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  • Chemistry Department

    Certificates finally arrived for the 2024 Irish Olympiad. Pictured are the 8 participants who completed Round 1 of this competition in March. Then top 15% of all entrants were then invited to take part in Round 2 of this competition. Erin Fallows and Erin O'Connor travelled to Dublin to take part in the second round of the Irish Chemistry Olympiad competition during the Easter holidays. At this stage of the competition their efforts in Round 1 were recognised - Erin O'Connor was Highly Commended and Erin Fallows received a Bronze medal. Following the gruelling second stage, Erin Fallows has been selected, as one of only four pupils from the thousands of competitors, to represent Ireland at the International Finals of the 56th Chemistry Olympiad competition in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in July. The Chemistry Department are extremely proud of Erin who has been an exceptional student throughout her studies of Chemistry, winning the subject prize at GCSE and the Dr. Stephen A. Barr Award for STEM for overall performance in GCSE three Sciences and Maths. Erin was also the recipient of the subject prize for AS and Dr. John M. Pollock Cup and Prize for Outstanding Performance in Science. Erin is pictured with her A-Level Chemistry teachers, Mrs Janice Emerson and Mrs Heather Millar.


    The Board of Governors are pleased to announce the appointment of Mrs Louise Aitcheson BA (Hons) P.G.C.E., MSc as the new Principal of Dalriada School from 1st August 2024. Mrs Aitcheson, from Cloughmills, studied at Queen’s University Belfast gaining a B.A. Hons 2:1 degree and then completed a Post Primary P.G.C.E. certificate in Education in Geography at the University of Ulster. She also holds an MSc in Education from the same University. Louise has been teaching for 21 years. Her first post was in Larne High School as a Geography Teacher moving to Antrim Grammar school after two years to teach the same subject. During her time at Antrim Grammar School, she became Head of Geography, a Senior Teacher and then a Vice-Principal. On appointment she told the Chairman of the Board of Governors, Brian Dillon, that she was delighted to accept the post and shared Dalriada’s vision for education. Mr. B.J. Dillon Chairman Dalriada School

  • New Principal Advert 2024

    Dalriada School, founded in 1878, is one of Northern Ireland’s leading voluntary grammar schools and is attended by 903 pupils (Group 6). The school is co-educational and non-denominational with an outstanding academic reputation and a wide range of extra-curricular activities. It has an impressive record of achievement in music, sport and drama.  Applicants should be willing and able to contribute to the ethos of the school, which incorporates a liberal and caring tradition. At the date of application the successful candidates must have: A first or second class honours degree or a higher degree; a recognised teaching qualification and/or be recognised as a qualified teacher by the Department of Education; at least ten years’ experience of teaching in a post-primary school (or schools), at least three years’ experience as a member of a senior management leadership team in a post-primary school (or schools) with sixth-form provision. An information pack and application form may be requested from: The Headmaster’s Secretary, Dalriada School, Ballymoney, BT53 6BL Tel: 028 2766 3066 E-mail: The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 2.00 p.m. on Wednesday 10 April 2024 Dalriada School is an Equal Opportunities Employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

  • Dalriada Team and Group Photos 2024

    If you would like to purchase team photos, please follow the Links below. Rugby, Hockey, Netball, Volleyball, Football, Cross Country, Swimming and Debating teams have been recently photographed. In addition all five of our Year 8 Form classes have been photographed. The purchased photos will be delivered to school for distribution. Senior School Photos Junior School Photos + Year 8 Form Class

  • Year 12 Parents’ Information Evening

    Post 16 Options for current Year 12 Internal and External pupils seeking to join us in the Sixth Form.

  • ‘Spectroscopy in a Suitcase’

    The Chemistry Department was busy on Friday 23.2.24 as Newcastle University STEM Outreach team visited the school to deliver interactive workshops to students in Year 13 and 14. Dr Peter Hoare covered two analytical techniques, which are required for the A2 course, with our 32 Year 14 students and developed students’ ability to analyse spectra - a key skill required for the A2 examinations. The students were able to prepare samples for IR and use expensive instruments that they otherwise would not come into contact with (£25,000 of kit all packed into a suitcase!). They were also able to do a quick revision of the technique on interpreting NMR spectra. In the Year 13 workshop, our 28 AS pupils completed an introduction to Infra-red Spectroscopy before working in groups to analyse 6 different samples and match their 'chemical fingerprint' to a spectrum from a database of samples - an important skill required for their AS course. We are grateful to the Newcastle University Outreach team and Dr Peter Hoare for making these difficult topics at AS and A2 so accessible to our students.

