Antrim Grammar 23'

Here in Antrim Grammar School we are committed to empowering all to aspire, grow and succeed academically, personally and as part of the whole school community.

Aspire Grow Succeed

Principal’s Welcome

Welcome to Antrim Grammar School Here in Antrim Grammar School we are committed to empowering all to aspire, grow and succeed academically, personally and as part of the whole school community. We are dedicated to providing a holistic education so that every pupil is prepared for success in life beyond school. I am immensely proud of Antrim Grammar School; I am privileged to work with outstanding young people, passionate staff and inspiring leaders who make our school community a warm, vibrant family. We remain focused on the development of the three ‘C’s - Currency, Character and Culture which are key to realising our school vision ‘Educating for Life’.

Educating for Life


Currency Currency is provided through the excellent examination results our students achieve to navigate their future successfully. Expectations are high in Antrim Grammar School and our pupils thrive in our environment of high aspirations. The teaching staff demonstrates outstanding expertise, progressive teaching methods and personalised support for pupils on a daily basis. The very positive relationships that exist between pupils and teachers underpin the success of our pupils. Engaging lessons make use of cutting-edge technology to ensure that the classroom is a motivating, exciting and rewarding place to be. We are proud of our pupils’ achievements. Our GCSE and A level results are excellent, placing us above the Northern Ireland Grammar School average. Furthermore we have a proud tradition of pupils gaining places at the top universities each year, including Oxbridge. Character The development of character ensures that pupils possess the skills and qualities required to succeed beyond the examination hall. We strive to ensure that all pupils are supported and cared for through our excellent pastoral care system. Our highly skilled pastoral care team enables each pupil to fulfil their potential and to develop the skills and values that will help them to become effective learners. Our whole school initiative ‘A Mind to be Kind’ promotes inclusivity, respect for each other and kindness. Through a wide range of curricular and extra-curricular experiences, our pupils develop their key skills and qualities for life: leadership, organisation, resilience, initiative and communication. We want our pupils to become confident, eloquent and considerate young people who will be well prepared to make their way in the world. Culture Culture secures a sense of community and inclusivity that allows pupils to be successful and influential members of society. We are a non-denominational, inclusive school and welcome pupils of all backgrounds. As a centrally located school with good transport links, students come from a wide catchment area including greater Belfast, Newtownabbey, Crumlin, Lisburn, the greater Antrim area, Ballymena and beyond. Pupils who attend Antrim Grammar School quickly feel at home within the school community due to the warm family atmosphere that permeates throughout. The size of the school is a contributor to the very positive culture that exists; with an enrolment number of 845 pupils we are able to provide pupils with a broad curriculum alongside many extra-curricular activities but, most importantly, every pupil is known and valued within our close-knit school community. We recognise that every child is an individual with a personal dream and we see it as our privilege to empower young people to achieve their aspirations through currency, character and culture throughout. The size of the school is a contributor to the very positive culture that exists; with an enrolment number of 845 pupils we are able to provide pupils with a broad curriculum alongside many extra curricular activities but, most importantly, every pupil is known and valued within our close-knit school community. We recognise that every child is an individual with a personal dream and we see it as our privilege to empower young people to achieve their aspirations through currency, character and culture.


Educating for Life



Educating Across the Curriculum: KS3, KS4 & Sixth Form Curriculum

The curriculum at Antrim Grammar School is one that leads to academic success, provides stimulation and challenge and offers progression across all key stages. Pupils follow a curriculum that successfully combines both the traditional academic and vocational subjects, equipping them for the world of work in the 21st Century. We believe that all pupils can thrive and our tracking system enables us to intervene quickly to provide bespoke support for individual pupils. Curriculum opportunities are enhanced by the Shared Education programme within the community. Any Parent or Guardian who would like to discuss their child’s involvement in Religious Studies classes or collective worship can do so by contacting our Curriculum Vice Principal.

