An Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock pupil has received the Sloane McClay (Triple) award first prize for obtaining the highest combined marks in GCSE biology, chemistry, physics and maths.
The award, which was presented to Francesca Wilson, was developed through a partnership between the Hans Sloane Trust and Craigavon-based pharmaceutical development group Almac in memory of Almac founder and visionary entrepreneur Sir Allen McClay.
The Hans Sloane Memorial Fund Trust, in partnership with National Museums NI, was established in 1960 to commemorate the life and work of the celebrated Killyleagh physician, scientist and collector. In 2017, and in collaboration with Almac Group, the Hans Sloane Trustees launched the Sloane McClay award in memory of Sir Allen McClay, the late Founder and Chairman of global contract pharmaceutical development and manufacturing organisation, the Almac Group.
In September, school principals from across the province were invited to nominate their top performing ‘A’ level and GCSE science & maths students. This year saw a record number of nominations with 142 individuals put forward for consideration for all three awards.
Winning students, and their families, attended a prestigious awards ceremony in the Ulster Museum on Thursday 9th January 2020, to recognise their individual achievements. Professor Tom Moody, VP Technology Development and Commercialisation, Almac Group, delivered an engaging lecture entitled “Science of our DNA” before presenting the individual and school awards.
Our Lady and St Patrick’s College principal Deborah McLaughlin received a replica SloaneMcClay trophy and framed certificate to celebrate the school’s teaching excellence.
Dr Sally Montgomery, Chairman Hans Sloane Memorial Fund, commented: ‘The achievements of this year’s nominations have been exceptional and is testament to the teachers’ and students’ ability and hard work. We would like to extend our congratulations to all the students nominated this year. The partnership with Almac and the National Museums ensures that we continue to highlight the importance of STEM to the wonderful achievements of these students.’
Prof. Tom Moody commented: “As a business employing over 5,600 individuals globally, our ongoing success depends on the talent and skills of our most important asset, our people, it is therefore crucial that we continue to invest in the next generation. Almac is strongly committed to recognising and rewarding achievements in STEM and our ongoing partnership with the Hans Sloane Trust is the perfect platform which enables us to do just that. I would like to congratulate all of today’s worthy recipients of the Hans Sloane medals and the Sloane McClay awards and wish them every success for their future.”
To find out more about the Hans Sloane and Sloane McClay awards, visit www.almacgroup.com/sloanemcclay.