Click on the link below to read about Dunclug College working with ASHA in their newsletter!
Friday 4th January, Dunclug College was pleased to welcome Year 7 students from our local contributory Primary School to our Annual Taster Day: Synergy. This is one of a series of
events run to assist Year 7 pupils in making the transition from Primary to Second Level Education. Students had opportunity firstly to attend one of our famous Robotics events, where the
programme is led by our Technology Department and Sixth Form Students, facilitated by SENTINUS. Then, late November saw some 700 children, over two mornings, attending our Annual Production,
which this year was the timeless, ‘Oliver’ and proved a special hit! Finally, Synergy is a taste of the ‘big school’ timetable – Home Economics, Art, Music and Performing Arts and yes, even Maths was
fun! We have enjoyed working with our Primary Schools on The Key Stage 2 to 3 Signature Project and the CCEA Transition Project and together, our aim is to make the transition to Second Level
seamless, so that we are ready to build on the excellent prior learning, yet at the same time introduce our pupils to a whole new world of learning.
We look forward to welcoming Year 7 pupils and
parents to one of our Open Evenings on Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th January. Please do not hesitate to contact the school and speak to the Principal if for any reason you are unable to attend.
Asha Trip Day 1: We had orientation in ASHA HQ where the group had opportunity to hear about the phenomenal work of ASHA. After a
light lunch we headed to a shopping mall to buy our Indian wear as we were guests at the residence of the British High Commissioner, Sir Dominic Asquith. The ceremony was a presentation of
awards to students who have been successful, supported by the work of Asha. Mrs Alexander was thrilled to be invited to present awards alongside Sir Dominic. It was also very special to meet with Dr
Kiran herself, the founder of AshaSociety We visited a shopping mall and although we experienced much opulence today we also saw a vast hardship as we drove through the streets of Delhi. We met some
students from Kusumpur Slum today and are excited to be seeing first hand the reality of slum life tomorrow.
Day 2: After completing the orientation day at ASHA headquarters on Thursday we woke to a busy day on Friday, ready to go into the Slum at Kusumpur. From the outset
of our visit, the poverty and deprivation was overwhelming; dogs, pigs and cows roamed the streets and household waste saturated the area.
Despite the dire circumstances, every family that we met were extremely welcoming, respectful and kind. Most families had very young children who smiled and waved at us as we walked through their
community, showing no sign of unhappiness.
The community at Kusumpur are extremely close and they work together alongside the support and guidance from the ASHA charity to build a stronger, healthier and happier environment for
Once we were greeted into the Kusumpur centre at the heart of the village we began our work. One of the groups worked on painting murals onto the walls of the centre focused on the core values of
ASHA. The other team delivered focused lessons to College students in the morning and Primary school children in the afternoon.
The students from Kusumpur really engaged well and enjoyed the day. Students and staff from Dunclug College made great friends today and had an unforgettable experience.
Everyone is so excited to get back to Kusumpur on Monday morning to resume our work there.
Day 3 - Report from James Fullerton - We began our weekend of sight seeing as the resource centre in the slum was closed for the
weekend. It was an early start as we set off by bus at 6am for a long bus journey to Agra. We arrived after 4 hours to a 5 star hotel for 10 O'clock tea. We then headed to the Taj Mahal, accompanied
by a tour guide; he enlightened us on the history of this historic building. The sights were breath taking and well worth the journey to get there. We went back to the luxurious hotel for lunch,
which allowed students to try a range of traditional Indian dishes and desserts.
In the afternoon, we began the next stage of our journey to the renowned 'Red Fort'. This was a enormous building, built for the Emperor in the 1600's. The whole
day was an amazing experience which left the team in awe at the work completed all those years ago. This trip reinforced the diversity gap between slum dewellers and the higher class citizens of
India. This has set the weekend up for some more sight seeing in Delhi tomorrow.
Report from Jessica O’Neill and Sarah Christie:
On Sunday, we started our day off by visiting Ardshardham Temple. The sights and attractions that we experienced were outstanding and the architecture on the temple
building left us utterly astonished due to its beauty.
For many days, we all had been admiring the tuk tuks from a far in the busy traffic but it was our turn when we arrived at Connaught Place, which was an experience
of a life time and a tight squeeze with three of us in the back seat and the boys squeezing in beside the drivers. For lunch, we headed to Pizza Hut where we had a feast and the boys couldn’t
get enough. Following this, there were lots of giggles in the taxis after such a fun morning and we had the chance to drive by Parliament and the Governor’s residence. In the latter part of the
afternoon we arrived at India Gate, where we felt like celebrities; we were surrounded by young people asking for selfies...It apparently brings good furtune to have your photograph taken with
someone from the West. The day of sight seeing came to a close at Humayun’s tomb where we had the chance to see another beautiful area of India’s grand history.