  • Thomas James Skelton

    It is with profound regret and sadness that we announce the passing of our esteemed Headmaster, colleague and friend Mr Tom Skelton. Our thoughts and prayers are now with his family. Mr Skelton was loved by so many in our school community and this will be a challenging time for our staff, pupils and families. Tom Skelton, Headmaster of Dalriada School, died peacefully at Causeway Hospital on 8th February 2024 with his Family at his bedside. Brian Dillon, Chairman of the Board of Governors, commented; “Throughout his 16 years as Head of Dalriada School, Tom Skelton worked closely with Governors, Staff and Parents to provide an excellent education for all pupils. Tom, with his energetic enthusiasm, approachable attitude and sense of humour provided outstanding Leadership creating a great staff team. He adopted a “hands on approach” putting the pupils first and with a love of education continued weekly teaching throughout his Headship. He will be very sadly missed by the Dalriada community and by the many organisations he was involved with outside school.” Dr Ian Walker and Ms Louise Crawford, Deputy Heads of the school commented that “he lived and breathed Dalriada. He had a pride in the school, always putting the staff and pupils at the centre of everything he did. He was head of our school family, and his humour and unwavering encouragement will be dearly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing and working with him.” We pass on our sincere sympathies to his wife Wilma, his sons Thomas and Andrew, daughters Emma and Alice and his sister June.

  • 56th International Chemistry Olympiad Competition

    The UK Round One of the 56th International Chemistry Olympiad Competition took place on Thursday 25 January 2024 from 3.30-5.30pm. 38 enthusiastic pupils from year 13 and 14 (an amazing number!) volunteered to take part in this gruelling competition consisting of a two-hour paper containing material well beyond the A-level specification! Coming so close after their examinations, the pupils must be commended for staying after school to compete. A massive well done to all; we will await results from the competition at the end of February. Bronze, Silver and Gold Certificates are awarded, and pupils may be lucky enough to proceed to Round 2 which is an intensive training camp with the end goal being selected to represent the Uk in a team of 4 at the finals to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at the end of July. Many thanks to the Royal Society of Chemistry for organising the competition.

  • Year 10GCSE Selection

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  • Year 11 Parents Information Evening

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    This year’s ‘A’ level students at Dalriada School have produced an outstanding set of examination results. 87% of the Upper Sixth Form students gained at least 3A* - C grades each. These superb results reflect the work ethic and resilience of this talented group of young people who have had to overcome the impact of Covid-19 on their education. The following thirty-eight students, almost one third of this entire Upper Sixth Form cohort, obtained at least 3A*/A grades each - Katie Archibald, Lara Bagley, Sophie Barron, Sam Beverland, Chloe Bond, Emma Boyle, Niamh Cameron, James Carlin, Eleanor Christie, Emily Cochrane, Victoria Currie, Adam Faulkner, Victoria Finlay, Eva Gaston, Alec Gault, Matthew Hanna, Patrick Harrison, Emily Hunter, Lydia Kempton, Iona Mairs, Lana McArthur, Alex McCaw, Joshua McClean, Aaron Moore, Anna Moore, Nirucha Morelli, Emily Morrow, Megan Murray, Gabriella Nicholl, Ella O’Kane, Noah Patterson, Matthew Quigg, Alexander Reid, Elena Smyth, Skye Strickland, Emma Strong, Ethan Telford and Rebecca Wilson. Six students deserve special mention - Emily Cochrane and Elena Smyth gained an incredible 3 A* grades and one A grade each, and Chloe Bond, Emily Hunter, Gabriella Nicholl and Alexander Reid gained a superb 3A* grades each. There were feelings of delight and excitement last Thursday following the release of the results, with parents and staff sharing in the achievement of the students. Reflecting on the success of the Dalriada students, Headmaster Mr. Tom Skelton stated, “As a school we are absolutely delighted with these outstanding results that are the culmination of two years of hard work in challenging circumstances by our students and teachers with excellent parental support. I attended a CCEA Principals’ Briefing meeting earlier this week where it was stated ‘the expectation was that overall results at GCSE, AS and A Level would be lower than in 2022 in an attempt to see a return to pre-pandemic awarding arrangements.’ The performance of our students this year has actually shown a 6% improvement in the percentage of pupils gaining 3 or more A* to C grades compared to last year’s results. We are all immensely proud of our students who have made a massive contribution to life at Dalriada. We wish all our leavers every success in their future courses.”

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