Frequently Asked Questions

Your Questions Answered

Q How many pupils are in each class?

A - We endeavour to keep class sizes as small as possible.  We intend twenty will be the maximum in the vast majority of classes.  No class should have more than twenty six in it.  However, depending on pupil numbers this may increase in certain year groups.

Q Are the classes streamed?

A - The majority of the pupils are in mixed ability classes.  Some pupils who have made good progress academically at their primary schools will be grouped together in classes.

Q Is there a procedure for seeing the Form Teacher?

A - If you wish to discuss your son’s progress you can contact the school to arrange an appointment to see either the Form Teacher or the Year Head.

Q Will extra help be available if needed in reading, spelling, numeracy etc?

A - The Special Needs Co-Ordinator and her team have a programme of help and support both in subject classes and in withdrawal groups.  The school has a fully equipped learning centre.  Learning support will be available only as appropriate.

Q How may GCSEs will my son be able to do?

A - Currently all Year 12 pupils study for and have the opportunity of achieving 8 GCSEs (or the equivalent in vocational qualifications).  Some pupils will have the opportunity of achieving 10 GCSEs.

Q What is the school policy on homework?

A - The staff in St Joseph’s believe that meaningful homework is an integral part of the education process.  Each Head of Department has devised a Homework Policy and will explain it to you if you need clarification.  The school needs support from parents and guardians in implementing this policy.

Q What opportunities will be available for my son at the end of Year 12?

A - We are proud of our 6th Form which offers not only a wide range of ‘A’ Level and Applied ‘A’ Level subjects but also the innovative Step Up Programme in applied ‘A’ Level Science.  These are 2 year courses.  A one year link course may be also available.

Q If we live near the school can my son come home for his lunch?

A - Yes – provided you request this in writing.  He will be given a pass to leave the school at lunch-time.  This is to ensure that boys do not ‘hang about’ the local shops or cause annoyance to local residents.

Q Does the school have a bullying policy?

A - Yes.  As part of our Pastoral Document we have a firm and comprehensive policy which aims to protect all members of the school community.

Q Are there any after school activities?

A - The school prides itself on the wide range of extra-curricular activities available which include music, drama, geography, science club, environmental club and technology for fun.  Naturally we have a wide range of sporting activities also available – for example soccer, Gaelic, hurling, athletics, rugby, basketball, and volleyball – to name only a few.  These examples are not definitive.  The school also provides a range of activities under its extended schools programme.

Q Is there a school show?

A - Yes, all pupils are provided with the opportunity to show off their talents in a major production every other year.  In February 2016 we offered ‘The Adventures of the Lonemoor Ranger’ for your entertainment (another resounding success). 

Q Are the pupils entered for external competitions?

A - Yes.  Our school ethos is one of celebrating success and we encourage pupils of all abilities to share their talents with the wider community by participating in math challenges, debating, art, poetry, essay writing competitions, quizzes and the Feis.

Q Will my son have the opportunity to go on school trips?

A - Yes.  Over the last number of years St Joseph’s pupils have had the opportunity to ski in Italy, study in Paris, do volunteer work in Romania, attend Dail Eireann in Dublin, develop language skills in Spain and France.  They also had the opportunity to participate in trips nearer home.

Q How do I get information about school buses?

A - Relevant information is normally provided to all pupils transferring.  Further information can be obtained from the Transport Department of the Western Education and Library Board.  Telephone No. 02871-272300

Q Do parents have access to all school policies?

A - Yes.  All policies, guidelines and other information about the school can be obtained from the school office and are available on the school website.

Contact

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St Joseph's Boys' School
Westway
Creggan Estate
Derry
Northern Ireland
BT48 9NX

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