We are back to the Slum at Kusumpur this week and everyone can’t wait to get into the work!
Day 5 by Rachel Owens:
On Monday, our day started early as we headed
back to the Slum at Kusumpr. The students were all very excited to see us again and many were already at the centre when we arrived. We focused on work with the College students in the morning and
delivered an English lesson to improve their overall Literacy skills, asking them questions about themselves and their families. This was very exciting and everyone got involved; the students were
able to understand how to improve the accuracy of their own writing.
In the afternoon, we decided to blow up the balloons that we had brought over from home and play games with the younger students. Many of the younger children were overjoyed at such a simple game
that other children in the UK may have taken for granted.
Following this, we began our afternoon session with the younger children. Our topic was 'Under the Sea'. We explored different sea creatures, got the children to write down the correct spellings and
finally got them to create their own 'Under the sea' picture. They all thoroughly enjoyed this task and paraded the centre showing off their completed work with pride.
After our day at the Slum we set off to the busy Sarojini Nagir market to allow the girls to buy a Sari to take home with them. This was another truly memorable day and everyone is so excited and
eager to get back to Kusumpur to paint the community centre in the morning.
One half of the team had the opportunity to
do a lane visit today. This meant that they met the majority of the community at Kusumpur; students and staff were greeted into the residents' homes.
Alongside finding out about day to day
routines and harrowing sleeping conditions (5 family members sleeping in one very small space), the team also got to sample some traditional Indian dancing routines, even offering their own addition
of 'Cotton eye Joe' for the residents to try.
This experience not only furthered our
understanding of the difficulty of living in a Slum but also brought to light how, despite hard circumstances, the community remain happy and optimistic. An extraordinary experience to say the
Day 6 by John Wilson: Today we had an early start as we returned to Kusumpur to get a head start with the Painting for the day. This brought many laughs amongst the team and college students as Mr Burnett
broke the ladder whilst painting. It is apparent that all the Indian Food has caught up with him.
Whilst part of the team continued to paint,
some of us played different activities using the rugby ball and football with the college students. This brought great laughs and fun amongst us
In the afternoon, we were delighted to see the children again ready for some lessons and crafts. Today we delivered lessons on Body Parts. We looked at the spelling of each body part; using these
words to form sentences, which improved their English skills. The craft team used little card people to design portraits of the students . This allowed them to be artistic and include important
aspects of their own personalities. The team thoroughly enjoyed today; the childrens' happiness and joy to learn prevails over our tiredness.
Tonight we we had a warm welcome from Dr. Kiran Martin, in her own home, as we were invited for dinner in her astonishing abode. We were treated to traditional Indian cuisine which the team
thoroughly enjoyed. This was followed by some Bollywood dancing which was an amazing experience and the team danced along to the exciting music.
The team has had yet again another unforgettable day and we look forward to the joy the children will bring us tomorrow.
Day 7 by Kristyn Chan and Nicola Kernohan:
Today at Kusumpur
we delivered sessions on presentation skills with the college students; the talk was based on what ASHA means to each individual.
The students opened up their feelings and thoughts about the organisation and expressed great optimism towards their hope for a better future which they are striving to accomplish.
The students worked on their presentations, using various methods; pause, tone, pitch,
volume and body language. We all sat in a circle and everyone presented their opinions through a game. This helped to improve their spoken language skills and the ability to present to an
A boy named Sahil, one of the college students, who has been brought up by
asha brought his guitar in for the day. We all sat in a circle after the class and listened to him play his songs. This gave us the chance to really bond with the students.
Following that, we went on another lane visit around the other section of
Kusumpur. We were welcomed in the homes of other students and one of them was Sahil's home. It was quite shocking to see how small his home and area of study was. Despite this, Sahil is ready to sit
his MBA examination in a month which is an incredible feat considering how difficult it is for him to prepare for it with limited resources. This was truly inspirational to see.
We finished off painting the murals on the walls of the centre and cleaned
up the rest of the rooms whilst taking turns getting hennas done (Indian tattoo) by 3 wonderful indian girls with such artistic skills.
