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“St. Joseph’s Primary and Nursery School promotes high achievement and learning for life by working with children to achieve a broad and balanced curriculum delivered with support and encouragement to succeed.”

In line with the Revised Northern Ireland Primary Curriculum it is the aim of this school to:-

  • Create a stimulating and challenging learning environment;
  • Continually strive for improvement, working together towards common goals.

Nursery, Years 1 & 2 are in the Foundation Stage, pupils in Year 3 & 4 are in Key Stage 1, and pupils in Years 5 - 7 are in Key Stage 2.

St Joseph’s is very aware of its statutory obligation to deliver the Revised Northern Ireland Primary Curriculum to all of its pupils. The curriculum is made up of a range of learning areas which foster attitudes and dispositions. These incorporate assessment for learning which aims to promote and encourage learning experiences. These include the following:


Thinking skills and personal capabilities

Formally Assessed Skills

Managing Information


Being Creative

Using Mathematics

Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making


Working With Others


Self Management


We plan to develop the following attitudes and dispositions :

Personal Responsibility

Concern for Others


Openness to New Ideas

Self Confidence


Community Spirit



Integrity/Moral Courage



Assessment is central to our curriculum and involves :

Open relationship between learner and teacher

Individual target setting

Clear learning intentions shared with pupils

Taking risks for learning

Shared/negotiated success criteria

Celebrating success

Advise on what to improve and how to improve it

Peer and self assessment

Peer and self evaluation of learning




Language & Literacy

The World Around Us

Mathematics & Numeracy

Religious Education

Personal Development

Physical Education

The Arts


To develop the young person as:
An individual, a contributor to society and 
a contributor to the economy & environment

The following is a brief description of the learning areas which make up the revised curriculum in St Joseph’s Primary School:

Language & Literacy

Language and Literacy are fundamental in the development of each individual child's ability to interact, express and communicate with confidence. 
Children's knowledge, skills and understanding are nurtured through a range of talking and listening and reading and writing activities. 

Pupils in the Foundation Stage and in Key Stage 1 use the Oxford Reading Tree reading and language scheme with a variety of supplementary reading material. In Key Stage 2 pupils use the Heinemann Literacy World reading and language scheme as well as an extensive range of class novels and supplementary reading material.

The School library, resource areas and Interactive Whiteboards give children access to living books as well as computers, CD Rom’s and listening centres.

Mathematics & Numeracy

The Foundation Stage and Key Stages 1 and 2 aim to develop the application of mathematics and numeracy across the curriculum and in real life situations. Children are encouraged to explore and investigate a wide range of purposeful activities. In all stages pupils are involved in making full use of electronic sources, practical materials and resources.

Children are provided with valuable experiences which enable them to develop: processes in mathematics, number, measures, shape and space and handling data. The Cambridge Mathematics Programme and Steps Programme as well as a variety of teaching texts are used by pupils throughout the school.


The World Around Us (Geography, History and Science and Technology)

The World Around Us throughout all stages is planned to connect learning across the three areas mentioned above. Children are provided with opportunities to develop their Literacy, Numeracy, ICT, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Interpersonal Skills through a choice of topics. At all stages children are encouraged to become active participants in the learning process, linking learning to current events.


The Arts (Art and Design, Music and Drama)

Children are able to express their ideas, feelings and interpretations of the world in diverse ways by developing their creativity through Art and Design, Music and Drama. Each individual is encouraged to explore and combine their own experiences with their imagination and natural curiosity. These are developed and built upon from year to year fostering children’s artistic, musical and kinaesthetic talents and intelligences. Throughout the year, many opportunities for children are offered for children to participate in role-play, assemblies, speech and drama festivals, seasonal plays and concerts.


Physical Education

The PE curriculum includes games, athletics, swimming and dance. Through a wide range of physical activities children will develop their knowledge, understanding and skills by participating in a broad and balanced physical education programme.

