St Patrick's High School, Keady

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Coordinates: 54°20′53″N 6°39′40″W / 54.348°N 6.661°W / 54.348; -6.661

St Patrick's High School, Keady
Motto Signum Fidei (Sign of Faith)
Religion Catholic
Principal Ms Pat. McGukian
Chairman Mr B. Hughes
Location Middletown Road
Co. Armagh
BT60 3TH
Northern Ireland
Staff 70
Students 1015 (approx)
Gender Male and Female
Ages 11–18
Colours Maroon and Blue

St Patrick's High School is a Roman Catholic non-selective, all-ability, co-educational secondary school situated in Keady, outside Armagh City.[1]


The school was founded in 1970 by the De La Salle Brothers to educate pupils from Derrynoose, Keady, Madden, Ballymacnab, Granemore, Clady and Middletown. St Patrick's now also has students from Armagh and Monaghan. Upon opening the school had 450 pupils and 22 teachers which has now grown to an enrolment of 1015 pupils, which includes 240 Sixth Form pupils, and 70 teachers.

In September 1999, St. Patrick's moved into a new purpose-built school with facilities including a 500 square metre sports hall, assembly hall, drama studio, lecture theatre, and oratory. The school has since been further enhanced with the completion of the Keady Recreation Centre. As part of this innovative ‘Dual Use Scheme’ with Armagh City and District Council, the school now has a synthetic pitch with floodlighting, a pavilion with a meeting room, a grass pitch and a two floor fitness suite. The latest addition to the school was a sixth-form study centre.

The school has been acknowledged as one of the top non-selective secondary schools in Northern Ireland for many years.

  • In 2013, at GCSE level the number of pupils who achieved 5 GCSEs at Grades A*-C was 26% above the NI average (St Patrick’s HS=86% / NI Average=58.9%) with the number of pupils achieving 5 GCSEs at Grades A*-C including maths and English was 36% above the NI average (St Patrick’s HS=70% / NI Average=

33.9%). At A Level, the number of pupils who achieved 3 A Levels at Grades A*- C was 20% above the NI average.[2]

  • In 2014, the school was named the top non-grammar school in Northern Ireland. At GCSE level the number of pupils who achieved 5 GCSEs at Grades A*-C was 92.9%. The number of pupils achieving 5 GCSEs at Grades A*-C including maths and English was 80%.


The first principal of the school was Brother Gerard Deegan who led the school for nine years. His successor was Brother Francis Manning, principal from 1979-1980.

Mr Patrick McAleavey became principal in 1980, and was in the role until September 2010 when he retired.[3] Having been a teacher in the school for ten years previously, Mr McAleavey was part of the school for a total of forty years. He was integral to promoting the school to one of the top five non-grammar secondary schools in Northern Ireland.[4]

The current principal is Ms Pat McGuckian. She was appointed as new principal in April 2011. Ms McGuckian was previously the vice-principal of St Malachy's College, in Belfast.

Leadership Team[edit]

  • Principal - Ms Pat McGuckian
  • Vice Principal - Mr Paul Lavery
  • Assistant Principals - Mr Charles McConville and Mrs Kelley McKenna
  • Senior Teacher in Charge of Sixth Form - Mrs Teresa Carragher
  • Senior Teacher in Charge of Year 12 - Miss Aine Jordan
  • Senior Teacher in Charge of Year 11 - Mrs O'Neill
  • Senior Teacher in Charge of Year 10 - Mrs B Finn
  • Senior Teacher in Charge of Year 9 - Mrs Anne O'Hea
  • Senior Teacher in Charge of Year 8 - Mrs Grainne O'Connor


Key Stage 3[edit]

Students at Key Stage 3 in St Patrick's are offered the following subjects in line with the Northern Ireland curriculum: English, Maths, Science, Religion, Geography, History, Irish, French, Spanish, Technology and Design, Art and Design, Physical Education (P.E.), I.C.T., Music, Drama, Home Economics, Citizenship and Employability, Careers Awareness and Personal Health and Social Education (PHSE).

Key Stage 4[edit]

At GCSE level, all pupils must study the core subjects of English Language, Mathematics, Science and Religious Education. Pupils may then choose from a number of subjects including: Double/Single Award Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics), English Literature, French, Irish, History, Geography, Home Economics, Music, Art and Design, Physical Education (P.E.), I.C.T., Technology and Design, Economics, Business Studies, Motor Vehicle and Road User Studies (M.V.R.U.S.), Learning for Work and Life (LLW), Child Development, Construction, and Occupational Studies (VEP), Moving Image Arts.

Sixth Form[edit]

At A-level, St Patrick's offers many of the subjects at Key Stage 4 alongside; Applied Business Studies, Double Award Applied Business Studies, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Travel and Tourism, Moving Image Art, Economics, Key Skills (Communication, Application of Number and I.C.T) and Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (C.O.P.E). Students may choose three or four A-Level and/or AS courses.


St Patrick's has been active in the sporting field with all sports and from all age ranges, including;

  • Football
  • Athletics
  • Gaelic Games - Gaelic, Hurling and Camogie
  • Golf
  • Netball
  • Swimming
  • Basketball

Sporting Achievements include:

  • Ulster Senior Hurling Champions in 2011/2012, 2007/2008, 2005/2006 (Casement Cup)
  • Ulster Senior Camogie Champions in 2011/2012
  • All-Stars in camogie, hurling and athletics
  • Under 14 camogie finalists in 2010/2011
  • Third place in Cross Country in Ulster in 2012
  • Year 8 Gaelic Football winners in 2010/2011 (McQuillan Cup)
  • Irish News, sporting school of the year in 2010
  • U14 Gaelic and U14 Camogie Teams were crowned "TEAM OF THE YEAR" of Armagh
  • Ulster Year 9 Gaelic football winners in 2010/2011 (Corn Colmcille Cup)[citation needed]


External links[edit]