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Principal's Welcome


Welcome to Rathfriland High School’s website. The school, which was founded in 1961, delivers high quality education in a caring and supportive environment. Located at the heart of the community, we welcome pupils of all abilities and have a proven record of delivering academic outcomes consistently above the N. Ireland average, together with excellent pastoral care, in a family-like atmosphere.

The school prides itself on being ‘Big Enough to Deliver, Small Enough to Care’. This means we are able to offer a diverse curriculum of over 30 subjects at GCSE or equivalent level. We are proud of our pupils’ achievements in public examinations, performing on average 13% higher than the N. Ireland average over the period 2016-2019 (Prior to alternative awarding arrangements due to Covid 19). The school also achieved exceptional GCSE examination results in 2022, with 81.4% of pupils achieving 5 or more GCSE or equivalent grades at A*-C. This maintains our status as a top flight non selective school with GCSE results among the best for schools of our type.

Although our enrolment has grown significantly in recent years to our current 366 pupils, our size ensures your child will quickly become known to our dedicated staff and they will receive first class pastoral care from subject teachers, form tutors, year tutors and senior staff. They will also have access to a wide range of extra-curricular activities from football, hockey, athletics and cross country to crouchet club, Scripture Union, choir and our equestrian club. There is truly something for everyone and pupils are encouraged to participate in order to broaden their skills, make new friends and develop as individuals.

Our mission statement highlights the pursuit of excellence in our learning and teaching, but recognises the importance of values, attitudes and beliefs in reaching this goal. These are instilled through forming close partnerships with our parents and setting high expectations for engagement, conduct, respect and tolerance. This ensures a safe and orderly environment, which fosters academic and personal development.

Rathfriland High School is a community in which staff, pupils, parents and governors work together to enable each child to realise their potential. In 2015 our provision was quality assured by the Education and Training Inspectorate and was assessed as ‘Very Good’.

I hope our website is useful in providing you with further information about our school. Please view our ‘Interactive Virtual Tour’, which can be found on our homepage. Alternatively, please feel free to contact me at the school to obtain further information.

Kind regards,

I Matthews