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St Patrick’s (Ballymaghery) School 13 Castlewellan Road Newry

About our School...

‘Progress through Partnership’

St Patrick’s Primary School is situated in the townland of Ballymaghery, about half a mile outside the village of Hilltown on the Castlewellan Road, just east of the River Bann.The site on which St Patrick’s Primary School stands has been used for educational purposes since 1857.  In that year Ballymaghery Boys’ and Ballymaghery Girls’ schools were built. On 5th September 1966 both schools were replaced by the present St. Patrick’s Primary School.

St. Patrick’s is a 100% Department of Education Funded Catholic Maintained School for boys and girls aged 4-11.  There are currently 320 pupils enrolled in St. Patrick’s. This number has increased steadily over the last few years and will to continue to rise in future years.

The accommodation comprises of twelve classrooms, staffroom, assembly-hall, physical education hall/dining hall, meals kitchen, library, medical room, ICT suite, principal’s office and secretary’s office.  The school has the advantage of having unrestricted access to the Parochial Hall within the school grounds and to the adjacent G.A.A. complex.  The school also has use of the large church car-park beside the school.

In St. Patrick’s the staffing complement consists of the Principal plus twelve class teachers.  The Principal works closely with the Vice Principal and Senior Leadership Team to promote a school culture of achievement, improvement and ambition. Pupils receive a broad and balanced curriculum and improvements in Literacy and Numeracy are on-going, supported by the process of monitoring and evaluation. An effective School Development Plan is in place which provides clear and realistic targets and it is monitored and evaluated regularly in consultation with all staff.  Curricular and Pastoral teams plan, set targets, monitor and evaluate outcomes.  Opportunities are provided for professional development and teachers are encouraged to share in the leadership of the school. Reflection and self-evaluation are effectively used to improve standards.

There exists a culture of care for the school community which is permeated by the Catholic Ethos and high standards of Pastoral Care and Child Protection are in place. All children are valued as unique and individual. The school secretary, caretaker, cleaners, supervisory assistants, classroom assistants, school meals and the school patrol lady complete a team dedicated to the education and welfare of the children entrusted to our care.  We have an active and supportive Parent Association and our Board of Governors provide strong support for the school and keen interest in the welfare of the entire school community.

The teachers strive to maintain the highest academic standards in an atmosphere of a believing community committed to the Catholic way of life.  In conjunction with the home and the parish, the children at school grow in their own self-esteem and are encouraged to develop an attitude of caring for and sharing with others, as well as cultivating a healthy tolerance for everyone’s beliefs, respect for their property and their environment.  Pupils and staff work in harmony, maintaining a high standard of work, personal achievement and good behaviour.

Preparation for the sacraments plays a significant role in the ethos of the school.  Children are thoroughly prepared for Confirmation, First Communion, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  The school year commences and concludes with a children’s mass.  We have a Carol Service every year in which our Primary One children participate and all the other children assist our Chapel Choir in singing carols.  The School Choir assists at all school-related religious ceremonies. A very active partnership exists between the Parish Priest Father Charles Byrne and the school community.

Extra-curricular activities include choir, Traditional Irish music groups, Camogie, Gaelic Football, Handball, Cycling Proficiency, ICT, Tennis, Art, Irish, Drama, Karate and Gymnastics and other activities, as available. Our school takes part in Camogie, Hurling and Gaelic Football competitions. In recent years we have won the Cumann na mBunscoil league and the Canon Esler Shield and were the County Down Handball Champions. Our camogie team are the current County Down camogie champions.

The school has gained a notable reputation for the high standard of music achieved at local Feiseanna and competitions in choral and instrumental music. Pupils have had numerous appearances on television programmes and have been winners of ‘School Choir of the Year’. Annually P.1 – P.3 pupils participate in a Nativity play and P.4 – P.7 pupils participate in a musical. Tin whistle tuition is available from Primary 5 to 7. Peripatetic teachers from the Education Authority Music Service provide music tuition for pupils from Primary 4 to Primary 7 in flute, clarinet, oboe, violin, viola, cello and bass. This year private lessons are available in school in piano, singing and musical theatre.

In St Patrick’s our vision for the future is to continue to have the pupils at the heart of everything that we do so that we nurture and build the aspirations of all our children in a way that will allow them to reach their full potential. Our school is at the heart of the community of Hilltown and as we implement our motto ‘Progress through Partnership’ we will continue to strive to deliver successful outcomes for the school and the wider community.


School News

18th Jun 2024
36 members of our school choir had a great day out in Banbridge as a special reward...
17th Jun 2024
Please read the attached information for applying for Free School Meals and Uniform...
16th Jun 2024
Reminder: School is closed for pupils tomorrow, Monday 17th June.   Please...

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Margaret Mc Conville - 9th Mar 2017

Well done to all the pupils at St Patrick's for their excellent performances at Warrenpoint feis. The children were a credit to the school and the community!

Rita Henderson - 26th Dec 2016
Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your rendition of "In the Bleak Mid-winter" on BBC Television. Such a huge, talented, disciplined choir. Credit to those children, their teachers and the choir leader.