||Headmaster’s Welcome
Headmaster’s Welcome 2018-02-26T13:29:27+00:00


At the Royal School, Armagh we believe firmly that character can be developed significantly and that pupils can become exceptionally rounded. Impelling pupils into carefully designed experiences without their comfort zone; pushing them to strive to master something they think they cannot do and the sense of achievement, confidence and self-esteem which accrues from doing just that is the development of character!

“Come to the edge” he said
“We might fall” they said
“Come to the edge” he said
“It’s too high!” they said
“COME TO THE EDGE!” he said
And they came,
and he pushed them,
And they flew.”

Poem by Christopher Logue – often attributed to Guillaume Apollinaire

The original mission of the school was a simple strap-line: “For the encrease of learninge and good manners”. This school has always therefore seen education in its widest possible sense. The way pupils “are”, their demeanour and their “quality of being” have always been held to be as important as the certificates they achieve.

In the last century, a tourist from the United States visited the famous Polish rabbi (Jewish teacher), Hofetz Chaim. He was astonished to see that the rabbi’s home was only a simple room filled with books. The only furniture was a table and a bench.

Rabbi, where is your furniture?” asked the tourist. “Where is yours?” replied Hofetz. “Mine? But I’m only a visitor here. I’m only passing through,” said the American. “So am I,” said the rabbi.

“Indeed, we’re all mere pilgrims in this world. Were only passing through.”

Just exactly how we “pass throughlife, as well as what we may achieve in the classroom, strikes at the very core of our mission. “For the Encrease of learninge and good manners” implies that something far wider is at stake. The Book of Life is surely as important as the books in the classroom?! The nature of relationships between staff and pupils; the number and quality of experiences offered outside the classroom as well as in it are, therefore, of intense interest to us in the purposeful pursuit of our mission. .

“In order to find out how far we can go, we must risk going too far”

T. S. Elliott

Whilst, in the best traditions of Northern Ireland Voluntary Grammar Schools (see UK League Tables and the Sunday Times “Hot Schools” listings), the school boasts outstanding academic results, our mission concerns itself with very much more than the academic. A thriving extra-curricular programme is used to build confidence, self-esteem and an emotional intelligence, without which, academic results would not become the proper passports they should be to succeeding in the modern world.

Welcoming, as it does, students from overseas, and providing a wonderful “home from home”, the school’s Boarding Department is always over-subscribed and adds a cherished international dimension to the daily life of the school. Why not come along and sample the atmosphere for yourself by either attending one of our Open Evenings or by making an appointment to visit the school on another occasion? I would be delighted to share with you the school’s achievements and to help you make such a huge decision. Come to the edge!

A. Aitken 
Acting Headmaster