Alex Balmer

Alex Balmer's GCSE work was selected for CCEAs True Colours exhibition as they were very impressed by her special effects makeup and the time lapse video that she made to show the process. Her final outcome was displayed as 8 framed photos of her own face with various 'grotesque' special effect makeovers and the video playing in the centre.  She achieved an A Star grade, which is fabulous, but being chosen to exhibit at this exhibition is an even greater accolade. Congratulations Alex!

She is now continuing to produce exciting work for the AS Art and Design course.

Creativity Club

We meet on Wednesday afternoons to enjoy a range of artistic and crafty activities. Pupils are encouraged to build up their own Creativity Club sketchbooks with whatever type of artistic images they most admire along with their own attempts and endeavours. They take great pride with these! At the end of each year we have a special award ceremony where members are rewarded for their talent in various skills.


Duke of Edinburgh

Year 10 students can choose to create a sketchbook of practical work and research into a variety of artists, designers or craftspeople as their Skill section for Duke of Ed.  They can choose to do a 12 week or a 24 week course at Bronze level and they can decide which people to investigate. Students often select an area of interest relevant to their possible career choice, such as interior designers, architectural design, fashion design, jewellery, packaging graphics, computer generated imagery, vehicle design or advertising as well as fine art work and sculpture.

The resulting 12 or 24 pages can be a real asset to their understanding of that career as well as satisfying the D of Ed requirements and being a delightful body of work that they take great pride in!

Charis Hanna

Charis Hanna has worked exceedingly hard with her Art and Design work achieving maximum marks for both units at GCSE level in 2016. It is extremely rare for a student to get this in N.Ireland !    She also achieved maximum marks at AS level in 2017.  Her final piece was a painting of owls in flight measuring 8 by 4 feet.

For her A2 level work, in 2018, she decided to work to an even larger scale and painted pigeons on three boards of that size, which are exhibited in the school canteen. CCEA awarded her a 3rd placing of all students in our province of N.Ireland, where 750 take this subject, and sent a certificate.

She has been our top student for each of these years so she was awarded the school silverware for three years in a row.

Charis entered the Specialist Crafts competition and won prize money as well as having the piece feature in their catalogue, which circulates all over the UK.

CCEA then honoured her artistic prowess in another way. She was selected to have her Pigeons painting exhibited at the True Colours display in the Ulster Museum, Belfast . This is open to the public from 11th January to 22nd February 2019 and we would love you to visit it there! She had photographs taken, with her work, by the organisers, and was video interviewed, while at the official opening on Thursday 10th January.

Charis' Pigeon painting has been much admired by many and now she has been approached by the Association of Art and Design Educators (AADE) who wish to present her with their award for the ‘most promising’ A Level student to exhibit at True Colours. This prestigious accolade is the result of a very illustrious panel of judges on the AADE committee including the president of the Royal Ulster Academy (RUA) Mrs Betty Brown and Mrs Rachel Glynn of Ulster University Art College.  Charis will receive a cheque, a certificate and most importantly the recognition of such well respected and highly influential people from the Artistic and Creative Arts sector.

Charis Hanna has been a truly outstanding Art and Design student during her seven years at Ballymena Academy, growing in artistic technique, style and confidence through the years to achieve such fantastic work. She excels in the use of any artistic media, either 2D or 3D, due to her determination, giving much time and effort to new techniques and being openminded to alternative approaches as well as striving for visually realistic accuracy when appropriate.


Alex Balmer






Contact Us

Ballymena Academy
89 Galgorm Road
County Antrim
BT42 1AJ


Tel: 028 2565 2782
Fax: 028 2563 0855


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