St Joseph's Convent Primary School Newry | About Us

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.

Spacious Classrooms

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.

If you visit St. Joseph’s you will be stunned with the standard of the pupils’ art work which is displayed throughout the school.
The strong pastoral element combined with the high standard of teaching and learning is the trademark of our school.

St. Joseph’s proudly stands in the community and reaches out to all.

Mrs Doreen O'Neill - Principal

History of St Joseph's Convent

A brief overview of the History of St Joseph's Convent.
  • 1856

    Opening of the First School

    The first school was opened by the Sisters of Mercy in Canal Street in 1856, ten years after the sisters came to Newry.
  • 1935

    Main School Building Opens

    The main school building was opened on 25 April 1935.
  • 1960

    St Joseph's becomes an All-Girl School

    In 1960, St Joseph’s Convent Primary School became an all-girls school.
  • 1988

    Diagnostic Unit is Established

    As the needs of the pupils changed over the years, this unit is now a class to support pupils with Autism.
  • 1997-1999

    Double Nursery Unit Established

    In September 1997, a co-educational double Nursery Unit was established and the boys came back to St. Joseph’s entering Primary 1 in September 1999.
  • 2005

    First Autism Support Class Opens

    In September 2015, the Diagnostic Unit is opened to support the needs of pupils with Autism.
  • 2007

    Learning Support Classes (Key Stage 1&2)

    In 2007, Learning Support Classes for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils were established.

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