January 13 In the Press

Quality education and quality teaching standards to hit the mark at Open Night

By Eleanor McGillie

PUPILS in P7 classes from primary schools across the City of Armagh and District Area will learn on Thursday of Markethill High School’s ongoing drive for the highest quality learning and teaching, based on its exciting and ambitious  ‘Vision 2014’  set of initiatives.

Pupils and their parents will be welcomed at the school’s Open Night. They will not only get a guided tour of the school’s facilities, including the state-of-the-art new Music and Art Departments and Apple I-Mac Studio, but they will also be privy to the school’s in-depth ‘Vision 2014’ plans which will shape the future of education in the historical mart town for years to come.

Principal James Maxwell said the level of planning which has been done over the last number of months ensures pupils coming from feeder primary schools will have access not only to the most professional, supportive and experienced teachers, but also to a broad and varied curriculum and in a caring and safe learning environment.

Speaking ahead of this year’s Open Night, Mr Maxwell said: “Over the last number of months we revealed details of our ICT Vision, our Literacy Vision and we have briefly touched on our ‘Vision 2014’ strategy. Pupils and parents attending our Open Night this Thursday will hear the full details of our planning which will benefit the wellbeing and education of all children.”

He added: “Markethill High School is proud that we can deliver 27 GCSEs under our own roof, one of the largest offerings in County Armagh. We are proud that Harper Adams University in Ireland is collaborating with us to encourage our pupils to take up careers in the £4billion Agri-Sector. We are delighted to be teaming up with Microsoft in our ICT Vision. We have worked hard to build up our reputation as a centre for educational excellence. In October the Education and Training Inspectorate report concluded that Markethill High School is one of ‘very good practice’ and which commended all aspects of school life. This is because our staff work hard and our pupils live up to our motto ‘Believe to Achieve’.

“Furthermore, we pledge to nurture your children so that quality education and a child-centred ethos are at the heart of everything we do.”

Mr Maxwell said ‘Vision 2014’ includes additional benefits of STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Maths) such as new accreditations and access to prestigious competitions such as the BT Young Scientist Competition. It includes plans for advancements in Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance which will provide stronger links for pupils with industry representatives. It also details new Pastoral Care initiatives, Curriculum developments, staff and pupil group developments – all of which will link pastoral care and academia closer together.

Mr Maxwell, who will reveal the full details on Thursday, will also highlight to parents that a major element of ‘Vision 2014’ is the school’s formal Development Proposal to the SELB calling for its support in the growth of the school. The publication of this proposal, which is expected next month, will drive forward plans for the growth of the school.

Mr Maxwell said: “Our Open Nights have always been very popular. We have worked hard to build on our long standing reputation as a successful, rural co-educational 11-16 all-ability school which achieves results year after year. In 2012 we were the top-performing school in Northern Ireland for the percentage of pupils achieving 5 or more GCSE grades”.

“To parents considering coming along on Thursday, I personally look forward to welcoming you and your children, our staff and pupils will give you a warm welcome and we guarantee you will be impressed by the standards of education and facilities at our school.”

Parents and pupils attending on Thursday (Jan 16) are being urged to arrive for a 7.15pm welcome before guided tours of the school begin.




Markethill High School is a co-educational 11-16 Comprehensive School situated on a spacious site adjacent to the town. Since 1959 the school has been educating pupils of all abilities drawn from a wide geographical area. The school’s ethos is ‘Believe To Achieve’.

  • Markethill High School is the Best School in Northern Ireland for Modern Languages
  • In September 2013, The Minister for Education John O’Dowd congratulates Markethill High School for being one of 11 schools in Northern Ireland which successfully bridges the gap between social disadvantage and educational attainment
  • In October 2013 the ETI report that Markethill High School is a school of ‘very good practice’ and commends all aspects of school life
  • In November 2013 Harper Adams University in Ireland announces a collaboration with Markethill High School to lead the way in education in Northern Ireland by encouraging pupils to take up careers in agriculture
  • For further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379| Education PR | Public Relations Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism UK

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