Focus on attainment: Markethill High School

CSSC’s recent report, ‘Attainment and performance in the controlled sector’, explores patterns of attainment in Northern Ireland’s largest school sector. To accompany the report a series of case studies have been published looking at good practice across the sector. This article provides an overview of Markethill High School’s case study.

Markethill High School is an 11-16 non-selective co-educational school situated in the village of Markethill in the county of Armagh.  The school has focused on improvement through self-evaluation, school development planning and the consolidation of quality teaching and learning.

A recent inspection report commended the school for highly strategic leadership, collegial staff approaches and the development and implementation of a school-designed, research-informed approach to classroom practice. 

Initiatives include: 

  • A revised learning and teaching policy was produced in 2015, followed by a revised assessment and feedback policy in 2017.  Both form the core of all of Markethill High School’s work. 
  • Effective use of assessment data to track the progress of individual pupils and ensure the appropriate action is taken either to amend the teaching programme or to provide additional support.
  • In 2015, the school introduced the research lesson study (RLS) model to supplement the existing Performance Review and Staff Development (PRSD) system. Staff work together to co-create lessons and the emphasis is directly on the learning as opposed to the teaching.
  • There is a clear vision of high aspiration for each pupil which is shared by the school community and communicated effectively by leadership and Governors.

Markethill High School has demonstrated a steady improvement in GCSE outcomes and the narrowing of the gender gap. In 2017, over 92% of boys achieved five or more passes at A* - C while the equivalent Northern Ireland average was 81%.

To read the full Markethill High School case study click here.

Published 13 June 2018