Educating for Life


Key Stage 3 In Years 8, 9 and 10, pupils study the following subjects in line with the Northern Ireland Curriculum: Art & Design, Character, Drama, English, French, Geography, History, Home Economics, IT Coding, Learning for Life & Work, Mathematics, Music, PE/Games, Religious Education, Science – Biology, Chemistry & Physics, Spanish and Technology & Design. Key Stage 4 For GCSE, all pupils study the core subjects of English, Mathematics, non-exam Religious Studies, PE/Games and Learning for Life & Work. Pupils are strongly advised to study at least one Language, at least one Science subject and at least one Humanities based subject. Subjects can be chosen from: Art & Design, Business Communication Systems, Business Studies, Computer Science, Double Award Science, Drama, Engineering, English Literature, French, Further Mathematics, Geography, History, Home Economics: Food & Nutrition, Moving Image Arts, Music, Religious Studies, Single Award Science, Spanish, Sport (BTEC), Technology & Design or Triple Award Science – Biology, Chemistry & Physics. Sixth Form Curriculum In Sixth Form, we offer a wide range of A level subjects in order to cater for the needs and interests of our pupils and those of higher education or employment. There is also a wide variety of enrichment and leadership opportunities. Subjects can be chosen from: Art & Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Computer Science, Design & Technology, English Literature, French, Further Mathematics, Geography, Government & Politics, Health & Social Care, History, IT (BTEC), Life & Health Sciences, Mathematics, Moving Image Arts, Music, Performing Arts, Physics, Psychology, Religious Studies, Spanish or Sport (BTEC).


The School Day A fortnightly timetable operates in school and lessons are one hour long. Each morning, pupils attend form class or year/whole school assembly following registration. Pupils enjoy a twenty minute mid-morning break and a thirty-five minute lunch break. Pupils can either bring a packed lunch or select from a wide variety of meals in our bright and airy Cafeteria – ‘The Hot Plate’. Sixth Form pupils can prepare their own food and hot drinks using the kitchen facilities found in the Sixth Form Common Area.

Arrival Time 8.40am

Registration 08.45 - 09.05am

Period 1

09.05 - 10.05am

Period 2

10.05 - 11.05am


11.05 - 11.25am

Period 3

11.25 - 12.25pm

Period 4

12.25 - 1.25pm


1.25 - 2.10pm (Junior Lunch 12.55 - 1.30pm)

Period 5

2.10 - 3.10pm

Educating for Life


Educating In The Classroom: Teaching And Learning

Classroom Environment Relationships are at the heart of our classrooms and are central to our approach to teaching and learning. In the Antrim Grammar School community, every individual child is known. Teachers actively foster an atmosphere of mutual respect, in which learning can thrive. Knowledge Progression In every subject, a pupil’s learning journey is carefully mapped to ensure knowledge progression as they move through the school. A range of classroom activities, allow pupils to develop skills and capabilities for life. Research-Informed Our teaching and learning methods are informed by cutting edge research to find the most effective ways to support the learning and retention of knowledge. We use this research to equip pupils with the tools to manage their learning and revision as they move up the school. Online Learning We are not bound by the borders of the classroom, with all pupils using the Google Classroom platform in every subject. This allows for a seamless blend between in-school and home learning.


ETI Sustaining Improvement Inspection Report, May 2019


Educating for Wellbeing: Pastoral Care & Support

Pastoral Care Dedicated pastoral care underpins everything that takes place within the school as we believe that a positive climate for learning is vital if pupils are to achieve their academic potential. As a school of just over 850 pupils, we believe that whilst we are big enough to offer a wide range of opportunities, our community is small enough to know and care for each individual. From the newly-arrived member of Year 8 to the young adult about to leave the Sixth Form for university or the world of work, the individual pupil is at the heart of the school community. Expectations of behaviour are high and policies and procedures are reviewed regularly to ensure a safe and secure environment for learning. Pastoral support is embedded in all aspects of school life and is reflected in the values and beliefs of the school. Our strong caring ethos is shared by all of the staff and is supported by our commitment to mutual respect and ‘A Mind to be Kind’. Our aim is that all pupils will be able to reach their full potential in our safe and welcoming school environment. Pastoral Support In Antrim Grammar School we have developed a multi-layered approach to pastoral care to ensure the needs of each individual pupil are met. The Pastoral Vice Principal leads a team of experienced Pastoral Leaders consisting of Class Tutors, Year Tutors and Senior Teachers who are committed to helping pupils navigate the issues and challenges they face. Bespoke support is provided for pupils with individual needs including mentoring, counselling and coordinated guidance from external agencies. We work closely as a team to ensure the specific social and emotional needs of every pupil are considered, so that they may flourish both in Antrim Grammar School and beyond. Any Parent or Guardian who would like to discuss any matter relating to their child’s safety or welfare can do so by contacting the Head of Key Stage or the Vice Principal in charge of Pastoral Care. Solihull Approach We have adopted the Solihull Approach which is a model for working with young people to encourage improved relationships, emotional regulation and wellbeing. All staff have received training and we use this approach to support pupils by using a number of strategies to encourage containment and regulation. We recognise that the capacity of each pupil to regulate their emotions affects their family and peers, academic performance, long-term mental health, and their ability to thrive in a complex world.

