Ballymena Academy is a Co-educational Voluntary Grammar School. Operating in accordance with the Scheme of Management, the school is administered by a Board of Governors representing the Department of Education, Subscribers of the school, the local Council, the Church, Parents and Teachers.
There are over 80 fully-qualified members of the teaching staff; appropriate support staff are also employed by the Governors.
There is a capital fee of £140 per annum. In general the school provides books and equipment for use in delivery of the stated curriculum free of charge.
The school will make arrangements to enable parents to discharge the Capital Fee by more than one payment.
A small annual charge is made at the beginning of each year for materials used in Art, Home Economics and Technology where a finished product is retained by the pupil.
The Education Enrichment Fund is non-mandatory and was introduced by the school to support and sustain high-quality provision and to enhance the delivery of the Curriculum. The amount of the Education Enrichment Fund payment per pupil has been set at £120 per annum.
The school will make arrangements to enable parents to discharge the School Fund payment by more than one payment.
The wearing of school uniform is compulsory on all occasions during term-time.
Provision of meals and other refreshments
The school operates a cafeteria system in the Dining Hall in which pupils have the opportunity to select from quite an extensive menu. Payment is made by use of a Smart Card issued to each pupil, to which he/she may credit money via revaluator machines at designated points in the school.
Food is also available to senior pupils in the Sixth Form Centre at break time and lunch time.
Packed lunches may be brought to school and eaten in the Dining Hall.
The school provides health education for the young people in our care, including detailed information on diet and healthy eating, in order that pupils may learn to make healthy choices.
The School Curriculum
Pupils are prepared for Key Stage 3, GCSE, GCE ‘AS’ and ‘A’ Level examinations. There is also an enrichment programme in the Sixth Form. (Specific curriculum details appear in the Prospectus and on pages 7 – 10 of this booklet.)
Instrumental tuition, for which a number of scholarships are awarded each year, is available to all pupils.
Religious Education is a component part of the Curriculum in each year group in accordance with statutory requirements. Parents may request withdrawal of their child(ren) from Religious Education and/or collective worship on grounds of conscience by writing to the Principal.
Homework is an essential part of the school curriculum. The school seeks to work in partnership with parents who are encouraged to see that homework is completed with care. Each pupil has a homework diary in which parents may write comments. The school’s homework policy may be discussed with the Principal if it is felt that the time regularly spent on homework is either insufficient or excessive.
Detailed reports on the work and progress of each pupil are sent to the parents or guardians.
Queries regarding the Curriculum
Ballymena Academy regards the partnership between parents and staff as fundamental to children’s success. Parents may contact the Principal at any time should they have any concerns in regard to their child’s progress at school. In addition, parents are invited to consultation meetings with teachers during the pupil’s first, third, fifth and seventh years. Parents are encouraged to raise and discuss matters of curricular concern with the relevant Head of Department and/or Vice-Principal with responsibility for the curriculum. If the matter cannot be resolved at this stage, then arrangements can be made to meet the Principal. Subsequently, parents may write to the Board of Governors.
The school operates a 9 period day (7 x 40 minutes + 2 x 35 minutes), Monday to Friday with one period each day allocated to lunch. The school day commences at 9.00 a.m. with registration, followed by assembly or tutor meetings, and finishes at 3.25 p.m.
The school aims to provide a caring environment in which pupils are encouraged to realise their full potential and pursue excellence in all their activities.
There is a pastoral team in each year group comprising a year head, a pastoral adviser and class tutors to assist pupils and their parents with any difficulties, academic or otherwise, which may confront a pupil.
Procedures exist for early identification of pupils with special educational needs for whom appropriate provision is arranged in consultation with parents and, where necessary, other support agencies.