Admissions Policy

The school provides places for pupils of all abilities up to the capacity set by the Department of Education for Northern Ireland. The admissions number for Year 8 is currently 76 and the allowed total enrolment of the school is 380.

If the number of pupils seeking admission to Year 8 is greater than the Admission Number, the Board of Governors, in consultation with the Principal, will apply the following criteria in the order set down.

  1. Pupils who have a brother/sister (including step-brother/step-sister) on the roll of the school on the date of consideration of their application.
  2. Pupils who have had a brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister or parent who previously attended the school.
  3. Pupils who are transferring from the following primary schools:
    Academy (Saintfield), Anahilt, Ballynahinch, Cairnshill, Carr, Carryduff, Castlewellan, Cumran, Derryboy, Downpatrick, Dromara, Drumaghlis, Glasswater, Newtownbreda, Riverdale, Rosetta, St. Macartan’s and Spa.
    Pupils whose Primary School lies south of The High School will be admitted first followed by those from the other named Primary Schools.
  4. Other pupils.

As each criterion is applied reference will be made to the school’s Admission Number. When a criterion is reached where the number is exceeded, a tie-breaker will be applied to those fulfilling that criterion to ascertain those pupils to be admitted.

The tie breaker will be based on the distance pupils live from the school. Specifically, preference will be given to pupils whose home address as stated on the pupil’s Transfer Form is closest to the school as measured in a straight line on an Ordnance Survey Map, from the front door of their home to the front gate of the school adjacent to Moss Road.

Where criteria are applied verification of information supplied will be required.

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Vision and Values

“Preparing Pupils for a Changing World”

As a Rights Respecting School the UNCRC is at the heart of the school culture and ethos where we strive to improve well being and develop every child's talents and abilities to their fullest potential.

At The High School Ballynahinch teaching staff work under the GTCNI Core Values but all members of the school community agree to underpin all aspects of school life with the following values:

  • Respect
  • Equality
  • Fairness
  • Honesty
  • Dignity
  • Kindness
  • Safety

At The High School Ballynahinch we believe that every school member is a valued individual with a range of abilities and talents which are recognised, respected and developed in order to maximise their potential.

The aims of the school are as follows:

  1. Through quality teaching and learning provide a broad and balanced curriculum with a range of experiences which will prepare pupils for a changing world and to provide opportunity for pupils to develop and encourage progression in the areas of Literacy, Numeracy and ICT;
  2. To promote learning through quality teaching in a caring, disciplined school environment within the local community and further afield and to meet the needs of all pupils and staff by securing strong partnerships with parents and the wider community;
  3. To provide opportunities to challenge each pupil to meet their full potential, academically, physically, spiritually and emotionally and to promote a sense of self esteem and respect for others in a safe, comfortable, caring environment.

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Board of Governors

Board Representatives

  • Rev. C. Carson (Chair)

Parents’ Representatives

  • Mr. A. Carlisle (Vice Chair)
  • Mrs. S. Coughlan

Transferors’ Representatives

  • Mrs. P. Hughes

Teachers’ Representative

  • Mrs. L. Harvey


  • Mr P. Marks

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About the school

hsb front 300The High School is situated on the main Belfast Road and on the outskirts of the town of Ballynahinch. The school was opened in September 1955. Its position allows easy access from Belfast and County Down.

We are a successful controlled, co-educational secondary school catering for pupils in the 11 - 16 age group.

The school is an integral part of the local community and held in high regard. There are excellent links with other schools in the area and with local businesses. The school has a tradition of close family ties which are reflected in strong pupil and parent involvement in all areas. Parents are actively encouraged to work in partnership with the school and there are opportunities to participate in leadership as Parent Governors.

The Past Pupils and Parent Teacher Association is a platform for the informal exchange of information and views and additionally through the enthusiasm of its members it raises considerable sums to supplement the school’s budget.

An ‘open door’ policy whereby parents and pupils have easy and comfortable access to staff is one of our strengths and contributes significantly to the family ethos. In addition to interviews there are parents’ meetings for all year groups and information evenings. The school also sends out a termly Newsletter.

Pupils in year 12 are personally mentored to guide their preparation for examinations. This together with other strategies has produced consistently good results.

A feature of which we are particularly proud is our induction procedure for Year 8 pupils which aims to make the transition from primary school to secondary school an exciting positive experience. It is an opportunity for the children to quickly forge new friendships. The school accepts pupils from a large number of Primary Schools covering an extensive geographical area. It is important that our diverse intake quickly feel a part of the school and comfortable in their new surroundings.

The school has continued to grow in popularity as parents have realised the benefits of a small school in a largely rural community. This is reflected in the numbers attending.

The size of the school allows for small classes and therefore close attention can be given to all pupils. Those with Special Educational Needs are particularly well catered for by the highly qualified staff under the leadership of a widely experienced Special Needs Co-ordinator. Pupils with Statements of Educational Need have Individual Education Plans and are monitored closely.

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Location Map

Upcoming Events

21/12/2018 09:00 - 12:00
03/01/2019 09:00 - 15:00
04/01/2019 09:00 - 15:00
07/01/2019 09:00 - 15:00
09:00 08/01/2019 - 15:00 25/01/2019