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St Patrick's Primary School, Saul, Downpatrick


We are a busy and friendly school, with lots going on. This website aims to give you a taster of the school, as well as providing up to date information for parents, pupils and the wider community.

We hope that you enjoy your visit to our website, and that you find the information you are looking for. Please feel free to contact the school direct with any queries you may have.


St Patrick's Primary School was established in the Parish of Saul & Ballee in the early part of the last century. Our new school was officially opened on the 28th November 2008, by Bishop Noel Treanor.

The new school is built beside St Patrick’s Church in Saul, in the shadow of St Patrick’s monument, which overlooks the area of Lecale. Mr Eddie McGrady (RIP), our late local MP laid the foundation stone in June of 2007 along with Mr Dermot Vint (RIP), our late Chair of Governors. T&A Kernoghan were appointed the main contractor and along with Isherwood & Ellis Architects and the many sub-contractors they provided the community of St Patrick’s Primary with a school building to be proud of and which reflects the vibrancy of the children and dedication of parents and staff of our school.

The original school was opened in 1900 & relocated to our new, state of the art building adjacent to St Patrick's Church in 2008. Accommodation now stands at six classrooms, 2 multi-purpose rooms for additional teaching with additional facilities including a multi-purpose hall, staff room, offices and storerooms. Each classroom is equipped with the most up to date equipment including networked computers, tablets and interactive whiteboards. P1-P3 classrooms open onto a well-stocked resource area for play & group work.

There are two spacious play areas. To the rear of the building lies a playground with interactive murals and playground equipment built by our PTFA in conjunction with Awards for All. The front playground is marked out for netball and the older children use this area at playtime. It is also used by the after school sports coaches.

Current enrolment is 188 pupils

At present, teaching staff consists of the principal, seven full time teachers, & a part time teacher employed to assist those with special needs. A secretary, classroom assistants, caretaker, supervisory assistants and school meals staff support the full staffing compliment.

The focus of St Patrick's Primary School is the child. Consequently the school offers a broad and varied curriculum in which children are encouraged to realise their full potential based in a happy family-orientated environment reflective of the Catholic/Christian ethos.

Extra Curricular Activities

These include Gaelic football, soccer, netball, cooking, sewing, ICT, swimming, choir, Irish dancing, concerts, Irish speaking classes. We currently facilitate an Acti Sports coach who operates a programme throughout the school. In addition, we utilise the coaches from Cumann Luth Chleas Gael An Dun who offer coaching in Gaelic Football & Hurling. This year we are involved in the Sport in School programme in association with Ulster Council of the GAA.  Music tuition is provided by qualified tutors and children currently learn guitar, drums and piano.

Breakfast Club

Our Breakfast Club is supervised by our Classroom Assistants from 8:15am to 8:45am.  A selection of cereals, toast, juice & tea are available.  No registration is needed.


After Schools Club

Our After Schools Club is a facility whereby children can stay on the premises to late afternoon, supervised by school staff who assist with homework, art, crafts & sport. This has proved to be very popular with parents and many avail of their service.


As a rural school we feel St Patrick's is a community facility. Very close links have been forged with Saul Community Playgroup; planning, resources & expertise are regularly shared. Links have been forged with St Patrick's GAC resulting in the frequent use of their facilities and very successful fund raising events. Links with the community & parish are encouraged whenever possible.

Parents, Teachers & Friends Association

Our parents willingly support the activities of the school and it's staff with our Parents, Teachers & Friends Association. Liaison between parents & teachers regarding their children's progress is readily facilitated. Fund raising events are particularly successful whether it be in aid of school funds or charities.

Our Basic Aims Include:

  • the development of the children's skills of communication to help them use their own language effectively in reading, writing & talking;
  • to ensure children acquire the necessary skills to think & solve problems;
  • to help children develop lively, enquiring minds & make informed decisions;
  • to help children develop a habit of learning & application of what has been learned;
  • to instil self-respect & respect of others, toleration & acceptance of other ways of living & understanding of the world;
  • to help the children appreciate & develop their own skills, talents & abilities;
  • to provide a broad & balanced curriculum.

In our work, we wish to ensure that all children are happy at school. This is reflected in our Pastoral Care arrangements and set against the Christian Catholic ethos of St Patrick's.

  The school welcomes parental support in terms of their children's learning and happiness. In this respect, parents receive information relevant to their children's well-being, learning and homework. Primary 1 children and parents also have an induction session prior to the September start.