|Schools||Seagoe Primary School||Bangor Academy|
|Orchard County Primary School||Kings Park Primary School|
|Dundonald Primary School||St Columb's College|
|Fairhill Primary School|
Orchard County Primary School celebrates IFA Silver Quality Mark Award
It’s official, football is flourishing at Orchard County Primary School! Ross Redman from the Irish Football Association and Gary Kennedy from the Northern Ireland Schools’ Football Association, attended a very special final assembly for outgoing Principal Stephen Blevins to present the local school with the Silver Quality Mark.
Both National Associations praised the school for the heritage of quality football it has cultivated and its continued innovation and commitment to grassroots football. The school has a proud tradition of producing quality footballers and has been consistently successful at both IFA grassroots events and Mid-Ulster Schools’ FA’s termly festivals. After they competed at the NI 5-a-side finals and won two Northern Ireland Primary Schools’ Cups in three years the international manager Michael O’Neill himself visited the school to commend them on their achievements. Since then the school has shared in the success of progressing many pupils onto Portadown, Dungannon and Loughgall youth squads and ultimately, the very talented Joe Williamson and Darren Robinson onto District Schools’ Squads and the Club NI set up.
Principal Stephen Blevins (himself a former NISFA Chairman) said;
“With Glenavon FC’s Kyle Neill, Portadown FC’s Trevor Williamson and the IFA’s Darren Murphy and Gareth Williamson as parents, football was always going to be a key feature during my time here at Orchard County school life! It is such a fitting farewell for me personally to see this school formally recognised by the Irish FA for our development of the game at a grassroots level, our local and national success, the school’s impressive facilities and the introduction of a girls’ football. We are now carefully planning how best to spend the £300 voucher for precision sports equipment that comes with the Silver award status.”
“Today has been a fabulous celebration of the commitment and most importantly the enjoyment of football in our school. I am so proud that it is now recognised as one of the province’s first schools to achieve the Irish FA’s prestigious Silver Quality Mark and the plaque will be displayed as a symbol of our commitment to and our passion for the beautiful game.”
“As a coach, I consistently remind my players that success for me personally is not winning one game or winning a trophy, success for me is when one of my players develops to the point where he or she is skilled enough to don an Irish League shirt and ultimately the green of Northern Ireland. I trust this School Quality Mark proves to be a legacy which this school can build upon to maximise the number of local children exercising and playing football so it can continue to enhance grassroots football and build capacity locally for football to flourish.”
Seagoe Primary School achieve school mark Silver
Seagoe Primary school in Portadown are the first primary school in Northern Ireland to achieve the school quality mark. The Schools Head of Football Stephen Calvert is delighted that the hard work the school puts into extra curricular activities is now being recognised "
Bangor Academy celebrate first ever school quality mark Gold
The Irish Football Association praised the school for the heritage of quality football it has cultivated and its continued innovation and commitment to grassroots football.
The Academy was the first school in the history of the North Down League to win in all five age groups in 2016 and has enjoyed consistent success in progressing talented players into national teams.
Currently Alex McIlmail and Jack Henderson are on the Northern Ireland Under 16 and Under 18 squads respectively and the Academy has always been proud of the number of pupils who have successfully progressed into professional and or national football teams such as Josh Magennis, Ashley Hutton and Jamie Mulgrew to name but a few!
Head of PE, Stuart Donald said;
“Feedback from the Irish FA recognised our local league success, the school’s impressive facilities and the development of a strong girls’ football culture – thriving under the expertise of Michelle Crawford (a classroom assistant in the Academy and Linfield Ladies coach). We really are benefitting from our collaboration with the Irish FA as we have put the new Futsal goals and balls to good use as we develop the technical and decision making skills required in Futsal – a new form of football introduced in PE lessons. We are also carefully planning how best to spend the £500 voucher for precision sports equipment that comes with the gold award status.”
Principal, Matthew Pitts said;
“Today has been a fabulous celebration of the commitment and most importantly the enjoyment of football in our school. I am so proud that The Academy is the province’s first school to achieve the Irish FA’s prestigious Gold Quality Mark and the plaque will be displayed as a symbol of our passion for the beautiful game.”
Irish FA Schools and Futsal Manager, Jonathan Michael said;
“We are very proud that Bangor Academy have been the first of many schools who will complete the School Quality Mark. They have a strong background in schools football and are playing their part in developing young international players both boys and girls. The structures and programmes that Bangor Academy have in place are an example of best practice for other schools striving to achieve the School Quality Mark award”.
The School Quality Mark is part of the Let Them Play strategy which looks to promote and develop school football in Northern Ireland.
The accreditation seeks to revamp our schools football development work and rebuild connection that has been lost to schools or alternatively engage schools that don’t traditionally play football.
Through School Quality Mark it is hoped to maximise the number of school children exercising and playing football, enhance grassroots football, and build capacity in schools for football to flourish.