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Ardmore House School
95a Saul Street, BT30 6NJ, UK Downpatrick
Tel. 02844 614881

Welcome to St. Patrick's


Welcome to St Patrick’s Grammar School. We are a school community of over 700 students and 75 staff set in the county town of Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. The school is situated in a pleasant residential area overlooking the town. It enjoys a high reputation locally and nationally as a Lasallian school with an enviable academic record consequent upon inspirational teaching and top quality pastoral care. We also consider ourselves to be in the vanguard of schools developing self-evaluation strategies and applying innovative approaches to teaching and learning.

Tree planting
Year 8 pupils tree planting
Our students join us in Year 8 from all over East Down and the overwhelming majority ultimately progress to take up places at the better universities, both at home and abroad. Our alumni have gone on to play leading roles in the arts and sciences, in business, in politics and in the professions around the world. Our GCSE and A level results show us to be one of the most successful boys' schools in the country. We admit girls into the Sixth Form and their results are equally impressive.

We enjoy a reputation for humanity and strive to maintain high quality relationships between staff and students at all levels of the school. Pastoral care is given a high profile and is backed up by professional agencies, aiming both to bring about effective learning and to support the emotional and spiritual development of all our students. The result of this is a caring and happy community, offering leadership and team based opportunities to all our students.

Our curriculum is designed to put learning firmly at the centre of all that we do and the academic staff have used their expertise to produce a set of standards for high quality, effective teaching to which they all adhere. We offer a wide and varied curriculum, tailored to the needs of our students. We have embraced the ‘revised’ curriculum and described by the Council for Curriculum and Assessment (CCEA). St Patrick’s remains confident that our strengths range across the wide variety of disciplines that we offer, from Journalism and Engineering to Economics and Music. The high qualifications of the teaching staff and their commitment to professional development and further academic study, as well as the impressive work of the support staff, mean that standards are maintained at a very high level.

So what of the future?  We consider closely the world that we are ultimately preparing our students for and the skills they will need to live and survive in that world. The twenty-first century will provide many challenges for young people. Our aim is to shape lifelong learners, critical and innovative thinkers who will thrive in the acceptance of those challenges and whose moral integrity will enable them to determine a better world for all.

With we hope to bring you information and news about this historic school, and to this end you will find a comprehensive online prospectus and full details of all departments.

General Information

The Lasallian Heritage 

St John Baptist De La Salle
St John Baptist de la Salle (1651- 1719) opened his first school in Rheims, his birthplace in the northeast of France, in 1697.  He was convinced that without Christian schools many poor children would be lost both to the Church and to civil society.  His initial efforts led him to organise the teachers whose services he had secured into a religious community called the Brothers of Christian Schools.  Over a period of thirty years, he opened schools in several French cities and towns and worked with numerous teachers and students from various socio-economic levels.  By the time of his death he had founded different types of educational institutions: primary and boarding schools, teacher-training centres and homes for young offenders.

Alert to the needs of his time, he was an innovator in the development of teacher training programmes and in curricular and pedagogical practices.  Teachers ranked with servants in seventeenth century France.  De La Salle, however, recognized that teachers stand in a providential and grace-filled relationship to children.  Because of the special dignity of this calling, he provided teachers with extensive pedagogical preparation and on-going supervision.  De La Salle was one of the early Catholic proponents of universal education.  Although his schools were primarily for the poor, they attracted children from families of differing economic backgrounds.  However, he tolerated nothing of the social segregating which was the practice of the day.  He prescribed uniform management procedures for the classroom instruction of students from different social and academic levels.

De La Salle regarded a school as a community of believers working cooperatively to achieve a shared vision.  He envisioned teachers as ministers of grace who exercise their vocation daily by instructing youth in the principles of the gospel as well as in the various academic and vocational subjects.  His teachers thus helped young people to commit themselves to the teachings of the gospel, to develop loyalty to the Catholic Church and to prepare them for productive citizenship.  Today students in more than 80 countries throughout the world receive their education in Lasallian schools that differ greatly in terms of clientele, curriculum and methodology as well as in social and cultural conditions.  These schools are unified in the Lasallian heritage.

St Patrick's Grammar School was founded in 1934 and moved to its present site in 1937.  It has an enrolment of 725 students, some of whom are girls in the upper school.  St Patrick's is owned by the De La Salle Brothers.  Working to support the ideals of the Lasallian School is a dedicated staff of lay teachers who bring to the school a wealth of talent, expertise and experience. 

“Be convinced of what St Paul says, that you plant and water the seed, but it is God through Jesus Christ who makes it grow, that He is the one who brings your work to fulfilment.  So, when you encounter some difficulty in the guidance of your disciples, when there are some who do not profit from your teaching and you observe a reckless spirit in them, turn to God with confidence. Earnestly ask Jesus to make his Spirit come alive in you, since he has chosen you to do his work.”(John Baptist De La Salle, MTR)

School Rules


On the day of return from an absence, a student must present to the Form Teacher a note giving a reason for the absence. This note must be written, dated and signed by the parent or guardian. Doctor appointments, optical or dental appointments should be scheduled outside of school time.

Students are required to make arrangements to complete work missed due to their absence from class.

