In St Joseph’s Primary School we strive to ensure the holistic development of the children in our care. The staff work together to provide a happy, stimulating and secure environment in which we endeavour to meet each child’s needs. Within this caring environment we seek to develop the children’s spiritual awareness. This spiritual development is secured through the delivery of a well-structured religious education programme and also, through the range of experiences offered to the children during their time in St Joseph’s. These experiences reinforce the ethos and values of our Catholic faith, to which all members of our school community share a commitment.
The children are encouraged to achieve high standards in their academic work and we are justifiably proud of their achievements in this aspect of their education. Experienced and well-qualified staff members are on hand to provide assistance to any child who is experiencing difficulty with his/her learning. We are fully committed to the inclusion of children with Special Educational Needs and we value the contribution they make to our school life. We also liaise with all of the appropriate agencies that can provide support for the children.
Above all, we value our partnership with parents and we encourage them to become active and eager participants in their children’s learning. The support given by our parents is much appreciated by staff. Parent/Teacher consultations are arranged in the first and second term each year or by request from either party. Written reports are presented in the summer term.
Parents also give enormous support to the social and recreational life of the school.
Over the years, they have provided invaluable assistance and this is much appreciated by all staff. The Board of Governors is keen and enthusiastic and individual Governors are closely involved in all aspects of school life. This dedication is very much welcomed by staff.
The children are encouraged to maintain healthy lifestyles and we encourage healthy eating and exercise. There is a detailed programme of physical education and a wide variety of extra curricular sporting activities including soccer, Gaelic football, hurling, swimming, cycling proficiency, performance arts and mini games.
The school operates a Morning Club which opens at 8:00am each day. The children enjoy a range of fun filled activities and are supervised by St Joseph’s PS staff. The 1,2,3 After School Club also operates from the school premises. This club is open from 2:00pm until 5:00pm.
There are many opportunities for the children to develop their creative and expressive talents. The school has a fine reputation for music and we offer unrivalled opportunities for music tuition from high quality specialist tutors. Tuition is offered in brass, strings, woodwind and percussion. The children then have an opportunity to join the school orchestra, school concert band, recorder group or woodwind ensemble which are held as extra-curricular activities. Children also have an opportunity to join the school choir.
These groups perform at a range of events throughout the year and a special concert is held each year to show case our budding musicians’ talents.
Children also have opportunities to participate in annual dramatic productions. There are also opportunities for the children to join our dance/performance art clubs and these provide other opportunities for children to develop their creative and expressive talents. We take seriously our responsibilities to broaden the children’s horizons and therefore, we have devised a structured approach to the teaching of modern languages especially French with classes from Primary One up to Primary Seven receiving tuition from their teachers and visiting tutors. Children in Primary Five and Six currently receive tuition in Mandarin.
The school fields a number of sports teams including boys’ and girls’ Gaelic football and soccer. In recent years both the boys’ and girls’ Gaelic football teams won their respective championships and were crowned county champions. Both were also successful in winning a variety of local competitions. The boys’ and girls’ soccer teams have had success in a wide range of local competitions. The boys’ and girls’ Olympic Handball teams have also competed successfully in competitions in recent years and the P6 and P7 boys’ teams are the South Eastern Regional champions.
We strive relentlessly to develop each child’s self-esteem and their self-confidence by helping them to experience success at all levels. We ensure that children’s successes are celebrated through a system of awards and through liaison with the parents/guardians. The children’s self- confidence grows as they realise how much their achievements are valued by staff and parents and all other members of the school community.
We enjoy harmonious links with neighbouring controlled primary schools through a variety of programmes and we also have links with a Special Education school.
We actively seek links with any outside agency in the wider community e.g. PSNI, NSPCC, the Fire Service and health professionals who can assist us in providing as much breadth to the children’s educational experiences as possible.
The children also have a marvellous record of fundraising for a range of charities. We encourage this as it develops within the children a sense of caring for those less fortunate than themselves.
The current staffing is Principal plus 17 full-time teaching staff. The new school building opened in September 2010 and the children are educated in state of the art modern classrooms with full access to interactive whiteboards and a range of other ICT hardware. Each classroom cluster opens out onto a specially designed Resource Area which is fully equipped with computers and play equipment for the younger children. The school building comprises of 15 classrooms, a school hall which is equipped for sporting activities and performance arts, a designated dining area, library/computer suite and a wide range of additional accommodation for peripatetic tuition etc. The school site is fully landscaped and it includes a specially designed outdoor classroom, an ecological garden area and hard play areas. The contract also provides for very high levels of building maintenance and facilities management for the next 20 years.
There is a prescribed school uniform and a uniform tracksuit for PE days. All children are encouraged to adhere to the uniform regulations. Attendance and punctuality are both excellent. Records of Achievement reflect the wide variety of interests and talents of the pupils and all success is celebrated.