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Carrickfergus Grammar School
120 North Road, BT38 7RA, UK Carrickfergus
Tel. 028 9336 3615

"Carrickfergus Grammar School is concerned essentially with providing a highly academic course of study. All pupils are expected to have taken at least eight GCSE subjects by the end of Year 12 and the majority return for two years of further study at A Level. It is the intention of the staff that all pupils are fully stretched academically and this must be our main objective.
Whilst it is true that the teaching staff can do much to ensure that all pupils make progress in their studies and achieve success in their chosen careers, it is absolutely certain that the interest and encouragement which you, the parents, show in your child's education is still the vital factor.

The school is concerned with more than the academic and we aim to educate our pupils culturally, physically and spiritually as well. In developing moral values and attitudes pupils learn tolerance and under- standing of people from within their own and other cultural backgrounds. In developing and encouraging recreational and health interests the pupils can gain personal satisfaction in their use of leisure time.

headmaster We hope to instil in our pupils the love of learning and the skills and values which will enable them as adults to live productive and fulfilling lives. These aims are set in the context of sound Christian values with our daily assembly being an important part of the corporate life of the school."

Furthur information may be obtained from the Headmaster, who will gladly interview parents by appointment and discuss with them questions relating to their child's education and career.

School History

"I wish I was in Carrickfergus"

SchoolStanding proudly at the top of North Road on a sixty-acre site, Carrickfergus Grammar enjoys a panoramic view of Belfast Lough, the historic castle and surrounding hinderland. One of the youngest controlled Grammar schools in Northern Ireland, it opened in 1962 with 60 pupils and 4 teachers. It now boasts 800 pupils drawn from 25 feeder schools stretching from Islandmagee and Ballynure to the suburbs of Belfast. What has made the school distinctive since its inception almost 40 years ago? The school took its first tentative steps in the relatively calm educational world of the 1960's. It has grown up through more turbulent times both educationally and politically. The 1st Headmaster Mr J. McK Grainger, a much-loved paternalistic figure, guided the school through the first two decades with a considerable degree of success. By 1977, when Mr Grainger retired, the school had grown to over 600 pupils. Mr Hugh Jamison, the 2nd Headmaster and one of life's gentlemen, steered the school through the Thatcherite Eighties, proudly overseeing the building of a new extension in 1983 to cope with the growing numbers. The school's blossoming reputation was exemplified by the winning of such awards as "Young Scientists of the Year" and "Young Engineer for Britain" in 1983 and 1985 respectively. By this stage "The Grammar" had become an integral part of Carrickfergus community life.

The advent of a new, young and innovative Principal Mr Kenneth Irwin in 1990 heralded a period of unprecedented change and rapid expansion. The new dynamic was epitomised by the replacing of the old school motto with a single aim- "Praestantia" (loosely translated "striving for excellence"). This striving for excellence is reflected in every aspect of school life - academic, cultural, physical and spiritual...

In 1999, Carrickfergus became the 1st Grammar school in Northern Ireland to be presented with the "Investors in People" Award, has achieved Goldmark and is currently working towards the Charter Mark Award for Excellence.
The excellent staff/pupil relationships are reflected in a Charter of Rights and Responsibilities drawn up jointly by teachers and pupils. An external assessor sumarising the ethos commented that "the school is epitomised by a culture of trust and value".
Examination results at GCSE and A-Level have been enhanced by the drive towards excellence with GCSE results in 1989/1999 being the best in the history of the school. The pleasing standard at A-Level in recent years has resulted in a high percentage of leavers moving on into higher education both at home and in Britain including Oxbridge.
Many of the pupils have distinguished themselves in the sporting field. In its history, the school has produced a number of Irish Schools' Rugby and Hockey Internationals, N.I. Cross-Country champions, International atheletes and, most recently, an N.I. and Commonwealth Games' swimmer. Recently the Northern Ireland Sports Council presented the school with the prestigious "Goldmark" Award given only to schools which have achieved a high standard in the breadth and quality of their physical education.
The school has a thriving Music Department where the variety and quality of musical output is to be admired - from traditional orchestras and choirs to Wind Band to the latest exciting development, the Big Band.
The striving for excellence has been enhanced by strong links with the local Community. Business awareness has been developed via a programme including interview skills as well as local Business sponsorship and involvement in team-teaching. Donations are given to local charities through the generosity of pupils and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme provides the opportunity for many young people to serve the Community.
International links expand the horizons for many pupils. The Comenius Project connects the school with Sweden and France while trips to Romania and Denmark have been learning experiences in the search for understanding of different cultures. The School's commitment to reconciliation is exemplified by a 7-year link with Our Lady's Bower school in Athlone through "Co-operation Ireland".
The Headmaster, ably supported by his Senior Management Team and a committed Board of Governors, is leading the school into the 21st Century aiming towards, as the Mission Statement says "further excellence from present strengths".