Educating for Life



Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing Our school is committed to the ‘Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing’ message and this has been incorporated into our preventative education programme. Our pupils are taught about the importance of Connecting, Taking Notice, Giving, Learning and Staying Active so that they can protect their mental health and maintain a healthy lifestyle. We have dedicated staff and Class Captains in each year group who promote the Take 5 message through assemblies and activities. Character Development We have a bespoke Character Programme which focuses on developing pupils as individuals within society. We recognise that there are core values and traits that we want our pupils to develop during their time at Antrim Grammar School and we commit time and resources to growing these in each individual. We want our pupils to be positive contributors to society and we encourage them to develop aspects of their character including courage, selflessness, integrity, duty, positivity and humility. Key Stage 3 pupils participate in the LORIC programme which rewards growth in Leadership, Organisation, Resilience, Initiative and Communication: all important employability skills.

Educating for Life



Educating For Leadership

Leadership Opportunities The role of the pupils in the life of the school is vital in supporting an ethos of strong community and innovation which speaks for the entire pupil body. There is a wide range of opportunities for pupils to contribute to the wellbeing and development of the school and the wider community at all stages of their career which successfully supports the leadership potential of all. Pupils are encouraged to contribute formally and informally in a number of ways and through a variety of democratic structures. Student Voice Our pupil council, known as the ‘Student Leadership Council’, plays an important role within the school community, democratically representing the views of all pupils. The Council has two elected representatives from each year group and is chaired by a member of the Senior Prefect Team. Members of the Council have regular meetings which develops their skills in debating and citizenship. The group makes recommendations to the Principal and Senior Leadership Team on key issues. Digital Leaders This group aims to educate pupils, parents and staff about the best way to use technology in a responsible way in order to enhance learning. Membership of the group is open to all pupils and will provide guidance, training and support to members of the school community. Prefect Team Senior pupils have the opportunity to undertake more responsibilities within the school. This includes becoming a member of the Prefect Team. This team consists of a Senior Prefect Team of six, including the Head Girl, Head Boy, two Deputy Head Girls and two Deputy Head Boys and Prefects. All Prefects are trained as anti-bullying ambassadors at the beginning of the academic year. Literacy & Numeracy Leaders These pupils have responsibility for promoting literacy and numeracy in engaging and exciting ways.

Educating for Life



Educating for Life


Sixth Form Buddies The position of Sixth Form Buddy is open to Year 13 pupils and provides a pastoral peer mentoring scheme for junior school pupils especially Year 8 pupils making the transition from Primary School. The Sixth Form buddies also organise and run the highly successful junior discos, raising valuable funds to purchase equipment to benefit all pupils in the school. Subject Mentors Academic mentors for subject areas such as Mathematics, English and Modern Languages are chosen from Sixth Form pupils. The role of a subject mentor is to provide specific subject-related support and guidance in their chosen area to pupils across KS3 and KS4 and also to assist with related extra-curricular clubs. Sports Captains As a member of one of the school’s hockey or rugby teams, the team captain has the responsibility of motivating and encouraging fellow pupils, checking availability for matches and communicating fixture details. Most importantly, their main responsibility is to be an exemplary role model for their sport. Class Captains Each Form Class elects a Class Captain – a pupil who represents their class in the School Leadership Council and will assist with the maintenance of the Form Class noticeboard, collect charity money and encourage peers to embrace the opportunities Antrim Grammar School has to offer. Sound & Lighting Team The pupil Sound and Lighting Team is responsible for the technical aspects of all examined performances and school productions. In addition, this team has responsibility for the sound and IT requirements for whole school assemblies, information evenings, open days, prize distributions and other school functions. Language Ambassadors The Language Ambassadors are always on hand to help younger students with their French and Spanish as well as arranging fun activities, such as sample lessons in other languages, quizzes, competitions and parties.