Family holidays should not be planned during school time. Ample time is provided in the school calendar for such planning. The school very strongly insists that parents follow this directive when organising family trips and outings. Each pupil’s attendance will be monitored regularly. If a student’s attendance drops below 95% over any term his/her parents shall be contacted. If attendance continues to be a cause for concern the pupil will be referred to the school’s Education Welfare Officer.

Students with an unsatisfactory attendance record will have their position in the school reviewed.

Students may only leave school during the day when they provide a written request from a parent. Before leaving they should:

  • inform their Form Teacher and Year Teacher before morning registration;
  • inform the subject teacher(s) whose classes they will miss;
  • report to Reception to sign out (and on return to sign in).


Students are expected to treat each other and all property with respect and consideration. We should avoid doing or saying anything that causes hurt. Fighting with another student will result in suspension from school.


Students using any bus to or from school are expected to conduct themselves correctly and behave courteously. Loud or rough conduct is not tolerated. Bus prefects are appointed and their role is to ensure that the rules of good behaviour and conduct are observed. Students are expected to comply with the reasonable requests of the prefects. Misbehaviour of any kind is reported to the Vice Principals and will be met with strict disciplinary action. Translink may withdraw a bus pass in the event of bad behaviour; in this event the student is liable to pay fares.

If a student loses a bus pass and wishes to obtain a duplicate he/she should fill in a Translink Interim Educational Ticket slip (available at Reception). The slip is in three parts. The completion of the Blue part of this slip permits the student to travel for five weekdays. The White part of the slip should be completed by the student and sent to Translink headquarters so that a duplicate pass can be issued. A passport size photograph and a fee of £20 are required for a duplicate pass. A student who locates his/her original bus pass and returns it to Translink will receive a £15 refund. The Green part of the slip is left at the school Reception desk.

When using the school minibuses students are expected to follow the normal school rules of cleanliness and behaviour and the wearing of seat belts is compulsory. Any abuse of or damage to a bus will have to be made good or paid for by those causing the damage.

Cars - Students ’

Students driving cars to school must first obtain written permission from Mr McConville (Vice Principal) if they wish to park in the school grounds. Such students are reminded of the very serious responsibility of driving with extreme care (less than 10km/h) while entering or leaving school property. The least hint or report of recklessness on or off campus will result in losing the privilege of bringing their cars on to the school campus. Student cars are parked in the lower visitors’ car park and should not be used between 9.00am and 3.20pm .

Charity Collections

The two major charity appeals are the Advent and Lenten campaigns. Permission for any other fund raising must be obtained from the Vice Principal, Mr McConville.


At all times students should help to promote a reasonable flow of traffic by moving quietly on the right hand side of corridors. In the interests of safety a one-way system operates on the 3A and 4A corridors. Directional signs and instructions should be followed at all times.

The carrying of large bags on shoulders can be dangerous to other students and is discouraged. Students use the Down and Lecale corridors when moving to and from the Arts and Science/Design blocks. The Reception corridor is an administration corridor and is used only when students need to go to Reception or to the Staff room.


This area is for quiet recreation. In the interests of safety, no ball games are played in the courtyard.


Detention is usually given for a pattern of misbehaviour or underachievement, but on occasions, it is used for more serious isolated incidents. A pattern of lateness to school or class, neglecting homework or coursework, breach of the dress code, truancy, missing classes are examples of reasons for being put on detention.

There are three levels of detention :

  • Lunch-time detention
  • Friday after-school detention [in Room 2S4]
  • Exceptional closure day detention [in School Library]

A student being put on detention is given a Detention Note, which is taken home to be signed by a parent. The signed copy is brought back by the student to the detention supervisor in Room 2S4

Dress and Appearance

St Patrick's’ students represent their school and their families at all times. Proper attire and good grooming, as well as neatness and cleanliness, is expected of our students. Quiet good taste is the guiding principle in matters of dress and appearance and students are expected to be neat, tidy, well groomed and clean shaven.

The school reserves the right to set appropriate standards in dress, appearance and personal hygiene. These standards are intended to provide a useful symbol of modesty, self‑respect and social courtesy which should characterise any student attending the school.

Grooming: Students have the responsibility to see that their hair conforms to good grooming. For boys hair below the shirt collar or closely shaved (less than No. 2 cut) is not acceptable. Neatness, tidiness and convention are the guiding standards in deciding the acceptability of hairstyles. Inappropriate hairstyles are not permitted. Hair extensions and braids are not permitted.

Jewellery & Makeup: Only girls may wear earrings and are restricted to one stud or small sleeper. No more than one plain ring is acceptable.

See Uniform.


Students should enter and leave the school in an orderly manner. Students do not use the front doors at Reception except when they are reporting there to leave for or returning after an appointment.

School bags should not obstruct any doorway, stairway or exit.

Food and Drink

After finishing their meals, students must leave their places at table clean, using the proper receptacles provided.

During lunch breaks food and drink are consumed in the Miguel Centre only - eating and drinking is prohibited in all other parts of the school building.

The possession or eating of chewing gum is totally banned from the entire school campus. This is in the interests of hygiene, good manners and respect for school property. An after-school detention will be issued to any student found chewing gum.

Pupils wishing to go home at lunchtime should obtain a Lunchtime Absence Card from Reception have it signed by a parent and carry it for inspection at all times.

primary schools in Downpatrick, secondary schools in Downpatrick, schools in Downpatrick

Editorial office:
tel. + 48 (094)