Thomas came to Dalriada in September 2008. From the minute he stepped into my class I knew he had a special Mathematical understanding. The questions he asked were well above the level associated with Year 8 and I was excited to see what this young student would achieve. I was certainly not disappointed. Thomas gained everything I hoped he would and more. However, the thing that surprised and delighted me most was watching Thomas grow into a confident, well-rounded individual with so many talents outside the classroom.
In Year 8 Thomas was quietly confident. By Year 14 that confidence was more visible and he had obtained an incredible array of goals – most of us would have been proud to gain any one of these achievements! He studied five A Levels including Maths and Further Maths and he achieved five A*s. He was joint second in Northern Ireland in ‘A’ Level Maths and First in Music ‘A’ Level. Moreover he had taught himself Further Maths as well as studying his four other A Levels. To do all this and achieve the best grade possible is remarkable. It takes determination and really good time management. He planned carefully, setting targets that he met with determination and industry. Not only did he manage to do this but he also took part in the UKMT Maths Challenge and was awarded a gold certificate.
In addition to his academic success Thomas made generous contributions to the wider life of the school. He was a prominent and highly successful member of the debating team, was a member of the choir and orchestra and also played a lead role in our production of “Phantom of the Opera” where he delivered lines with impeccable comic timing. His skill as a musician was in evidence at the Evening of Music, especially in his solo performance, but his communication strengths were also apparent in a speech where he combined wit and fluency to good effect, highlighting that innate modesty is no barrier to successful public speaking.
Notwithstanding all these achievements Thomas remained completely humble, courteous and down to earth at all times. He was never too busy to talk to someone or help out. He handed over all his notes when he finished his Further Maths so someone else could benefit from them. He even managed to take the time to make some origami rabbits as a presents for his teachers before he left. He was extremely thoughtful.
Thomas is a very special person. It is no wonder Cambridge University snapped him up! He was a star pupil in all respects, truly reflecting the spirit of Dalriada, and he made some lifelong friends in school. Everyone looked up to him and loved him which was evident from the affectionate picture of him as King Thomas, displayed by Upper Sixth in the final days of their studies. Dalriada has been enriched by his contributions and he will be remembered for many years to come. We now look forward to seeing where he ends up in the future, knowing that he will make an impact wherever he goes.