The House System

A House system played a very important part in the life of Antrim Grammar School’s early years and for almost two decades helped generate a healthy level of competition, collegiality and belonging for the whole school community. We were delighted to reaffirm the vision of the School’s founders and reintegrate a vibrant House System into every area of School life in September 2021. A creative, organised and passionately led House System sits well with Antrim Grammar School’s core ethos of ‘Educating For Life’ and continues to strengthen our sense of community. Each House name is taken from something which is very well recognised in the life of Antrim town. The names are symbolic and significant within the fabric of our community.

Educating for Life


Clotworthy Clotworthy House is one of Antrim’s most celebrated landmarks with its beautifully restored buildings nested in the award winning Castle Ground Gardens. With history, entertainment, education and service to the community at its core, Clotworthy sits very well as a meaningful addition to the Antrim Grammar School House System. Massereene Massereene is embedded firmly in Antrim’s history as the remnants of Antrim Castle located in the Castle Grounds were once known as Massereene Castle. Various Viscounts assumed control of large areas around Antrim more commonly known as Upper and Lower Massereene. The name is very much a part of Antrim’s history and we are proud to embrace it as a House name that both parents and students will recognise for many positive reasons. Tardree Every town or city has its own woodlands and Antrim is no exception with Tardree Forest as an imposing and well placed backdrop to our own school campus. As one of Northern Ireland’s oldest forests it has a multitude of trails and walkways which prove popular with those looking for a change of scene and peaceful downtime. For us Tardree is a great symbol of growth, recovery and replenishment and brings balance to the other powerful symbols in our House System. Tower Antrim’s Round Tower is a very recognisable landmark in Antrim town and beyond. The Tower’s external structure is still intact and a great testament to the medieval design and construction. What a fine emblem of strength and protection which sits proudly adjacent to Antrim Grammar School. Yet again we are proud to adopt this symbol of longevity and strength as an appropriate House name of which all students can associate. The inaugural year of the new House System proved to be a resounding success with students gaining points for success and excellence in a range of activities including examinations, departmental competition, Character and sports. Tower were proud victors and claimed the 2021-22 title of House Champions. Our House system continues to grow as staff and pupils adopt a powerful sense of belonging and passion to compete. As the opportunities for leadership expand, we see our pupils growing and maturing in this system which gives all our pupils a chance to take part and contribute.


Educating for Life


Educating Beyond the Classroom

Whilst achieving excellent GCSE and A level results is extremely important, we firmly believe in educating the whole person and realise the best learning often takes place outside the classroom. The school provides a stimulating education and exciting extracurricular and enrichment opportunities in an environment which is friendly and supportive. We encourage our pupils to fully engage with our offer. There are opportunities to join the orchestra, choir, drama or dance groups. There is also a wide array of sports clubs including tennis and cricket. Academic opportunities range from science clubs to debating, public speaking, coding, library and homework clubs. Wherever their interests lead them, pupils can challenge themselves and try something new and unusual: to learn contemporary crafts, improve the environment, participate in Warhammer Club, represent the school in Show Jumping or other equestrian sports, as well as benefit from the many trips and visits on offer. Pupils may work to complete the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme throughout their school career or participate in the Linguistics Olympiad and the Senior and Junior Mathematical Challenge. Our pupils undertake voluntary activities in the local community and various work experience programmes. The school is a community where every pupil has the opportunity to shine among their peers. Pupils are encouraged to be self-reliant, to explore their talents and, always, to strive for excellence.


