St. John the Baptist
2009 - 2010
St. John the Baptist Primary School
250 Garvaghy Road
Tel No. 028 38336211
Fax No. 028 38362051
Web Site: www.stjohnthebaptist.org.uk
PRINCIPAL: Mr. M. Gribbon BA PGCE
CHAIRMAN OF BOARD OF GOVERNORS:
Rev. Fr. M. O’Dwyer, PP
Enrolment No: 495 Admission No. 71
Expected enrolment in September 2009:
360 pupils aged 4-11 years (Boys/Girls)
If the school‟s admission and enrolment numbers have
not been reached the school will admit all children of the
appropriate age whose parents wish them to attend the
school. These children are:-
those of compulsory school age (children who reach
their fourth birthday on or before l July 2009)
The Board of Governors will apply the following criteria
to identify which children should be admitted either at
initial admission to education (P1) or on transfer from
1. Children resident in the Parish of Drumcree whose
parents intend them to complete their primary
education in St. John the Baptist Primary School.
2. Children resident outside the Parish of Drumcree
whose parents intend them to complete their
primary education in St. John the Baptist Primary
In the event of over subscription in any one of the
criteria the following sub-criteria shall apply.
(a) Children transferring from St. John the Baptist
(b) Children who have brothers/sisters (half-
brother/half-sister) presently enrolled in the
(c) Children whose parent/guardian, brother/sister
(half/brother-half-sister) are prior pupils of the
(d) Children whose parent/guardian is presently a
permanent member of the school
(e) Children with special circumstances (social, medical
or security). The special circumstances must be
made known at the time of application. The Board
of Governors reserves the right to seek
confirmation of the special circumstances from a
(f) Proximity of the child‟s home to the school.
Sub-criterion (f) will also be used as a deciding factor in
the event of over-subscription within a sub-criterion.
YEAR 1 ADMISSIONS AFTER THE
BEGINNING OF THE SCHOOL YEAR
The Board of Governors will apply the same criteria as
that stated for Year 1 entry.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR ADMISSION
During the summer term 2009 children to be admitted to
P1 in September 2009 will be invited to the school with
their parents to meet the teacher and to be provided
with additional information.
Children will be admitted to Primary 1 if their fourth
birthday has fallen on or before 1st July 2009. There
will be one admission to Primary 1 during the year.
VISITING THE SCHOOL
The school believes that each child‟s potential is best
realised by an active partnership between parent and
teacher. Parents are encouraged to monitor their child‟s
progress and to contact the Principal to discuss this.
The school will arrange Parent/Teacher meetings at
which parents will be afforded the chance of receiving a
detailed report from the class teacher and to hear and
talk about their child‟s education. Each child also
receives a written Report at the end of the school year.
The school also offers parents an opportunity to view
their child‟s class when the school holds its annual Open
Night after the Christmas Carol Service.
There are many other opportunities for parents to
participate in the life of the school. Often the school
arranges information evenings, concerts, plays and of
course our PTA events which are open to all our parents.
We particularly encourage parents of children in Primary
1 to join our PTA!
Should you wish to visit the school prior to submitting an
application form, you are most welcome to do so.
Please contact the school office to arrange a convenient
St. John the Baptist Primary School exists to further
the spiritual, academic, social and cultural development
of its pupils in their daily encounter with the school.
Society makes harsh demands of young people and if
school is to meet these challenging demands it must keep
abreast of educational change. Therefore the School
Management Team keeps under constant review the
policies, resources and methods in use within the school.
This Team is briefed to investigate and where finances
permit, acquire and trial new materials and resources and
is encouraged to make Curriculum recommendations to
The School Management Team
Principal Mario Gribbon
Vice-Principal & KS2 Co-ordinator Diarmuid Magee
Key Stage 1 Co-ordinator Nuala McAlinden
Special Ed. Needs Co-ordinator Anne McGuinness
Irish Medium Unit Co-ordinator Aileen Nic Íomhair
By forging close links with the Parish of Drumcree and in
perceiving itself as the third vertex of the triangle of
Church, Home and School, it endeavours to bring its
pupils closer to God by example and its emphasis on the
Catholic way of Life. To this end, the Principal, Vice-
Principal and teachers liaise closely with our school
chaplain and indeed all the priests of the parish.