Facilities for sport in the school include a large and small games hall and marked playgrounds for games such as hop scotch, rounders etc. The markings in the playground also allow for team games such as football, basketball, netball and athletics. The school also has access to a Gaelic football pitch suitable for Gaelic, camogie and hurling. Swimming lessons are provided by qualified ASA swimming coaches at the Antrim Forum. 

The range of sporting activities available to the children include; athletics, rugby, camogie, dance, Gaelic football, hurling, inter-schools competitions, netball, playground games, rounders, soccer, swimming, walks, Le Crosse, table-tennis and badminton.


Religious Education

The Religious Education programme of study holds a central position within the school curriculum. Sacraments celebrated during primary school include:

  • Reconciliation
  • Holy Communion
  • Confirmation

Religious Education seeks not only to impart knowledge but also to develop understanding of religious experiences, feelings and attitudes. It is concerned with the spiritual growth of the individual, both in relation to the school and parish community. Whole school, Key Stage and Year Group masses are held throughout the year at Mater Dei Church. 

In addition the school chaplain celebrates class masses, (years 4 - 7) throughout the year. Masses are also arranged to mark special occasions e.g. beginning of the year (September), Year 7 Thanksgiving Mass (June). These liturgies are made as relevant and meaningful as possible by encouraging the active involvement of the pupils, parents and staff. Prayer Services are held throughout the year for years 1 - 7.

All pupils follow the recommended Alive ‘O’ series. Pupils also have the opportunity to participate in the ‘Education for Love’ programme. Teachers pass on Christian values and beliefs through example and personal witness.

Our religious faith is also celebrated through numerous assemblies, concerts and outside events which occur throughout the school year.

Our pupils fund raise for numerous charities showing generosity and concern for others less fortunate.


Personal Development

Through Personal Development children will be encouraged to become personally, emotionally, socially and physically aware individuals. This in turn will enable them to become more confident and responsible when making decisions and choices throughout their lives. 

Children will experience these skills and attitudes through:

  • Personal understanding and health
  • Mutual understanding in the local and global community

Structured Play

Children in years 1 - 4 take part in Structured Play which is an important part of the learning process. Children have many and varied opportunities to learn and develop skills. They learn to express their thoughts and feelings through play. They satisfy their natural curiosity by exploring, experimenting and developing skills which will help them come to terms with the real world.

Areas of play explored include:

  • Imaginative Play
  • Natural Materials - sand, water, dough, clay
  • Construction
  • Creative & Aesthetic

Special Needs

Provision is made for children who experience learning difficulty in reading and language. A small number of children with specific learning difficulties are well supported by teachers from external agencies. Parents are always consulted prior to the involvement of external agencies.

After School Activities

We offer a wide range of clubs within school and after school. These include the following: Singing (choir), Instruments (strings, woodwind and tin whistle), Art & Craft, Athletics, Gaelic Football, Netball, Drama, Dance, Soccer, ICT, Camogie, Hurling and Cookery Club .

The school also runs a cycling proficiency course each year.

Sports Day

Our annual sports days are held in May or June, one each for the Foundation Stage and Key Stages 1 & 2. 

This is the highlight of the sporting year and parents are most welcome to lend their support and encouragement. All children are encouraged to take part with emphasis on non-competitive events.


Emotional Intelligence

St. Joseph’s have developed a whole school programme for the development of Emotional Intelligence (EI).  The programme focuses on the development of Emotional Intelligence in the pupils (nursery and primary), the staff of the school and the parents. The Emotional Intelligence training takes the form of workshops, a parenting programme and a pupil programme suitable for the age and maturity of individual year groups from nursery to year seven. Emotional Intelligence increases pupil motivation and achievement through our whole school approach.

Children and Staff in St. Joseph’s will:

  • Be aware of the vocabulary of emotions
  • Understand emotions in themselves
  • Understand emotions in others
  • Work towards regulating their emotions