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Principal's Welcome

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Welcome to North Coast Integrated College

My name is Angela Passmore. When I was asked recently to describe the ethos of our school it made me think about what makes us different from other schools.

I can give so many examples about the daily interactions between staff and pupils that highlight what makes us unique.

Firstly, we are genuinely Child Centred… what this means is that every decision that is made is to encourage our pupils to learn to the best of their ability and to be happy. We listen to students and staff meet regularly with our student’s council. Students wear PE kit in on the days that they have PE because they told us they didn’t like getting changed in front of their peers. Pupils are allowed to wear hoodies under their blazers- they were cold and like the hoodies. I believe that these small things make a big difference and allow staff to focus on building positive relationships.

Respect for each other and the whole school community is expected and encouraged. We do not bury contentious issues, but we talk about them openly. Through conversation, pupils gain a better understanding about each other. During non-uniform days pupils are not banned from wearing football or GAA tops. Living integration means embracing diversity and not trying to make everyone the same. 

Neurodiversity is also a key element of our ethos- our school needs minds of all kinds. All teachers can tell you about how they differentiate for learning in the classroom- that is right and good and essential that all teachers do this. Our integrated ethos means that we go a step further we know that all minds are wired differently- some pupils need movement breaks. Some need to be able to go to a quiet room for down time. Some might need a spell in the sensory room. Another pupil might need to go and bash the drums or do pull ups in the gym. We, as a school community work together to give pupils the skills to regulate so they can learn. We differentiate for minds of all kinds.

Our curriculum allows pupils of all academic abilities to achieve success- most schools do this. Our farm and hair salon are examples of where we invest to ensure that pupils can stay in school and learn alongside their peers. Pupils from the same family can attend our school up to Post 16. Our curriculum at Key Stage 4 and Post 16 is organic and changes each year to match the interests of that group of pupils.

Our curriculum is different because we will take opportunities that are present to encourage understanding. History is taught through Citizenship. English ensure books are studied that will allow students to delve into what it is like to experience poverty or persecution because of their beliefs or where they are from. As the first post primary school Forestry school in Northern Ireland, we encourage the use of the outdoors to enhance learning.

Staff model anti bias practice by challenging bias and discrimination through constructive dialogue. Staff all promote positive values around diversity. Our integrated ethos means that we acknowledge the richness that different cultures, beliefs and sexuality brings to our school.

We are a restorative school; we work to minimise conflict by resolution conferences which are run by pupils with staff support. This is about giving pupils the space and time to explore how their actions made the other person feel.

All pupils will be able to practice their faith. Guests at assembly and celebrations are from a range of religious backgrounds.

The future plans for integrated education are exciting. I was very happy when the announcement that Dunluce, Coleraine College and ourselves will come together in September 2026. The three schools will form one new controlled integrated school which will provide an outstanding curriculum offer and opportunities for all young people, of all abilities to be educated in a school which will give them academic, vocational and technical pathways.

Provision will be made for pupils with special education needs both in mainstream and specialist classrooms. Pupil and staff learning opportunities will be enhanced through the partnership with Ulster University. The new school will also provide an inclusive and welcoming space for use by the local community for all religions and no faith backgrounds.

Building on a controlled integrated ethos the new school will have inclusion at its heart and will be the very best from all three schools.

Pupils who join us in 2024 will start Year 10 in the new school. This means that they will have the benefit of wider option choices for their GCSEs.

Our classes are streamed. This means that we use data from Primary schools and initial baseline tests to give us as much information to build an academic profile of every pupil.  This allows us to give support when needed and also to give a wee push when needed.

We want to make sure that each pupil is reaching their full academic potential. No class has more than 20 pupils.

 Every year in Key Stage 3 has a grammar stream- this is for pupils who are academically able and enjoy the challenge of learning at a faster pace. We do not need formal exam results to consider this request. We also have a nurture class- this class is for pupils who benefit from a smaller class size- usually no more than 12 pupils and extra adult support.

When you are applying for your place here simply indicate that you would like your child to be considered for the grammar stream or for the nurture class.

If you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact the school and arrange an appointment.

 

Angela Passmore

Principal

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