Friday, August 25, 2006

Methodist College

Methody - more formally known as Methodist College Belfast - will have been celebrating good GCSE results this week, on top of their A-Level performance last week.

Maybe I've been out of school too long, but isn't it crazy for the school periods to start at different times on a Friday to the rest of the week.

And is it not unusual for a school website not to mention the name of their head teacher? A google search for Cecilia Galloway under only turns up a single reference - and that's on the separate Form 1 Induction site, which isn't linked to from the main school website.

The Sunday Life's Ciaran McGuigan recently interviewed Methody's first female head teacher, Cecilia Galloway, now 6 months into her new role leading Northern Ireland's largest school. She succeeded Wilfred Mulryne who retired after 17 years in the post.

While stating the obvious that she is different from her predecessor, she "spoke out following claims that a number of staff at the Malone Road school are unhappy with her leadership."

"Like any new chief executive or head of an organisation who is overseeing change, there are bound to be differences in style from the way it was done before ... My style is open and transparent, with fairly modern management methods, including power-sharing and collegiality ... Berating staff? That's not my style either ... I am very keen on the more democratic style of working where people have a say in the decisions that are made ... There will be some people who will take to me like a duck to water and there are others who won't - it's the same in any organisation."


Red Mum said...

I don't know how long you are out of school, I'm about 17 years gone (Jaysus when did that happen!) but what has struck me about the GCSEs is that schools like Methody and Victoria do not allow students without a certain amount of points.

That is crazy pressure and we are not talking about passing them all, that isn't enough. A student can pass them all but still not get back to the school where they have spent the previous five years. Then they have to find another school to sit their A-Levels. And find a school in the time period between getting the results and school starting a couple of weeks later in September.

I think the pressure of getting enough points in A-Levels for your college course is hectic and traumatic enough without putting this pressure on a 16-year-old.

Red Mum said...

I should have said in the first paragraph that Methody and Victoria (the only two I know of I'm sure there are more) don't let students back!

Alan in Belfast said...

about 15 years in my case. Same story in Lisburn. While Friends' let anyone back with 4 C grade GCSEs, Wallace required higher.

They hoped that better entry grades would lead to better A-level results to boost the school's reputation.

(As a result, some Wallace GCSE-sitters did their A-levels at Friends.)

Friends' hoped that a less academic-oriented approach would produce more rounded individuals, and never mind the grades.

Anonymous said...

The reason you don't get a match is because the methody website is actually hosted at

But then they've spelt her christian name wrong anyway ;)

Anonymous said...

The methody entry requirement into 6 form is 2As, 2Bs and 2C. You must also get above a B in related or subjects you entend to study for A levels

Anonymous said...

Friends is the kind of school, to which I'd like to send my kids. I wish more could be like it. I've met quite a few pupils and teachers, over the years, and they seem to be very decent, easy-going people.

Academic performance has much less to do with success later life than I realised, when I was at school. If only I'd known, I could have spent more time having fun!

I feel that I'd better not say anything else about the Methodist College Belfast, lest I be savaged by the Methody Police again. Oh, honestly, how terrible of me to have my own opinions and not romanticize the past!

Anonymous said...

Clearly you've not been informed of the complete facts. Yes, Methody do expect each pupil to achieve 2 As 2 Bs and 2 Cs. However, if a pupil fails to uphold these grades, they aren't told to leave the school, and to study elsewhere. They can join boarding. They can repeat their GCSEs. They can do AS Levels which are more fitting to their grades (- so, fair enough, it's a bit crappy that they don't get to have first choices on what subjects they do, but still..they can do their AS Levels at Methody). Methody is an amazing school, and people always have the wrong impression about it. I'm proud to go there.