We realise how tedious it can sometimes be sifting through endless pages on National Curriculum and School Policy, when one really only wants to find practical, truthful answers to a few simple questions.
We are legally obliged to publish Admissions Criteria and to make available to parents written details of many aspects of formal school organisation, however first we have posed nine questions on behalf of the average parent and given truthful, no-nonsense answers.
There are so many schools to choose from: how can I be sure this is the right one?
The simple answer is that you never can be 100%; consequently you are left to make your choice by looking at the school's tradition and past reputation, and deciding what environment will provide the best opportunities for your child to reach their full and true potential. Our College ethos is that we want to develop the whole child and we feel that we do just that.
Will my child be happy?
All children are different and respond to changes of school in their own ways. Most schools today operate systems that look after students’ general welfare on a day-to-day basis: our College is no different. But we are different in that many schools operate such systems because their sheer size makes it impossible for a student to be known personally outside a small group. The size of our College allows each student to have his/her own identity and yet be known personally in the College as a whole.
The move from one school to another can often be a frightening and confusing experience for children: how does Glastry College deal with this?
On the first half day of the new school term in August, only Year 8 students attend. That day is spent with their Group Tutor, Year Head and mentors, who familiarise them with the lay-out of the College, introduce them gradually to their specialist teachers and make them aware of College practices and procedures.
We live quite a distance from the College: how would my child get there and what if they need to stay after College?
Several buses are available to the College each morning from both Bangor and Newtownards bus stations.
As a College we are very keen to encourage all of our students to engage in after-school activities as we believe these are important to develop personal skills and interests. To enable this, after-school buses are available on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to take students to Bangor, Newtownards , Portaferry and the surrounding areas.
Should you have any further questions, please contact the College office on 028 427 71226.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I be informed if my child is doing well ... or badly?
You can count on it! We realise that, as some parents see it, to send home a written report once or twice a year is often a case of too little too late. Therefore, to provide parents with a comprehensive and on-going picture of how their child is progressing throughout the whole year, students complete a range of tracked assessment tasks in their subjects. The results of these tasks are collated along with pastoral information, in regular Progress Reviews that students discuss with their Group Tutors. The focus is to identify students’ strengths, set targets for improvement and outline actual strategies to bring about improvement which are then monitored and reviewed at the next Progress Review. The Progress reviews are then sent home for parents to discuss with their child. We also maintain close contact with all parents as and when necessary. Regulations also require schools to provide parental consultations once a year which we expect all parents to attend.
Students who underachieve or misbehave may be placed on Weekly Report. This report must be signed each evening by a parent or holder of parental responsibility, and presented to the appropriate Year Head each morning. We feel that it is important for the College and home to work together to ensure that all students maximise their full potential.
May we visit the College?
Yes definitely: in fact we encourage you to. Through the year there are various opportunities available: such as Parents' Evenings, Open Evening, PTFA functions, and musical evenings. In addition to these, appointments can be made to meet with the Principal, Vice-Principals or Assistant Vice-Principal.
Does Glastry offer a broad and complete curriculum?
The short answer is yes. We have specialist teachers from Year 8 to Year 14. We also have specialist facilities: a fully equipped gym, five science labs, technology wing, fully-fitted Home Economics rooms, extensive music wing, including practical facilities and 5 full ICT suites all equipped with C2K machines. We also have a suite of Apple Mac computers and class sets of iPads.
The average number of GCSE subjects taken by each student in Year 12 is 8, with some students opting for 9. Students in Key Stage 3 with Special Educational Needs follow Individual Education Plans and are given learning support from the SENCO.
If my child wants to go to university, will it mean eventually transferring to a grammar school?
No. Glastry College has a well-established programme of Sixth Form Courses, providing direct entry to universities and colleges.
Every year we have an increasing number of students who are accepted in to University. Recently, students have gone to Stranmillis, Stirling, and Northumbria to study Law, Business, and Teacher Training. Our post-16 results remain particularly impressive.