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St Columba's Primary School, Newbuildings Derry

About Our School


The happiness of the children is paramount in the community of St Columba’s PS and we aim to create a positive, safe and nurturing environment in which our children can learn, work and play together. All staff in collaboration with parents have high expectations of the children in both their academic achievement and their personal, social and emotional health and well-being.  We promote a child centred approach and pride ourselves in knowing each child individually thus encouraging their personal growth and development.  The whole school community and its stakeholders endeavour to treat each other fairly and with respect and apply this policy consistently for all children in the school to ensure everyone achieves their full potential.



St. Columba’s P.S. is a Catholic school established to serve the surrounding areas of Prehen and Newbuildings within the Glendermott Parish. The school is situated at the edge of the village of Newbuildings on the Donemana Road and approximately four miles from Derry.  We welcome families from a range of religious and cultural backgrounds and ensure all children regardless of their beliefs benefit from our warm welcoming ethos and high quality learning and teaching experiences.  St Columba’s replaced Rossnagalliagh P.S which, up until 1955 catered for all denominations within the area. At this point, Newbuildings Controlled P.S. was established and Rossnagalliagh became a majority Catholic school, which then led to the creation of St Columba's PS on our site as it is today.


St Columba’s is a co-educational school which educates pupils between the age of four and eleven. We have three composite classes comprising of 68 children in total. As a result of the small school community we can provide a lot of one to one support and we pride ourselves on catering for the individual child.

A Family School
St Columba’s remains a small family orientated school where all pupils are known individually by all members of staff thus promoting confidence and self-esteem. We put a very strong emphasis on the three-way partnership between home, school and our wider parish community. Regular contact between parents and the school is encouraged and a very active Parents’ Association continues to support the school through a variety of community-based events throughout the year.

A Community School
Our school Chaplain Fr Canny, plays an important role in the life of the school and in the preparation of the pupils for the Sacraments. All of our pupils regularly take part in services at our local church, St Mary’s Oratory. We also are involved in local community events such as the carol service in the local Independent Methodist Church, Singing for the older residents at Edgewater Care Home and the Lunch club in the community centre.  We have very strong community links with Newbuildings PS through our shared education partnership. The social development of our pupils, both in and out of school,is extremely important. Through attending school within their community they can maintain strong links with their school friends outside school hours, at play, birthday parties etc. Such interaction encourages within the pupils, a sense of community.

An Achieving School
St Columba’s, with the dedicated commitment of our staff, and the excellent support of our parents, continues to maintain a very high standard of education. Provision is made for children of all levels of ability. Where needs are identified, support is provided and challenges met. As a result, we have had extremely high levels of achievement in the End of Key Stage Assessments. Many of our pupils choose to sit the transfer tests and attend special afterschool clubs which prepare them for this.  However within class time all children whether wishing to engage with the transfer test or not are taught to a very high standard and all children are very well prepared for the transition from primary to second level education. We regularly receive commendations about the children on their excellent attitude and performance from the post-primary schools who lucky to enrol our children.  In addition, we also had a fantastic Inspection Report from E.T.I. in January 2014 and our pastoral care was considered very good during a subsequent inspection in May 2019 in which ETI concluded the school continues to demonstrate a good level of capacity for sustained improvement. 

We pride ourselves on our achievements in extra provision as well with children engaging with violin tuition from EA music teachers, taking part in a range of sports including football, swimming and GAA. We feel that all our pupils should be provided with opportunities to display their many talents to a wider audience, and participation in relevant competitions has resulted in a high level of success, further enhancing self-esteem of the pupils and adding to thesense of achievement for the whole school community. 



  • To continue promoting the strong pastoral ethos of the school built upon the Christian values of truth, honesty, respect and tolerance;
  • To maintain high standards in delivery of the curriculum and pupil achievement;
  • To maintain the positive, caring environment, which is a noted strength of the school, through continued partnership of home, school and parish;
  • To ensure that the school continues to meet the requirements brought about by rapid changes in technology and the needs of the children;
  • To ensure the continued professional development of staff in order to maintain high standards of classroom teaching and subject knowledge;
  • To incorporate curricular changes and initiatives in whole school development;
  • To maintain an attractive, learning environment for pupils;
  • To ensure continuing improvements in security, maintenance and resourcing of the premises;
  • To ensure we continue to develop and improve the provision of curricular resources.
  • To ensure our school continues to grow from strength to strength achieving the best outcomes possible for our pupils.