Educating Through Sport

Physical Education and Sport in Antrim Grammar School aim to create a fun environment where pupils are able to develop their physical literacy and lead an active lifestyle both in school and beyond. Our main sports are Boys’ Rugby, Girls’ Hockey, Girls’ Netball, Cricket and Athletics. These sports are organised and delivered by a very committed teaching staff and ably supported by a talented team of external coaches. Throughout PE in Key Stage 3, all pupils will have the opportunity to experience the statutory requirements of Athletics, Gymnastics, Games and Swimming. In Senior School Games, pupils have eight sporting options to choose from and at Antrim Grammar School we believe this is key to encourage participation and promote an active lifestyle. We appreciate that the pressures and ongoing academic demands upon senior students are numerous, however, it is our firm belief that if these are balanced with some commitment to a physical activity it helps contribute to a positive mindset which is crucial for success. Antrim Grammar School is now an official partner with Ulster Rugby’s Year 8 Rugby Pilot Programme which is based on player centred development to facilitate excellent rugby performance. We are amongst a small group of schools chosen to be part of this very exciting initiative and we look forward to building on this partnership with Ulster Rugby. We have several players involved in Ulster Rugby’s Regional Development Squad Programmes. Girls’ Hockey continues to thrive in competitions, leagues and tournaments. We have celebrated success with our Year 8 XI winning a NEEBSA tournament, our 1st XI reaching the semi-final stage of the Superleague, the final of the Schools’ Plate and the quarter final stage of the Schools’ Cup. Physical Education and Sport enables pupils to develop many cross-curricular skills, including communication, problem-solving, teamwork, literacy and numeracy. Our staff aim to provide the pupils with Currency, Character and Culture in context of sport.

Currency Developing skills and expertise in their chosen sport.

Character Developing respect for teammates, opposition and officials.

Culture Developing a fun, inclusive environment for all to participate and succeed.

Educating for Life



Educating for Life



Educating For Work

Antrim Grammar School provides a comprehensive and high quality programme of Careers Education, Information and Guidance for all pupils from Years 8 – 14. Careers Education is not limited to specific Careers and Employability lessons. Links to the world of work are actively identified by Subject Teachers and Class Tutors. Explaining to pupils how the skills and knowledge they develop at school will help them in their future careers is an important element in motivating them to achieve their full potential. Key Stage 3 The focus of Careers Education at Key Stage 3 is to equip our pupils with the skills and knowledge to self-evaluate, formulate realistic action plans and develop an awareness of careers within our local environment and further afield. In Year 10, pupils will have an interview with a member of the Careers team to enable them to make informed choices about their prospective GCSE subjects based on their progress, aptitude and career plans. Key Stage 4 At Key Stage 4, pupils are engaged in making plans post-GCSE focusing on courses in Sixth Form and Colleges of Further Education. During their Careers classes pupils are given opportunities to learn about the world of work. They also learn how to prepare C.V.s, complete application forms and present themselves effectively at interviews. The school also actively seeks to build relationships with local businesses and promote an ‘Enterprise Culture’. Key Stage 5 In Sixth Form, the focus is on making an informed and appropriate choice regarding post-18 career pathways. Our Work Experience Programme for Year 13 is an important dimension of Careers Education as it teaches our pupils employability skills whilst helping them to make informed education and training choices. Year 14 pupils attend Open Days, participate in interview skills training and receive guidance in making applications to universities, particularly via the UCAS and CAO systems. A dedicated and experienced team of professionals within the Careers Department work with outside agencies to provide the best possible preparation for our pupils for life beyond school.

Educating for Life


Unifrog Our investment in this progressive and all encompassing software

platform gives all our pupils and their parents access to up-to-date careers information and guidance. Pupils are able to avail of numerous facilities on Unifrog including: • Finding real time information on U.K., Irish and other European University courses • Creating shortlists on apprenticeship opportunities • Searching for scholarships and bursaries • Taking personality and interest profile tests • Completing an UCAS application and Curriculum Vitae • Maintaining personal records of key competencies and careers related activities


Educating for Life


Educating Across the Globe

International Dimension Antrim Grammar School has gained the prestigious British Council International School Award four times in acknowledgement of the wide range of international activities and opportunities we present to our pupils and we are currently working towards re-accreditation of the award. The International School Award is a badge of honour for schools that do outstanding work in international education, such as through links with partner schools overseas. Fostering an international dimension in the curriculum is at the heart of our work, so that our pupils gain the cultural understanding and skills they need to live and work as global citizens. School Visits Within the UK and Abroad A variety of trips overseas occur on a regular basis. All school trips have the underlying aim of developing a wider understanding and appreciation of other cultures and customs. Some of the many examples of opportunities that have been or are currently offered to pupils include ski-trips to the different resorts in Europe, French trips to Paris, a rugby tour of South Africa and a Technology trip to London. International Students Antrim Grammar School seeks to develop partnerships with schools around the world. The school actively promotes the development of languages through events such as Languages Diversity Week and the ever popular Year 8 breakfast. We also offer extra-curricular opportunities such as our highly successful French Debating and Language Clubs and enrichment classes in other languages. For Sixth Form pupils, Antrim Grammar School offers the opportunity to work with language assistants to develop oral skills in their target language. In recent years, we have established a wide range of teaching and learning links with other schools and have hosted pupils from France, China and South Africa. We have hosted many teacher visits from international schools which have provided a further international dimension to our work.


