As a pupil progresses through the Academy, he or she can earn an Honours Award through excellence in sport and/or music and the arts. There are Minor Honours, allowing a pupil to wear a special Minor Honours tie (green owls), Intermediate Honours tie (blue owls) and Major Honours tie (gold owls). In addition to this, a pupil gaining Intermediate Honours is entitled to wear a black blazer with maroon braid surrounding a golden school badge.
First introduced for Rugby in 1948 and then for hockey in 1952, a pupil gaining Major Honours in sport is entitled to wear a distinctive maroon blazer with blue braid and a gold school badge. Over the years the number of blazers awarded has gradually extended to other sports as the range of sporting activities available in school increased. Pupils who receive Major Honours in the arts, be it for music, drama, or art and design are entitled to wear a special blue blazer with maroon braid and a gold school badge. These awards were introduced in 1982 and as with sport, the range of activities for which honours have been awarded has subsequently expanded to embrace a wider range of cultural activities such as debating. The Honour, e.g. Cricket XI 2020 or Music 2021, is stitched in gold letters under the badge for both Intermediate and Major Honours.
Belfast Royal Academy provides many leadership opportunities for pupils and this is particularly true in Sixth Form. At the beginning of each academic year, our Middle Sixth pupils vote for and appoint a Head Girl and Head Boy, Deputy Head Girls and Boys and a team of Senior Prefects. The position of Prefect is a honour and a privilege and has a key role in terms of school organisation and liaison with staff. All Prefects and Senior Prefects set the standard by which the other pupils measure themselves and ensure that the ethos of the school carries across all areas of school life. They are expected to establish and maintain exemplary behaviour, attitude and appearance at all times and provide a positive role model for younger pupils. The Prefects and Senior Prefects are also involved in many duties around the School and on public transport in the mornings and afternoons.