The theme of today revolved around animals. We sang songs and danced, made
embarassing noises and laughed together. Whilst teaching the younger students English and giving them the chance to create their own animal masks, we worked on their sentence structure and helped
them to write about each animal in the farm scene that we used. This was a great afternoon.
This was our last day of teaching the students; we were saf but proud that
we have helped the children to progress in their studies.
We will go back to Kusumpur tomorrow for a day of celebrations as the
decorated centre is opened again to all of its students.
Day 8 by Jack Francey:
Our final day in Delhi, India was to say the
least an extremely emotional one. We started the morning off by getting our suitcases packed and ready for the evening as we were to begin our long flight home. Once every one had finished packing,
we headed for a lovely breakfast at 9:30am and then left for Kusumpur slum at 10:15am. We arrived at the slum for 11:00, where we made our way to the community centre, being greeted with open arms to
the opening ceremony of the newly painted centre and also our leaving party. As we made our way in for the last time, each and every smile on the young familiar faces
brought tears to each and every member of the team. An amazing variety of singing and dancing routines were preformed for us and a delicious cake was then cut. Many kind words of thanks were shared
with the team which will remain with us forever. We proceeded to sing the songs that we prepared the previous evening which brought much joy to the children. The children particularly like our
adapted version of the Dunclug school song to match Asha’s values.
We completed our time in Kusumpur by singing and dancing to a wide range of songs from all across the world where many hugs and tears were shared. As we made our way to the taxi, the children came to
see us leave and waved good bye. We made our way back to the hotel which was possibly the hardest thing any of us have ever done; we all wanted to stay with these magnificent people.
After an emotional day, we got back to the hotel, relaxed and shared our thoughts about our final visit to Kusumpur before we sat down to our last Indian dinner in the hotel which did not
The final stage of this amazing experience was towards Delhi International airport where the journey back to Ballymena would begin. This was truly an unforgettable journey which will remain in the
hearts of the team members for many years to come.
Day 8 by Ellie
Today was our final day in Kusumpur and a day
of celebration as the newly decorated centre was reopened to all of the students. The students within the centre had organised a programme of performances including Bollywood dancing, singing and
Sahil playing his guitar. In return we sang Imagine by John Lennon, Make you feel my love by Adele, a rewritten version of the school song and Ellie singing a solo song from the musical Dear Evan
Hansen. Everyone found today very emotional and a lot of tears were shed as we said goodbye to the students that have changed our lives. Following this, we journeyed back to the hotel to pack and
have our last supper in New Delhi.
The Great Dunclug Bake Off!
Thursday 18th October saw 10 members of staff compete for the coveted Star Baker award! Early morning tensions rose between Mr Crooks and the other candidates
as submissions were scrutinised.
All candidates had tackled toppings, blended buttercream and presented their goods for break time judging by the pupils.
It was a tightly fought contest with the top four results as follows:
4th Place: Mr Crooks (and his mathematical buns)
3rd Place: Mrs Tuff (and her spooky specimens)
2nd Place: Mrs King (and her royal rainbows)
1st Place: Mrs Alexander (and her squishy sheep) *STAR
All the tasty treats were sold during lunchtime and were enjoyed by all! Thank you to the staff who prepared their bakes and to the pupils
who voted and bought the goods!
Stay tuned for more exciting competitions!
Dunclug College is celebrating historic levels of achievement at GCSE level. All students,
including those with various learning challenges sat a minimum of 7 GCSE subjects, including the compulsory core of English, Maths and Science and a range of GCSE optional choices in a balance of
General and Applied courses. Many gifted and competitive students sat 8, 9 or 10 subjects. The overall result for GCSE English for the whole cohort was 80% in the A – C range, with the
overall Mathematics result being almost 60%: in each case this represented the best outcomes in the school’s history. Overall, almost 80% of students achieved 5 or more subjects in the A
– C range with almost 60% achieving this standard inclusive of English and Maths. This significantly exceeds the National and Northern Ireland averages and places our school and is testimony to
the success which can be attained at a non-selective school. Many factors contribute to such success, not least the support of parents, the commitment of students and the motivational teaching
which is inspirational yet grounded, and which proves that high expectations enable students to push boundaries and indeed predictions.