As language is the medium through which learning takes
place, the school stresses the importance of this
subject. A co-ordinated language scheme, catering for
the essential elements of Reading, Writing, Talking and
Listening is in use throughout the school. Those children
who are found to under-achieve in this area are catered
for by additional classroom support utilising the skills
and experience of our early years staff. The school also
has the Reading Recovery programme in place for
children who require initial support in this vital area of
The school feels that it is important to equip children
with a wide range of mathematical experience and for
that reason our Maths Policy encompasses the five
essential elements of the Maths Curriculum namely
Number, Algebra, Measurement, Space and Shape and
Data Handling. As Number is the language through which
Mathematical concepts are expressed, emphasis will be
placed on Basic Numeracy and the learning of Number
facts. We also place strong emphasis on “mental
arithmetic”. Providing the children with opportunities to
“think” through a variety of solutions to mathematical
problems will be an essential part of our mathematics
Our children live in a world which stresses the
importance of Science and Technology and this need is
met by a comprehensive Science Policy which, when allied
with extensive Science resources, provides a challenging
learning environment for all pupils.
Children have a need to express themselves and the
Creative and Aesthetic elements of the Curriculum
encompass a wide range of activities within the
disciplines of Art/Craft, Music and PE. Each child is
encouraged to explore the limits of their environment
and to express their feelings and responses to it through
a variety of media.
It is the policy of the Board of Governors that all pupils
will have access to the entire curriculum irrespective of
gender. Where Department of Education and SELB
staffing and funding permit it is the aim of St. John‟s to
go far beyond the bare legal requirement.
The Curriculum is designed to promote active learning
and to stimulate diligence and a desire to succeed.
The distribution of time among the Areas of Study will
be as follows:-
Subject K.S. 1 K. S. 2
Religious Education 10% 10%
Literacy 20% 24%
Mathematics 20% 20%
Science and Technology 15% 11%
Environment and Society 15% 15%
Creative and Expressive 20% 20%
(Percentages are approximate)
CROSS CURRICULAR THEMES
The Cross-Curricular themes of Education for Mutual
Understanding, Cultural Heritage, Information
Technology and Health Education will be taught as
integral parts of the main Areas of Study. A vibrant
EMU link exists between St. John the Baptist P.S. and
Edenderry P.S. and each year our P.5 -7 pupils we are
engaged in a variety of projects. We are also involved in
several projects with other local Controlled Primary
Schools and the Upper Bann Institute of Further and
The school, through
its ICT policy affords
opportunities to use
many aspects of
word processing, data
handling, e-mail and
The school, through its ICT policy affords all children
opportunities to use many aspects of Information
Technology including word processing, data handling, e-
mail and the Internet. We have on-line computers in
every classroom and most classrooms are equipped with
the latest Interactive whiteboards.
Where difficulties arise in the main curricular areas the
Principal is available to set up a meeting between the
class teacher and parent/s in order to allay fears and to
Primary 1 - 3 9.05 a.m. - 2.00 p.m.
Primary 4 - 7 9.05 a.m. - 3.00 p.m.
Arrangements will be notified to parents at the beginning
of September and regularly in Newsletters. Holidays will
also be posted on the school web site.
LEAVING THE SCHOOL DURING THE DAY
Children are never permitted to leave the school grounds
during the day without permission. When a child has to
leave for any reason parents should send a written
request, telephone the school office, or call personally.
No child will be allowed to leave the school without being
accompanied by an adult. (ie a person over 18 years of
As a Catholic School, St. John‟s promotes the philosophy
of religion permeating school life. It believes itself to
be complementary to the Catholic home.
The „Alive O‟ series is used as a core scheme throughout
the school. At each level there is a strong emphasis upon
the twin themes of personal spiritual growth and
community responsibility. To re-inforce the programme
the pupils participate regularly in a programme of class
and school Masses, religious assemblies, prayer services
and collections for charitable purposes. The school
chaplain, Fr. O‟Dwyer, is a regular and welcome visitor
who co-ordinates preparations for the Sacraments of
Reconciliation, First Communion and Confirmation. Thus
our Religious Education programme is presented within
the proper context of Home, School and Parish.
CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Children with special needs will receive additional support
in so far as funds and staff permit. It is our aim to
ensure that children with either short or long term
physical disability will be afforded every chance to
achieve their full potential. We may, on occasions, seek
parents‟ permission to refer children to the SELB Special
Needs Department to seek additional advice, help and
The school also has a Reading Recovery trained teacher
who will identify early reading difficulties at the end of
Primary 1 and the beginning of Primary 2. Access to this
special reading support programme may be offered for a
period of time in Primary 2 or 3.
Teachers in St. John‟s set homework in order to re-
inforce the work of the day and to foster in their pupils
the discipline of study. Homework in the junior classes
should not exceed 30 minutes and senior level a maximum
of one hour should be the norm. It is school policy not to
set homework at weekends or during holiday time.
However, exceptions to this Policy are made for children
who have opted to sit the Transfer Tests. You will be
given a copy of the School Homework Policy in
September or is available now on request.
In seeking to promote the physical, spiritual and
intellectual development of its pupils the school
recognises the need to provide a secure emotional
environment. Should difficulties of a pastoral nature
arise please contact Mr. D. Magee, our Vice-Principal.
If a pupil takes sick during the day the school will inform
the parent or guardian and endeavour to have them take
the child home. Class teachers are not permitted to
administer or to oversee the administration of medicines.
The school‟s policy on the administration of medicines will
be given to you in September or is available now on
Personal Development and Health Education
St. John the Baptist Primary School is a caring,
responsible school with the children at the core of our
activities. We strive to respond to the personal,
emotional, social and education needs of our pupils
through our interaction with them in the classroom and
beyond. The emphasis of our Personal Development
programme is on personal health and safety, relationships
and the dangers involved in the misuse of tobacco,
alcohol and drugs/medicine. As our programme responds
to need, we will include other issues when appropriate.
This programme is cross-curricular in nature, although
many aspects of it are taught through health education
and the science curriculum.
We recognise this as a partnership between the school
and the parents, where we work together toward
educating and preparing our children for each stage of
EXTRA CURRICULAR & EXTENDED SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
The school offers “Extended School” activities to all its
pupils, including a breakfast club, and a broad range of
extra curricular activities of an academic, sporting and
cultural nature to its older pupils. All these activities aim
to foster the development of independence, team spirit
and enhance the physical well being of the individual.
MID-ACADEMIC YEAR CHANGES
If, due to unforeseen circumstances, changes to the
information given in this Prospectus are required during
the school year, all parents will be informed in writing of
In order that all children may learn in an atmosphere of
order and calm the school places great emphasis upon
respect. The school expects pupils to show respect to
one another, to the teaching and non-teaching staff and
to the furniture and fittings of the building.
Serious cases of indiscipline will be notified to parents
and they will be invited to meet the Principal in order
that the responsibility for discipline may be shared
between the partners in the child‟s education.
In the case of less serious breaches of the rules there
are a graded series of sanctions that will be brought to
bear on the situation.
Our School Discipline Policy actively promotes positive
discipline by acknowledging, highlighting and rewarding
appropriate behaviour. Appropriate behaviour is
celebrated and commended through our “Caterpillar”
books and our Star Pupil awards.
Should you require further details of these strategies, a
copy of our School Discipline Policy and our school Anti-
Bullying Policy is available now on request; however, all
parents of Primary 1 children will be receiving a copy of
these policies in September.
The school uniform consists of black trousers/skirt, a
white shirt and school tie or a red polo shirt and a grey
school sweatshirt or cardigan bearing the school crest.
The uniform is available from Maxwell‟s shop, Union
The school also has a PE uniform consisting of a plain
white t-shirt, black shorts and white socks. (Dunnes
Stores or Tesco brands are suitable.)
Slip-on plimsolls should also be worn for PE.
CHARGING AND REMISSION POLICY
Education at St. John the Baptist Primary is provided
free of charge. The school may take part in „optional
extras‟ that are not connected with the school‟s formal
curriculum such as visits to exhibitions or trips of an
extended nature requiring an overnight stay. Charges
may be made for these. Written parent/guardian
consent will be required before a pupil participates in
Due to the large gap between State funding and the
essential educational needs of the school, the school will,
as it has done in the past, invite you to take part in our
fund-raising activities on a voluntary basis, but it is
stressed that no child will be disadvantaged if parents
choose not to participate.
Visitors to our regularly updated school website will get a
flavour of some of the activities that regularly take
place in St. John the Baptist P.S.
Our school web address is:
Please feel free to visit our website!