Principal’s Newsletter (Summer 2011)

Written by | News

It has been a very busy, successful and enjoyable term and I trust the information which follows gives you a sense of this.

Years 11, 12, 13 and 14 are focused on final preparation for external examinations and on behalf of the staff of the school may I take this opportunity to pass on our best wishes for the success they deserve.

It is also worth noting too, our thanks to Mr Stephen Geoghegan and Mr David Simpson for their planning and preparation as the external examinations team. This is a large examination centre and their expertise, the co-operation of the teaching staff and the supportive non-teaching staff ensure the smooth running of each important series of examinations.

Staffing Changes

Dr James Napier, Vice-Principal, leaves Wallace at the end of June; he will be greatly missed as a colleague, friend, and loyal supporter of the school but leaves a wonderful curricular legacy behind him in the form of a progressive GCSE and A Level breadth of choice and 21 years of expert teaching in the Biology Department.

Mr David Cleland has been appointed as his successor. A former pupil of Wallace, Mr Cleland has been a teacher here since 2001 formerly a teacher in Ballyclare High School. He brings an exciting vision to our Leadership Team with his refreshing approach to integrating ICT into pupils’ learning. The Leadership Team of Mr Alastair Craig (Vice-Principal), Mr David Cleland (Vice-Principal from September 2011), Mr Robert Burns (Bursar), our Senior Teachers Mr Bill Wilson, Mrs Lois Stewart, Miss Pam Brown, Miss Heather Gracey, Mrs Corinne Latham (Head of Preparatory Department) and I look forward to building capacity together in the best interests of our young people and with the support and expertise of our Board of Governors and Trustees.

This term also saw the appointment of our new Head of The Preparatory Department, Mrs Corinne Latham. Mrs Latham now joins her husband Mr Ian Latham on our staff. The Preparatory Department continues to grow and our “Pre-Prep Montessori” provision opens on 9 May 2011. From September 2011 we shall provide an extended morning class to children in their year before Primary One; in the afternoons provision will cater for a younger age group from two years and ten months.

The Board of Governors was pleased to welcome Mr Sam Baird as a new member and a Trustee. Mr Baird has joined our Preparatory Department Committee and is a well respected parent and supporter of our school.

September 2011 will see a number of further staffing changes. Miss Grace Bill, a valued member of the Geography Department, a Head of House and an enthusiastic and highly effective Charity Co-ordinator, leaves us to get married and live in Dublin.

Mrs Jane Wheavil, Miss Ros Farr and Mrs Lyn Ryan are also leaving; they will be missed by colleagues and pupils alike and have all given significant time, expertise and pastoral support to pupils of Wallace throughout their long and successful careers here.

A new Geography teacher, Miss Laura Topley, joins us in September and we are currently in the process of recruiting a new Teacher of Biology.

Pupil Successes

In January 2011 dawned a very successful, and in many ways unique, sporting season. Our girls’ 1st XI and 2nd XI hockey teams, our netball intermediate and junior teams, our Year 10 boys’ hockey team and our 2nd XV side reached the finals of competitions. “Final Fever” saw extra time, penalty strokes, tears, cheers, culminating in our boys’ 2nd XV lifting the Plate as winners.

Our sportsmen and women have much of which to be proud; they trained hard, represented this school with great respect and to great effort. To have made it to a final in a girls’ and boys’ hockey, netball and rugby is an amazing feat. On behalf of the pupils may I thank and congratulate the coaches, managers and supporters. Next year promises to be an exciting one given the talent and hunger for victory.

I should like to mention, in particular, the stratospheric rise in the success of girls’ hockey; to have reached the final of the Schools’ Cup and the McDowell Cup in the same year is simply outstanding.

To our many Upper Sixth sportsmen and women leaving us in June this year you can be very proud of the legacy of success you leave behind for younger pupils. With cricket, athletics and tennis competitions all to come, the sporting season is far from over.

Our Young Enterprise group has once again had a very successful season being voted the best school in the South Eastern Board. Wallace High was equally well represented at the Model United Nations Competition in Dublin and at the Irish Badminton Qualifiers with three teams making it to the All Ireland finals and our Senior Boys being crowned U19 All Ireland Division Two Champions. The Minor Boys Team and Junior Girls Teams were runners up.

A very enjoyable evening of music took place recently at the Spring Concert in a newly renovated Lisburn Cathedral. The performances were all of a high quality. Our students, involved in Music, are a credit to the school. Richard Allen, and Upper Sixth student, has recently won the prestigious Catherine Judge Memorial Competition, receiving a £5,000 bursary.


The new style school blazer will be introduced into Year 8 only in 2011-2012. If your son/daughter requires a new blazer next year he/she can still purchase the current model. The reason for this phased introduction is to allow our uniform retailers to manage stock levels.

Girls in Years 8 and 11 only will be required to wear the new style skirt from September 2011. It will be worn to cover the knee as the photograph on our website shows. This skirt will be phased in over the next two years for all girls. Again the reason for a phased introduction is to help retailers manage stock levels. It is expected that all girls will be wearing the new skirt in Years 8-12 from September 2012.

There are no plans to change the style or regulations relating to socks or tights. May I take this opportunity to thank all parents who took the time to comment on the proposed uniform changes in December.

Sports’ Facilities

As you may be aware the school has plans to build two astroturf pitches to replace the current all weather hockey pitches. These plans are now well progressed and two professional fundraisers have been employed; Tracy Marshall and Richard Lee. The target date for completion of at least one pitch is September 2012.

Dates for the Diary

  • Tuesday, 3 May 2011 at 9.30am Summer Term begins
  • Monday 9 May 7pm PTA Annual General Meeting in the Library
  • Friday, 13 May 7.30pm Preparatory Department PTA Wine and Cheese Evening, in the Sixth Form Centre. Tickets are available from Ticketbud ( Cost £10.
  • Monday, 23 May Years 8-11 internal examinations begin
  • **New Date: School have been asked to take an additional day’s holiday to commemorate The Royal Wedding. Consequently Wallace will close on Monday, 30 May (Bank Holiday Monday).
  • Friday 10 June 2011 at 8pm PTA Barbeque. All parents are cordially invited. Tickets are available from Ticketbud ( Cost £16.
  • Monday, 20 June 1.30 – 3.30 Year 11 Parents’ Consultation
  • Friday 24 June at 12 o’clock Term ends for all pupils.

“One of the great gifts of Easter is hope. A hope which gives us confidence in goodness and in love.” Anonymous

Last modified: March 8, 2017