St. Peter’s National School is a mixed, Catholic, primary school under the patronage of the Archdiocese of Armagh. It has a Board of Management (Chairperson Fr. Pat Mc Enroe PP) and a Parents’ Committee affiliated to the National Parents’ Council. Its structure is vertical with classes from Junior Infants to Sixth. It supports the primary school curriculum as outlined by the Department of Education and Skills and is active in School Self Evaluation. It has 240 pupils on roll at present (September 2018). St. Peter’s is a 13 teacher school with 9 classroom teachers, three Special Education Teachers and an administrative principal. The school has a Deputy Principal and two Assistant Principal 2 post holders. Ancillary staff includes Special Needs’ Assistants, secretary and cleaners.
The present school was opened in 1976, though also on site is the old school (opened 1927, now home to a successful play school) and the “Old, Old” school which was built circa 1830. Accordingly, there is a great sense of history and of past generations permeating the present school environment. After using a room in the Old School for a number of years, an extension was begun in March 2014 and opened for the 2014/15 school year. It comprised of new classroom, resource rooms, upgrading of office accommodation, heating and general upgrades around the school. In 2016 further permission was granted for an additional two classrooms and a third resource room. These were completed for September 2018. Also completed in 2018, under the Summer Works Scheme, was a toilet refurbishment in seven classrooms in the original school and replacing of old ceiling tiles throughout the building.
The school campus is beautifully appointed with ample green playing area, a basketball court and colourful shrubbery and trees. Additional features are the Biblical Garden created adjacent to the ruins of the old Roman Catholic Chapel, our Outdoor Classroom and Butterfly Garden, the Insect Village and our Intergenerational Garden with miniature Round Tower. Summer term 2013 saw the official opening of our beautiful Dreamtime Garden and the pond viewing stand was launched in June 2015. A local Sculpture Trail unveiled in June 2016 features five wonderful pieces located in the school grounds – Seamus Mc Ardle’s 1916 tribute, Boy Reading, At One With Nature, Ogham Stone and Miniature Round Tower. The fantastic Incredible Edible Garden was officially opened in August 2017 by MEP Mairéad Mc Guinness. Our Dreamtime Garden was renovated in June 2019.
St. Peter’s commitment to all matters green was the driving force behind the huge amount of work that has gone into the development of the school grounds. This endeavour has been rewarded with countless environmental awards both locally and nationally. St. Peter’s was granted its eighth Green Flag (Global Citizenship – Energy) in May 2016. We are currently involved in obtaining our Marine Environment Flag and participated in a national pilot project in the 2016/17 school year. This flag was awarded in the City North Hotel in May 2018
The school also holds Platinum Awards from Louth County Council, in recognition of its commitment to the maintenance of the highest environmental standards and was winner of School of the Year at the Environmental Awards in 2011 and 2012. The title was retained in June 2013 and again, in June 2014 where St. Peter’s was awarded the highest marks in Co. Louth. We were delighted to once again be crowned School of the Year in the Ardee Municipal District in June 2018. 2019 saw us awarded the highest marks once again. We are one of the select schools in the county to have received 5 stars at the annual GROW awards organised by Louth County Council. In 2019 we scored a record breaking 99% in the Eco-Tribes competition. In 2015 and 2019 we were crowned National Walk to School winners in an Taisce’s Big Travel Challenge.
2016 saw special celebrations in the school to commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising in 1916. March 15th 2016 was Proclamation Day and the tricolour was proudly raised in a well attended ceremony that included music, song and dance. The Proclamation was read once more and the school’s own proclamation for 2016 was on display. This event was followed up on June 9th with a special show, March to Glory, performed in the local Community Centre in front of an appreciative audience of six hundred parents, family and friends. Each child in the school was involved. Also launched on that night was a commemorative booklet Daichead Bliain ag Fás to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the opening of the new school as well as the Easter Rising.
The following subjects are taught in St. Peter’s N.S.
English, Irish, Maths, History, Geography, Science (SESE), Physical Education, Music, Speech and Drama, Art, Religion and Social Personal and Health Education.
Children are encouraged in all curricular areas and the school is also an enthusiastic participant in many extra-curricular activities – gaelic, soccer, rugby, basketball, cross country running, quizzes, feiseanna, Cross Border choir, poetry and essay writing and various art competitions. Fiddle and sewing lessons are offered as after school activities.
St. Peter’s is also committed to e-learning and endeavours to adapt to an ever evolving and developing technological age. We have interactive whiteboards/televisions in all classrooms, desktop computers and 32 laptops which are stored in 2 mobile laptop trolleys. There are computer work stations in the senior and middle classrooms. Children are timetabled to work on computers each week and we have e-fibre, wireless broadband access throughout the school. The children also have access to IPads (13), digital cameras, video recorder and visualisers.
The whole school community is dedicated to bringing out the best in our children. The staff, ancillary staff, Board of Management and Parents’ Committee work together to create an environment, underpinned by friendship and collegiality, wherein our young students will flourish as happy, young individuals ready to embrace an exciting future.