St. Joseph’s Convent Primary School is a large co-educational school situated in Newry City Centre. It is a brand new school yet it is steeped in the traditions of the Sisters of Mercy. The Convent sets a picturesque landscape overlooking the school grounds.
There are currently five hundred pupils in the school. The teaching staff consist of twenty-one teachers and a non-teaching Vice-Principal and Principal. There are two classes in each year group with three small classes in key stage two year groups.
Classrooms are spacious and the shared resource areas provide space for working with small groups or engaging in project work. There is a large staff of classroom assistants, supervisors, school meals staff, cleaners, clerical officers, a building supervisor and school crossing patrol lady.
2 Full-Time Nursery Classes
The Nursery has two full time classes in an outstanding facility. Tucked between the convent and the Nursery building is a sensory garden where the children grow flowers, vegetables and herbs and watch nature come alive.
Diverse in Culture
One third of the pupils in St. Joseph’s come from different countries including Poland, Lithuania, India, Bulgaria and Philippines. Key Stage One and Key Stage Two Language Assistants support the newcomer pupils. This diversity of cultures and traditions is widely celebrated and the children integrate into all aspects of school life.
Autism Specific Class
The Autism Class provided highly specialised education to pupils and their families who are living with autism. Generally there are nine pupils in this class with a teacher and two assistants. The pupils in the Learning Support Classes (Junior and Senior) are integrated into mainstream classes as much as possible and although they follow the Northern Ireland curriculum their learning is tailored to meet their individual needs.
Strong Links with External Agencies
The school has strong links with a wide range of external agencies and Mrs. Fionuala Devlin, a highly experienced speech therapist provides support in language and communication to Nursery and Foundation stage pupils as required. Miss Helen Woods is employed as a school counsellor.