School Uniform

Boys’ Uniform • French blue blazer with School Crest • White School shirt with School tie • Navy V-neck jumper • Charcoal Trousers (Years 8-10) • Black Trousers (Years 11-14) • Plain black socks • Plain black leather shoes

Boys’ PE Uniform • School branded plain white round-neck T-shirt • School branded navy shorts/rugby shorts • Plain white socks • Laced trainers – no black soles • School branded navy mid-layer or School branded navy fleece • School branded navy tracksuit bottoms Boys’ Games Uniform • School branded rugby shirt • School branded navy rugby shorts • School games socks • Rugby / football boots • School branded navy mid-layer or School branded navy fleece • School branded navy tracksuit bottoms

Educating for Life


Girls’ Uniform • French blue blazer with School Crest • White School blouse with School tie • Navy V-neck jumper • Knee length A-line skirt (Years 8-10) • Knee length pleated skirt (Years 11-14) • Grey knee socks or navy tights • Plain black leather shoes (flat heel) Girls’ PE/Games Uniform • School branded navy hockey shirt • School branded navy hockey skirt • School branded socks • Laced trainers – no black soles • School branded navy mid-layer or School branded navy fleece • School branded navy tracksuit bottoms All Pupils All pupils are expected to take pride in their appearance and must attend school in full, correct uniform. We believe that wearing a school uniform helps pupils to take a pride both in themselves and in their school. For new entrants, a school uniform helps to give a sense of belonging. For these reasons we ask for the full support of parents in sending their children to School in the correct school uniform. It is expected that pupils will maintain our uniform policy when travelling to and from school and be a credit to their families and to Antrim Grammar School.


Educating For Today

Surrounded by open countryside with over 74 acres of playing fields and outdoor recreation areas, Antrim Grammar School is situated on a most attractive school site. The school has benefited from many improvements over the years including the installation of three outdoor picnic areas and gardens for pupils and staff to enjoy. The Sixth Form Area and our Conference Room have also benefited from refurbishment, ensuring that we continue to provide modern facilities for our pupils. The Board of Governors and staff are committed to reviewing, improving and maintaining the available accommodation and outdoor space on a continuous basis, to ensure that pupils and staff have access to appropriate and attractive facilities.

Educating for Life


Our Facilities Include: • A conference room with full audio-visual facilities, including a large interactive touch screen display • A refurbished and well-resourced library which is open for pupils to visit at break, lunch and after school • A medical room • A dedicated pupil ‘iMatter’ room which provides a comfortable confidential space for pupils to meet with the school counsellor • A recently refurbished bright spacious pupil cafeteria • Three landscaped outdoor picnic areas • Two Sixth Form study areas for Year 13 and Year 14 pupils with facilities for independent learning including desktop computers and a printer/photocopier alongside a common room area with kitchen facilities. Each study area is supervised after school hours and available to all pupils • Two fully equipped specialist rooms for Art & Design • Two fully equipped Design & Technology Workshops, one with an ICT Suite • A Drama studio and stage area equipped with brand new stage lighting • Two fully equipped Food Technology rooms • Four ICT Suites and a suite of iMac computers, two of which are open after school for pupils to use • A large Music suite with individual practice facilities • A modern Sports Hall complete with fitness area and ICT Suite • Eight specialist Science laboratories • Two excellently maintained grass rugby pitches and four tennis courts • iPads to enhance the teaching and learning experience with iPads accessible to pupils for use during class • Lockers available to hire for all pupils


Educating for Life



Antrim Grammar School, 10 Steeple Road, Antrim, BT41 1AF | (028) 94 464091 |

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