School Uniform


Pupils are required to wear school uniform correctly (including coming to and from school), and to be neat and tidy in appearance.  The wearing of correct uniform will be strictly enforced.

Blazer DARK NAVY WOOL with braid and school badge incorporated (single-breasted) to be worn on all occasions
Overcoat PLAIN NAVY shower-proof coat or anorak.
Scarf School scarf or plain navy scarf only
Jewellery Only one signet ring (flat surfaced type) may be worn.

No other jewellery, (including earrings of any type, bangles, bracelets, necklaces or chains) may be worn.  NB. If this rule is disregarded, jewellery will be temporarily confiscated.

No badges, except those which signify membership of a recognised youth organisation, may be worn.

Footwear Training shoes including black leather type are not permitted.  Suede, Patent or Fashion shoes are not acceptable for school wear.
(Girls) Plain BLACK non-slip, soft-soled shoes with broad FLAT HEELS.  Tapering, Stiletto or Platform type heels are not permitted.
(Boys) Plain BLACK, non-slip, soft-soled shoes.
Hair Hair must be kept neat and clean.  Natural all over colour acceptable.  No extreme hair styles or colours permitted (eg. green, pink or stripes).  Hair clips, elastic bands in one of school colours, no scarves.  While recognising the pupil's right to individual styles, the school reserves the right to refuse when it detracts from the overall appearance of the uniform.
Dress (Girls) PLAIN WHITE school shirt/blouse with plain pointed collar, and school tie. (no soft cotton).

PULLOVER Plain knit DARK NAVY with V-neck.

MID-GREY terylene box-pleated KNEE LENGTH skirt with pocket.

Black tights or white ankle socks at any time

Dress (Boys) PLAIN WHITE shirt with plain pointed collar and school tie.  (no soft cotton)

PULLOVER Plain knit DARK NAVY with V-neck.

PLAIN DARK GREY trousers.  Fashion or cotton trousers are not acceptable for School wear.



PE Clothing (Girls) Maroon shirt

Navy skirt

Navy and maroon socks

Large towel

Training shoes (not boots)

(Optional for outside)

School Track suit

School Swearshirt

PE Clothing (Boys) Outside

Rugby jersey with white collar

Navy shorts

Navy and maroon socks

Football/Rugby boots

School Track suit (optional)



Large Towel

School Sweatshirt (optional)

Training shoes (not boots)

Home Economics Navy / White striped apron.
All P.E. and Home Economics uniform is sold by the school and may be purchased in June or September.
All articles of clothing must be clearly marked with the owner's name.

Pupils are responsible for their own money and valuables at all time.  THE SCHOOL WILL NOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY LOSS.  (Valuables include mobile phones, walkmans or CD players etc.)

Uniform must be worn for travelling to or from school, or attending games or other functions at, or organised by, the school.

Girls are not permitted to wear make-up of any kind or to wear nail varnish.




PHILOSOPHYThe discipline philosophy of this school is based upon a positive, proactive attitude at the heart of which lies the best interests, dignity and rights of the individual young person set within the context of the wider school community. 

AIMSThe discipline policy thus - 

(i)         attempts to encourage a well-ordered, happy, responsible and productive attitude in pupils 

(ii)        is designed to project good behaviour as the normal condition in the school 

(iii)       aims to foster an independent process of positive decision-making in our pupils which will be to the benefit of each member of our school community.  


(a)        It is the responsibility of the Board of Governors, the Principal, and the Vice-Principal for Pastoral Care in particular to ensure that there prevails in the school the harmonious, positive and purposeful atmosphere which is essential to successful teaching and learning.   

(b)        It is the responsibilty of the School Management Team and the Vice Principal for Pastoral Care in particular to guide, support, and offer training opportunities for all members of staff so that a positive atmosphere and work ethic prevails in each classroom in the school. 

(c)        It is the responsibility of the Vice Principal for Pastoral Care to communicate the school’s disciplinary structure to parents and pupils. 

(d)        Responsibilty for enacting the agreed procedures and structures of the school’s disciplinary measures lies with each member of teaching staff.  If a difficulty arises this schould be discussed in the first instance with the appropriate Head of Year, who may enlist the support of the Class Tutor if appropriate. 

(e)        Heads of Year may refer a situation to the Vice-Principal for Pastoral Care and/or the Senior Teacher in charge of Girls.  Efforts will then be made to identify and rectify the causes of the discipline problem. 

(f)         All members of staff in the school are responsible for encouraging good behaviour in the corridors, public areas and playgrounds, and, as far as possible, in the journeys to and from school. 

(g)                Prefects and all senior pupils are expected to show an example to younger pupils, and to assist staff in every way by encouraging good behaviour throughout the school. 

(h)        It is the responsibility of the Senior Teacher in charge of Induction and Student Placements to ensure that new and temporary members of staff are briefed on the disciplinary structure of the school.  

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