Subjects which achieved the outstanding success rate of 100% of pupils gaining Grade C or better were
as follows: Art, Construction, Media Studies, Double Award Science, Occupational Studies, Further Maths, Prince’s Trust, Agriculture & Community Sport. Other high achieving subjects
included: Applied Business 70%, English 80%, English Literature 92%, Engineering 70%, French 75%, Geography 79%, ICT 70%, Single Award Science 78%, Technology & Design 91%, Drama 91%, Music
82%, BTEC Sport 91%
The Principal noted that amongst the numerous excellent combinations of grades were children with
special educational needs, and many personal best achievements. It was also very encouraging to note that 96% of all students in the year group achieved at least 5 grades in the A – E
Congratulations to top achievers: Kirsten McLeister - 5 A* and 3A,
Francey - 4A*, 4A, 1B and 1C and Charlotte McKay 1A*, 4A, 2B and 1C.
Other students with a profile of A - C grades in eight or more subjects included: Stuart Adams, Tori
Agnew, Chloe Bleakley, Alan Clarke, Daniel Compton, Megan Davison, Laura Du Bois Pidgeon, Amy Ewart, Joy Forsythe, Rachel Greer, Abigail Harris, Timothy Hill, Korben Houston, Lynn Hughes, Deanna
Johnston, Jamie Knox, Danielle Mahaffy, Tamzin McClenaghan, Adam McConnell, Grace McCullough, Emma McDowell, Thomas McFall, Megan McKay, Luke Neeson, Robbie O’Neill, Aimee Penney, David Saunderson,
Chad Shaw, Joshua Shaw, Robyn Telford, Charlotte Waide, James Warwick, Leah Young. This, in addition to the list of students, too numerous to list, who achieved 7 top grades.
Interviews are currently underway at the College for Sixth Form places and/or advice for students on
the next steps in their learning. Applications are also welcome from students from other schools. Admissions Criteria and the details of subjects on offer are available at the School
A Level Congratulations for Dunclug College
Dunclug College is pleased to be celebrating a 7% improvement in its A Level results for the 2017/18 year, in line with our expectations for our students. 80% of
all grades were in the A – C range, with a total of 35 students achieving at least one A Grade. A significant majority sat three A Level subjects with 60% achieving three grades in the A – C
range. 83% of the whole cohort achieved 2 or more in the A – C range and 100% 2 grades in the A – E range.
In the following subjects 100% of students achieved in the A – C range: Biology, Care, Chemistry, Construction, Engineering, Sports, Geography, Moving Image
Arts, Sociology, Travel & Tourism, followed closely by high pass rates at Grade C or better, as follows: Applied Business 90%, CTEC Business 89%, ICT 88%, Performing Arts 83%, Art 83%,
Health & Social Care 81%, Religious Studies 66% and Life & Health Science, 50%. Many students achieved outstanding individual performances in these and other subjects, and excellent
combinations of grades to lead to a wide range of University placements & Apprenticeships. In keeping with the national trend there was improvement in the performance of boys due to careful
choice of subjects and motivational teaching.
The Principal congratulated all students for their excellent commitment in the face of the many challenges of A level study - and the staff for their diligence in
preparation and delivery, as well as their positive approach to the many syllabus and examination changes, and the many current financial challenges in education.
A special mention is made of the following high achievers:
Carolyn Aiken, Kennedy Brown, Kirsten Collins, Courtney Davis, Anna Donnell, Emily Erwin, Romany Graham, Courtney Gribben, Rebecca Harris, Kathryn Hamilton, Aaron
Houston, David Jamieson, Christine Kernohan, Stephanie Kilpatrick, Anna Knox, Kirsten Leckey, Chloe McFall, Morgan McVicker, Chelsea Morrow, JJ Morrow, Catherine Perry, Jordan Peters, Laura Reid,
Charlie Smith, Amy Smith, Amy Stirling, Jack Wilkins, Amy Wilson, Hannah Wilson and Sophiah Wilson.
With high commendations also to the following students:
Mellissa Bell, Adam Crowther, Jason Fleming, Britney Hill, Georgia Hill, Tamarin Hill, Zoe Luke, Ewan McClintock, Brandon Millar, Nena Rea, Callum Ross, Jacqueline
Smyth, Thomas Surgenor, Matthew Waide and Courtney Walsh.
The Careers staff, subject teachers, and senior leaders were delighted to be on hand to congratulate pupils and parents personally and to work closely with students to
ensure progression to the next stage of their educational journey. Please do not hesitate to contact school if there remain any outstanding queries.
We look forward to welcoming back the majority of Year 12 students into Sixth Form, following GCSE results next week. Applications are also welcome from students
transferring from other schools for the in-coming academic year. The Sixth Form Prospectus, with details of the subjects on offer and teaching approaches, as well as the Admissions Criteria,
can be obtained from the School Office.
16th August 2018