St Joseph's Primary School

St Joseph’s PS is a co-educational primary school with a Nursery Unit. The original rural school first opened in 1955 with an enrolment of 53 pupils. The present enrolment is 521 pupils including 60 Nursery pupils. The school is located in the townland of Carryduff, Co Down just on the outskirts of South Belfast. Students at the school are engaged with language learning with the Confucius Institution and learn Mandarin and other languages.

The school develops an awareness of the SDG’s and social justice issues through their engagement with the Rights Respecting Schools. This is a whole school approach to put children’s rights at the heart of school policy and practice. Through this programme their student learns how to lead happy, healthy lives and to be responsible, active citizens. The school also engages with the Personal Development and Mutual Understanding Programme, the Global Learning Programme, and the Mutual Understanding Programme. Their understanding of wider issues is also enhanced by the student’s engagement with ‘Fair Trade’ and ‘Educating the Heart’ topics.

The leadership development of the students is key to school life at St. Joseph’s. The students have the opportunity to engage with the following:

Digital Leaders-Students have opportunities to apply to be a Digital Leader. With this, the children are enabled to lead and develop a key area of learning. They develop their ICT skills and their capacity to problem solve. 


School Council
Prefect Programme- All P7 students can engage in the perfecting programme. This programme further enhances the school’s nurturing ethos. The children develop their life-long capacity for empathy.

Eco-Committee/Sustainability Project--This project supports students in developing a deeper awareness of sustainability issues. Children of all ages enjoy genuine participation in school-wide decision making. Children can identify and celebrate where their opinions and actions have made changes in school. This initiative encourages children to act in response to local and global ecological/humanitarian issues.

Active Travel Programme- children, parents and staff participate in a variety of initiatives throughout the year relating to Active Travel. These initiatives raise awareness of the benefits of walking and cycling to school for the individual and the environment. 

Learning Leaders- the children in St. Joseph’s are valued as learning leaders. They are integral to the planning of curriculum-based topics and also whole school initiatives. 


PremAware Status: St Joseph’s Nursery unit was the proud recipient of the PremAware Award in June 2023. St Joseph’s is the first Nursery in Northern Ireland to be awarded ‘PremAware’ status. The award was presented by TinyLife, in partnership with The Smallest Things Charity - for Premature Babies & Their Families.  The team in St Joseph’s Nursery recognise their place within the wider community and continuously strive to meet the needs of the children and families within that community. The training was a way for staff to gain a better understanding of how children who experience preterm birth can be impacted later in life and what staff can do to support those children and their parents. Although not all children who are born preterm will experience difficulties, achieving this accolade has developed the Nursery’s capacity to have open and informed conversations with families and will help to ensure every child in St Joseph’s reaches their full potential.   


Roots of Empathy: St Joseph’s introduced Roots of Empathy in September 2022. Since the programme started, the class teacher has noticed an increase in empathy and a rise in prosocial behaviours. 

We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with St Joseph’s Primary School, a proud DCU Changemaker School.


St Joseph's Carryduff

St Joseph's Carryduff, Belfast