St. Joseph's Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland, Co. Kerry


St. Joseph's Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland, Co. Kerry are our school monthly profile for August, 2010.

They very kindly shared with us their philosophy and aims of the school along with recent achivements, news and events, etc.

Mission Statement: St. Joseph's Presenatation School is a Christian community, based on Nano Nagle's vision of bringing God's love to all people and is dedicated to an all round Christian education, based on Gospel values.

Mutual respect is the corner-stone of our philosophy. 

Parents, pupils, staff and management all have an important role to play in school life at St. Joseph's.

Ní neart go cur le chéile.


Religious Education

Religious Education plays an integral part in promoting the Christian Ethos. We believe that whole person development is the best way to develop mature, happy and successful Christians. School retreats are held annually.

Social concern is actively promoted. We have been successful in harnessing the energy and generosity of our students and of the community in order to raise money for deserving causes, such as St. Vincent de Paul, The Day Care Centre, Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, "Enable Ireland" (Christy Browne Centre, Tralee), Children's Pilgrimage to Lourdes, Trócaire, Bóthar, Chernobyl Children and Concern.

Learning Support/Special Needs

With a greater understanding of learning difficulties prevalent today, we are glad to be able to facilitate those who are experiencing such difficulties. We provide both group and individual tuition.

Techniques used include circle time, shared reading, role-play and group discussion. Learning Support addresses the special needs of students in the areas of reading, comprehension, word recognition, phonic skills, digraphs, vowel sounds and maths.


The Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme was introduced into the school several years ago with great success thus far. To the students who opt for it, L.C.V.P. provides an extra Leaving Certificate subject which is now recognised, in terms of points, by Institutes of Technology and Universities.

L.C.V.P. offers an activity based subject, which gives the students a look at the world of work and, more importantly, gives them a confidence in their own abilities as individuals. Students are encouraged to organise activities and events themselves, while learning about the practical realities of work.

All L.C.V.P. students go on work experience. This benefits them greatly as they get first hand experience of the work place. Students also visit local busineses to investigate how these enterprises are run.

Team work and co-operation form an integral part of the programme. Activities of L.C.V.P. classes in the past have included production of a school magazine, table quizzes, an activity day, and various other fundraising events. Monies raised from these activities are donated to various charitable organisations.

Information Technology

The school has a fully equipped and up-to-date Computer Laboratory. Computers are linked together within a network. The lab is also equipped with printers, scanner, L.C.D. and has internet, broadband and e-mail facilities. These facilities are being extended in order to provide a text and e-mail messaging service to parents and guardians.

The school offers the European Computer Driving Licence (E.C.D.L.) course to students.

This course provides a platform from which the student gains a significant level of practial skill and confidence in using the computer, while maintaining standards that are internationally recognised. Consequently, this provides excellent preparation for future study within the area of information technology and indeed is useful in many areas of work in modern society.

An Acceptable Use Policy (A.U.P.), covering the safe use of internet, is in operation in the school. Parents/Guardians and students are requested to agree in writing to abide by this policy.


Sport plays a vital role in the school curriculum. The school is involved in ladies football, athletics, badminton, handball and, of course, basketball. Taking part in sport is seen as a valuable learning activity. Students learn in a variety of ways and have many different skills and qualities. These can come to the fore in sport, managed in an educational environment, where the emphasis is on participation and enjoyment. We find that when the athletes focus on excellence in their performance, the results take care of themselves.


St. Joseph's has a proud tradition in Irish Schools Basketball having been National Champions at 'A' level fifteen times since 1994, making St. Joseph's one of the most successful schools in Irish Basketball.

In 2007 the school's U16 team won the All-Ireland League and Cup double. In 2008 and 2009 school teams also reached National Finals.


Our First Years have won the prestigious Marguerite Coakley Memorial Cup for the past two years.

This cup is for First Year "A" grade schools in Kerry, Clare and Limerick.

The tournament commemorates Marguerite Coakley R.I.P. who was an outstanding athlete, playing both football and basketball for the school.


At international level, past students Denise Walsh, Mary Ellen Scanlon, Muiríosa Galwey and Eileen O'Connor have had the distinction of captaining Irish teams. Marie O'Connor, Joanne Walmsley, Tracey Hartnett, Réidín O'Loughlin, Tara Brosnan, Jennifer O'Connor, Noelle Scanlon, Miriam Leane and current student Louise O'Connor (2010), to name but a few, have also represented their country.

Ladies Football

Ladies Football (Peil Gael na mBan) is very popular in the school and teams from St. Joseph's have had great success as the following brief role of honour shows.

2004 Junior "C" Kerry and Munster Champions, All-Ireland finalists.

2005 Junior "B" Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland Champions.

2006 Junior "A" Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland Finalists.

2008 Senior "B" Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland Champions.

2009 Munster Schools Annual First Year Blitz - St. Joseph's entered two teams and both won silver medals in their division.


This sport is enjoying a resurgence in popularity in the school. In 2010 our u-14 team (Lorna Mallon, Grace McCarthy, Adrienne McEllistrim, and Roisín O'Connor) won the County and Munster titles in Schools Badminton. They will Contest the All-Ireland Final in Gormanstown Co. Meath.

Other Sports

Over the years, pupils from the school have excelled in handball with ex-pupils such as Sharon Twomey (World Title Holder), Maria Daly (All-Ireland Champion), Sharon Daly and the Griffin sisters Fiona and Ciara carrying on the proud and wonderful tradition of Ballymac handball.

Overall, students are invited to participate in school sport in a well-organised and safe educational environment.

Home Economics

In Junior Certificate, Home Economics includes both practical work and theory. Pupils work in pairs in practical cookery classes. Each pupil undertakes an individual project, choosing from a wide variety of topics such as Childcare, Craftwork or Textiles. Practical work makes up at least half of class time and it includes food preparation, practical needlework, interior design and consumer research projects. Pupils also enter National and European competitions in Consumer and Health related topics. The practical element of this course makes it very rewarding and enjoyable.

Senior Cycle Home Economics also includes both practical work and theory. The new course is focussed on up-to-date nutritional guidelines and food technology. Pupils may also undertake individual projects on topics such as Social Science, Fashion - Textiles and Interior Design.



In Art, students experiment with drawing, printing and clay modelling. Clay modelling provides students with an opportunity to design and produce an attractive product and makes them aware of the marketing potential of their creative ability.

Leaving Certificate students visit the National Gallery and National Museum in Dublin.


Music and Drama

Music and Drama play an important part in school life at St. Joseph's. Lessons in piano, flute and voice can be arranged for Leaving and Junior Certificate students.

Our choir comes together for school functions and has performed at Christmas and Easter in the Parish Church.

The choir is accompanied by students of the school on keyboard, organ, flute and violin.


St. Joseph's Musical and Dramatic Society has staged the musicals Oliver, The Sound of Music, Annie and A Christmas Carol with great success. Participation in these productions has allowed students to learn about and make use of the stage, lighting and sound facilities available in the school.

Parents' Association

The school has an active and very supportive Parents' Association. It organises an annual flag-day and has held a number of very successful concerts - "Memorable Melodies" - involving students of St. Joseph's and the Kerry Choral Union. The funds raised have helped the school to up-grade computer facilities and to purchase other educational resources. The work and help of parents and the support of the local community is greatly appreciated.

Click here to view our school page on St. Joseph's Secondary School.