve of their best in all aspects of school life, while ongoing parental support reinforces the partnership between home and school.

"In Mount Lourdes we are committed to empowering our young women to achieve academic excellence, to pursue their personal goals and to develop the values needed to make a meaningful contribution to their communities and to wider society. Based on the achievements which we will acknowledge tonight, I can state with confidence, that we are successful in achieving our aim."