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 Parents and guardians- have a look at for some great "at home "activities which will help your child with Maths, reading, speaking and writing. Its easy to use and has sections for pupils of all ages. Also try:  and for fun games and apps to aid learning.







Mission Statement:

Our school is a co-educational, Catholic primary school which strives to provide a well-ordered, caring, happy and secure atmosphere where the intellectual, spiritual, physical, moral and cultural needs of the pupils are identified and addressed.

While ours is a school with a Catholic ethos, it also has due recognition for all other religions.

Our school will strive to promote both individually and collectively, the professional and personal development of teachers through staff development programmes.

Our school will encourage the involvement of parents through home/school contacts and through their involvement in the Borris in Ossory  Parents Association.

Our school will endeavour to enhance the self-esteem of everyone in the school community, to imbue in the pupils respect for people and property and to encourage in them the idea of being responsible.

Our school will promote gender equality amongst the staff and pupils.

Deanfaimid  iarracht  Gaeilge a labhairt. 



Principals Address:
The school in its present location consists of 4 classroom teachers, 1 learning support and 1 resource teacher. There is also 1 S.N.A. and 1 secretary.  The enrolment is 102 children, both boys and girls.
The school has the support of a very proactive Parents Association who run a book rental scheme, serve on school committees, fundraise and assist with school activities. There are also very active G.A.A. clubs, which cater for boys and girls. These assist the school by providing equipment, coaching and funding.
In addition to the core curriculum subjects there are many activities, which enhance the school life. These include quizzes, competitions, and various sports like hurling, football camogie, chess and draughts. The school is very active with its Green Theme, having secured 4 green flags to date.
The dedicated staff and support structures that are in place will ensure that the children in our care will get the best opportunities to develop to their full potential.
Ni neart go cur le cheile.

Kevin Horgan. Principal.



  Our poetry display:









The History of Our School.


When the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, Catherine McAuley, began her mission in 1831, education in all its forms was a very important part of her foundation. She saw education as the path to a life of dignity and empowerment. As the Congregation grew rapidly, so too came the evolvement of schools all over the country and Mercy education flourished over the three centuries. Borris-in-Ossory became one of those centres of education for almost one hundred and forty years.

In 1873, a community of four Sisters of Mercy from Alton Towers, in Manchester were invited by the parish priest to take up residence in Borris-in-Ossory and established a primary school for the education of girls in the area. A legacy of education by the Sisters of Mercy begun on 11 February 1873 has continued into the 21st century, 137 years later.


The Sisters of Mercy over the years taught in classrooms within the Convent building. In 1965 a new school was built to provide a modern and up to date facility of its time for the Sisters, future lay-staff and students. This school, together with its extensions, is at present the main centre of education. On September 1 1969, the local boys’ school amalgamated with the Convent of Mercy Primary School. The Convent School then became a mixed gender school.


From 1963 to 1991 the Sisters of Mercy, extended their education of the young to A large number of boys and girls at second level from the wider catchement area of Borris-in-Ossory. The Sisters responded to and embraced the second level educational needs of the 1960’s right through to the early 1990’s.


Mercy Education in Borris-in-Ossory met the needs of the area both Primary and Secondary right down through the three centuries. Mercy education was an important means of social transformation, and empowerment for the future. Mercy education was firmly rooted in a strong sense of values that clearly had a positive effect on its young people, enabling them to reach their full potential and giving them a sense of belonging in a changing world. Mercy education owes its proud history to the commitment and dedication of its staff both lay and religious over many years.

Sisters of Mercy, for the most part, held the Trusteeship of their schools. In 2002, a national task group comprising of all the partners in education was set up to formulate and implement the smooth transfer of the Trusteeship of Primary Schools to each diocese. In September 2010, transfer of the Trusteeship of the Convent Primary School Borris-in-Ossory went to the Diocese of Ossory, and is now under the patronage of the Bishop of Ossory.


The 21st century has brought many changes to all aspects of society, so, too in education.

Education progresses into the 21st century with that long lasting commitment to the provision of education in a student-centered learning environment where the Christian values of respect, trust, justice, dignity and self-worth are an integral part of the school ethos.

In order to achieve such levels, the Department of Education and Skills committed itself to providing places of education where effective teaching and learning could be achieved to the highest standards.

In the light of these principles, the area of Borris-in-Ossory, in conjunction with the Laois Development Plan, is one of those centres of education where the Department of Education saw fit to put in place the upgrading of its present buildings.

Sr. Moira Bergin
Chairperson, Board of Management.

A section of the old Convent of Mercy building.
A section of the spacious new playground yard.


P.E. time in the school hall.

Parents' Association of our school.

The Board of Management established a Parents Association in Borris-in-Ossory in 1995. Since their establishment, the Parents Association, as one of the partners in education, have been an invaluable asset to progress and development in the education of the young people of Borris-in-Ossory.

The Parents Association, at all times, have had good communication with parents, the school and the Board of Management. They have seriously taken on board the concerns and issues of parents by presenting them to the principal, the teaching staff and the Board of Management.
Many of our school activities, such as Santa's yearly visit and our swimming lessons every Spring and Summer would not be possible without the fundraising efforts of our fantastic parents' association.

The activities of the Parents Association include:

The new Parents Association committee for 2013-2014 
 Chairperson: Pat Kirby

Vice Chairperson: Cathal O'Donnell

Secretary: Gráinne Foyle

Vice Secretary: Rhoda Brogan

Treasurer: Mary Sheeran

Vice Treasurer: Ray Fox

PRO: Sheila Ryan

Committee: Ann Barry, Tony Doran, John Brogan


 30th May 2012 concert, Abbey Hall, Roscrea.

Reading and Maths activities

Shared Reading

Shared Reading takes place in the school twice yearly. Our learning support teacher, Mrs Culliton, organises this and gives everyone taking part a reading partner. This takes place for 30 minutes each day where an older child is given an opportunity to read with a younger child using the Shared Reading Technique. This is a highly effective programme and research has shown that it improves the reading ability and self-esteem of both the younger and older reader. It tends to be a very enjoyable experience where pupils develop more positive attitudes towards reading.


Book Fair

An annual Book Fair takes place in the school. Mrs. Culliton also organises this every year and all classes get to go to the book fair a few times over the week.This is a reading event and books can also be purchased by parents and children. The school appreciates both parents and childrens continued support as the school earns 60% commission for each book sold in free books for each classroom.


Paired Maths Programme

First and Second class have been chosen to participate in a Paired Maths Programme. It was  run in late January. Paired Maths involves each child bringing home a Maths game to play every week. Most of the games are number based involving counting forwards/backwards ,addition or subtraction .Research shows that the enjoyment and success of the games can foster positive attitudes to Maths .They also encourage turn-taking, co-operation and other social skills. Fifth and 6th class all  worked daily for one week  with the younger students helping them with maths games.


Our School Staff

Principal: Kevin Horgan
Deputy Principal: Kathryn Bergin
Aileen Culliton, (Learning Support teacher)
Linda Dunne,
Margaret O Leary,

Theresa Gardiner, (shared resource teacher)


Special Needs Assistant: Mary Delaney.

Secretary: Pauline Gardiner.

Caretaker: Jack Fahey.

Board of Management Members (2011-2015):

Ann Barry,

Sr. Moira Bergin,(Chairperson)

Kathryn Bergin,

Martin Butler,

Tony Doran,

Kevin Horgan,

Patsy King,

Rev. Fr. Jackie Robinson, PP





St. Joseph's National School
Borris in Ossory,
Co. Laois.
Phone: 0505 41331

I.T. Co-ordinator: Kathryn Bergin


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