Important Update: Our long serving Principal Mr E Magee has retired 31st December 2020. Until a new Principal is appointed our Vice Principal Mr C Kinney has been appointed as Acting Principal.. The Board of Governors wish Mr Magee a long and healthy retirement and will support Mr Kinney in his new and challenging role.
Coronavirus (Covid - 19) The school's first priority in all its responses to this pandemic will the the health and safety of all our school community, wider community and the global community where we are all members.
Our school is responding to the ongoing and ever changing impact of Covid -19 . We are providing home on-line learning resources during lockdown for our pupils. The school has responded to the PHA and Government directives where they have quite rightly put a range of measures in place to help keep us safe. These measures include social distancing and only going outside the home for essential travel. While these directives are proving to be quite challenging for the whole community, our school staff have risen to this challenge! I have provided information to parents on how we are meeting the present challenges on our website's ' Key Information' area as well as providing information through a new school app that maintains regular contact with families. These areas will be updated on a regular basis, when more information is available. We have continued to provide home learning support within our school website's Class Pages, and more recently via on-line 'Teams' and other resources. Our Nursery children and parents will continue to receive online support.
Our communication email address for parent queries is firstname.lastname@example.org
Our School - In normal circumstances:
‘Do your best and nothing less’
St Patrick’s and St Brigid’s Primary School and Nursery Unit is a Catholic Maintained rural school situated in the town of Ballycastle. The school opened in 1991 following the amalgamation of St Patrick’s Boys’ PS and St Brigid’s Girls’ PS. We are an inclusive, active and friendly school, with a close ‘bond’ with the Catholic church that is in close proximity. In 2011 we opened a new school building and nursery unit. We have 431 pupils (This includes 52 P/T Nursery). Our FSM is 24% and Special Needs 19%. We have 16 Stage 5 children in our school. Our SEN provision was commented upon by the ETI Inspectors as providing ‘High quality withdrawal sessions’. We have a SENCO who has been withdrawn from class to support children with special needs.
We are managed by the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools, and accept children from all religious denominations. Our religious education programme encompasses and recognises the rights of all as stated in our Mission statement.
St Patrick’s & St Brigid’s PS & Nursery Unit provides a high quality, holistic education for all our pupils so that they can develop their full uniqueness and potential. In our school the message of Christ find expression in:
A ‘Living Community’ of Faith, Love and service;
A reflective and worshipping community, where the presence of Jesus is celebrated in prayer, worship and the Sacraments;
A school leadership which models Gospel values and is committed to the promotion and celebration of the Catholic ethos;
A school community committed to:
a) Preparing pupils to lead fulfilling and purposeful lives, becoming responsible citizens, respectful of diversity, who will contribute to the common good;
b) The development of each person’s full potential in a climate of joy, freedom, respect, co-operation and celebration;
c) The holistic enrichment of every pupil – intellectual, spiritual, physical, moral, social and emotional;
d) The promotion of a spirit if charity, social justice, global awareness and concern for marginalised and vulnerable, leading to practical outreach and partnership;
e) The promotion of a positive, joyful and caring attitude for life and others, reflected in a respect for the sacredness of every human life at all its stages;
f) A culture of mutual respect and understanding in which people of all faiths, traditions and personal circumstances are welcomed and respected;
g) A climate throughout the school of collegiality, listening, trust, collaboration, healing and peace.
Our Catholic Church is adjacent to the school, forming a close bond, as we are the parish school with the same name as the church, St Patrick's and St Brigid's. The church car park is adjacent to our school and is used daily by both church and school to facilitate safe parking.
Our Board of Governors are all local members and meet on a regular basis to plan and review the management of our school. In a Department of Education inspection reports issued in May 2014 and June 2017 the ‘overall findings’ identified by the Inspectors regarding the School and Nursery
Unit ranged from ‘Very Good’ to 'Outstanding'. The Inspectors described the behaviour of the pupils as being ‘Outstanding’ as well.
Our Child Protection and Safeguarding procedures met and continue to meet all the recommendations for child protection. The ETI Inspection report stated that ‘parents should be confident that the child protection and safeguarding procedures as detailed by the Department of Education (NI) are being met’.
Our Nursery Unit is situated on a ‘stand-alone’ basis on the school site, managed by the Board of Governors. The Nursery applications exceed its enrolment numbers every year, and this provides a ‘regular’ intake to our Primary school each year.
The Nursery and school are in a healthy financial position due to the increase in pupil numbers. There are 2 class groups in each year. The school is well resourced and the fabric of the building is very good. The school building was completely re-built during the period 2009 - 2011. The school building has 14 classrooms, each with toilets and cloakroom areas. Each cluster of 4 classrooms has access to a large resource area. There are 2 large halls for assembly/P.education and dinners. A library and sensory room are used daily by children There are 3 large playgrounds as well as a large soft surface play area. There are multi-purpose rooms to facilitate small group work. The school is well designed to meet the ‘needs’ of the curriculum both indoors and out of doors. We have a large field playing area that facilitates, a range of sports including hurling, camogie and soccer.
The majority of our pupils come from the town and surrounding areas of Ballycastle, Ballintoy and other local locations. We support the United Nations' Convention regarding the 'Rights of the Child' and have attained the full ’Rights Respecting School' recognition award Level 2. Our school is also recognised as being recipients of the 'Inclusion Quality Mark' and is a ‘Flagship IQM School. The British Council has awarded us the 'International Schools' Awards. Eco awareness plays an essential role within our curriculum and the school has been awarded the 'Eco Green Flag Award' four the past 4 years. All these awards endorse and recognise our commitment to the 'Rights of the Child' being paramount in every decision we take and the decisions they help us to make!
Ballycastle has a tradition of myths and legends about the area, including the legends about the ‘Children of Lir' and 'Finn Mc Cool' our local giant! We also promote and participate with great success in traditional Irish sports such as hurling and camogie, as well as football and a range of sports. We promote a wide range of after-school activities and make use of local 'expertise' and 'knowledge' to assist and promote these activities. We receive ‘Extended Schools’ funding as well as ‘Shared Education’ support, and we use these opportunities to become actively involved in local and national activities and projects.
We are a seaside, rural area with many farms and local areas of interest. As well as being beside the sea we are a recognised inland 'scenic area' with many beautiful features such as 'Knocklayde Mountain' 'Fair Head and Torr head, the world famous 'Giants' Causeway' in close proximity as well as the 'Glens of Antrim'.
Our school motto is ‘Do your Best and Nothing Less!’ and the Board of Governors are continually moving the school forward and the appointment of a new Principal into post at St Patrick’s and St Brigid’s PS and Nursery Unit and can assure the successful candidate of their fullest support.
Further information about St Patrick’s and St Brigid’s PS and Nursery Unit can be found on the school website at www.stpatricksandstbrigidsprimary.co.uk
If you require information about our Nursery Unit or Primary School or would like arrange to meet the principal and see around the school, please ring the school directly. Alternatively please send us a message on this contact form and we will reply as soon as we can. Please note that we strive to reply within 24hrs to messages, on occasions we may take a little longer due to a number of reasons including, the school being closed, unexpected computer system failure or other school daily commitments; so if you have not received a reply within 2 or 3 days please ring the school Tel: 02820762765.