Cullybackey College is a non-selective post-primary situated in the village of Cullybackey. Cullybackey is a large village located 4 miles north-west of Ballymena town. The village nestles in the valley of the River Maine and has a proud history of farming, corn milling, linen bleaching, fishing and iron working. The ancestral home of Chester Alan Arthur, the 21st President of the United States of America, overlooks the village and incorporates an interpretative centre, thatched cottage, displays of farm machinery and implements from the past. Today the village is a busy, thriving community.
Cullybackey College opened its doors to the community in 1968. During its 49 years it has witnessed significant changes to education in Northern Ireland but has always sought to ensure that its pupils, comprising children from the village itself, Ballymena town as well as the wider rural area, receive the best education possible and achieve their maximum potential.
In 2013 the Governors decided to rename the school Cullybackey College, a change which coincided with the appointment of its present Principal Mr D. Donaldson.
This College is situated in the picturesque village of Cullybackey, some three miles from Ballymena. Pupils are drawn from Portglenone in the west, Cloughmills to the north, Broughshane to the east and from the Randalstown district south of Cullybackey.
Pupils are transported to College by Translink. Some routes have buses unique to Cullybackey College while others link through the main bus station in Ballymena.
The College now seeks a voluntary contribution from parents of £20 for an individual child or £30 for a family which has two or more pupils attending the College. The College fund is used exclusively to offset computer consumable costs and to provide pupils with a ‘high’ quality Homework Diary.
The normal College day runs from 8.55am until 3.25pm with extra-curricular activities available at lunch time and after timetabled lessons. The College operates as a self-contained campus and is situated in extensive grounds. Pupils may only leave the grounds with the prior approval of senior staff.
It has bright well-equipped classrooms, a library, four Education Technology suites, six Science laboratories, Environmental Science facilities, Art & Design rooms, a technology wing incorporating a Systems and Design Room and three specialist areas, recently refurbished Home Economics rooms, Business Studies accommodation and a Music Wing housing a teaching area plus two adjacent practice rooms. A purpose built and fully equipped Careers Suite comprises of a large display/teaching room, two interview rooms and a Careers Office. Physical Education facilities include boys’ and girls’ gymnasia, two grass football pitches, two all-weather hockey pitches, athletics facilities, netball and basketball courts and five tennis courts.
Close personal attention is paid to each class grouping by a Registration Teacher while a Year Head exercises pastoral responsibility. Pastoral staff take great care to ensure that the needs and concerns of individual children are recognised and heeded. A Personal Development programme exists to promote and develop self-awareness, self-respect and self-confidence. Pupils are encouraged to conduct their relationships with others in a thoughtful, tolerant and caring manner.
Positive approaches to discipline afford each pupil opportunities to develop in an ethos where agreed values are upheld and respected. The existing high standards of behaviour are reflective of pupils adopting a self-disciplined approach, which has its basis in respect for self and others. If a pupil’s behaviour falls short of expected standards a range of sanctions may be invoked. The active support of parents is vital to the success of this approach.
Children with general learning difficulties can benefit from somewhat smaller classes. To this end, such pupils in Key Stage 3 are placed together and given specialist help in Numeracy and in Literacy. Those who have special educational needs will have educational provision made according to the current statutory regulations. Full discussion with both parents and child is fundamental to any special educational provision. Support and guidance will also be available for children with emotional/behavioural difficulties. At all times pupils will be encouraged to attain their maximum potential.
A Careers Suite houses a large teaching/reference area, two interview rooms and a Careers Office. Information is available through display material, interactive careers software, experienced careers teachers and visiting speakers. Individual careers advice is available through Personal Career Planning and close contact is maintained with employers, Regional Colleges and Training and Employment Agencies. In order to complement the ongoing careers guidance, work experience is available to every Key Stage 4 and Sixth Form pupil.
Cullybackey College is a vibrant College community with a positive, warm atmosphere which places great emphasis on the academic potential of every child who joins us.
Within the College we seek to make the transition from primary to post-primary education as smooth and straightforward as possible for parent and child alike. We would offer strong reassurance to parents that your child will be educated to their own, individual academic potential in a caring environment which seeks to nurture the unique abilities of each child.
On entering the College’s reception area you will see our vision statement emblazoned across the wall: ‘Creating Opportunities for Success.’ Ultimately this is our primary objective – creating opportunities for your child to have success both within the College for five or seven years and, in the longer term, by being useful contributors to society.
I hope our new College website provides you with a real sense of our College identity and I would like to take this opportunity to offer all parents a sincere welcome to Cullybackey College.