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St Joseph's Primary School, Lisburn

Catholic Ethos


At St. Joseph's we aim to cultivate and nurture a Christian ethos which will permeate every aspect of school life. Positive inter-personal relationships with all at St. Joseph’s are the cornerstone of this principle.

  • St. Joseph’s is a Catholic Co-educational Maintained Primary School and our school ethos is firmly embedded in Christian values.
  • Our main aim is to create an environment where children feel safe, secure but most of all happy.
  • Our philosophy is quite simple ‘Happy children learn’.
  • All necessary procedures are in place to ensure that children are happy.
  • We provide a broad, balanced and challenging curriculum.
  • We provide an enriching programme of extra-curricular activities and visits.
  • We endeavour to strengthen partnerships between school, home and the community.
  • We embrace new initiatives in our quest for life long learning and use a varied up-to-date range of learning resources.
  • Our buddy system twins children from different classes, so that a child should never feel alone while in school.
  • Our ‘open door’ policy means that parents are most welcome to come in and have their worries or problems listened to, and acted upon if necessary.
  • Children are challenged to be ‘the best that they can be’.
  • Children are encouraged to be risk takers.
  • We celebrate all our children’s achievements no matter how small or big they may be.
  • Indeed, the success of our school depends on active co-operation between staff, pupils and parents.
  • Our ‘House System’ for P4-7 is based on the founders of our school, The Sacred Heart of Mary. Each house reflects the values of the Order and pupils earn house points as part of our ‘House Award System’.

In St. Joseph’s we believe that it is our job to support you as parents to develop the Catholic Faith in your children.

The school is an extension of the home and together with the Church it forms a triangle of people who want to hand on the faith to your child.

Each element of the triangle is equally important in ensuring that children will develop in faith during their seven years with us.

We believe that you as parents have begun this process already, before your child comes to St. Joseph’s and our job as Catholic teachers is to nurture and develop their love for Jesus through example and teaching.

We believe that Religious Education is not a subject to be taught; rather it is a way of living our faith.

Religion is not confined to the time-tabled programme within the school. It is an integral part of the life of St. Joseph’s Primary School and permeates everything we do.

We use the Grow in Love Programme and prepare the children for their role in the Catholic Community. School assemblies are held every week. Parents are invited to special class assemblies.

Our school chaplain, Fr McCaughan works closely with the class teachers and helps to develop themes being taught. He helps to organise liturgical services and masses and helps to prepare the children for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation.

We believe that we develop the faith in each child so that when leaving St. Joseph’s in P7, they take with them a set of values and beliefs which will help them to make right decisions in the years ahead.

It is a privilege for our teachers to be entrusted to hand on their Catholic Faith and beliefs to your children. We believe that the Catholic school is unique, in that it is not just giving your child religious instruction, but helping your child to live out the faith through their relationships with others.

We believe that if we give Catholic children a good solid education in developing their faith, they will embrace the faith values of other Christian Communities.

This is supported with the number of children who attend our school from other faiths. All children feel safe and secure in their learning environment, where religion is not an issue.

We pride ourselves here in St. Joseph’s that our Catholic Ethos is all around us. We can see it in the way that everyone respects each other and in our caring attitude to all, children, parents and colleagues alike.

We actively encourage families of other faiths to choose St. Joseph’s. We will respect parents’ wishes regarding religious instruction and together we can plan for the child’s needs.