st Joseph's School History
St. Joseph’s Primary School was established in 1861 by Father O’Connell, who along with the school's first teacher, Miss Phelan, provided Catholic Education for 25 students in a small school complex on the corner of Henty Street and Church Street in Coleraine. In the school's formative years, St Joseph's closed and reopened many times due to a shortage of pupils and teachers.
In 1924, the Sisters of St. Joseph were approached to govern the school. Upon taking over the administration, the Sisters and local clergy were thrilled to open the doors to 99 pupils enrolled that year.
By 1934, the Church Street school building was in a state of disrepair and so a new school consisting of two classrooms was opened on Read Street, behind the Catholic Church.
It wasn't until 1975 that the school saw further construction works, with a prefabricated school complex of two new classrooms, a staffroom and an administration office erected, next to the old school building. An another classroom was later added in 1978.
After many years of faithful service, The Sisters of St. Joseph eventually left Coleraine and the governance of the school was handed over to the Sisters of Mercy Order in 1984, who went on to teach at St. Joseph’s until the first Lay Principal, Mr Phillip Johnston, was appointed in 1987.
In 2002 the school received a Commonwealth Capital Grant, for the refurbishment classrooms and construction of new toilets and administration area. The grant also allowed for significant upgrades to the original Read Street school building which now functioned as a community hall.
In 2014, structural issues under the school building led to the classrooms and library being demolished, and a modular complex erected in its place. In late 2015, St. Joseph's School was officially blessed and opened by Bishop Paul Bird CSSR, who welcomed a large gathering of past and present students, families, teachers and administrators in celebrating the occasion.
Today, St. Joseph's School, Coleraine stands as a contemporary example of 21st Century learning with two large classrooms, a conference room, administration offices, media room, open learning hub and platform decking. The school continues to provide quality Catholic education for the children and families of Coleraine and the surrounding district.