The Sharing Education Programme (11) 2010-13

SEP 2 was a £3.6 million, three year programme which aimed to promote reconciliation by facilitating collaboration and sharing between schools across Northern Ireland. The programme was funded by the International Fund for Ireland and Atlantic Philanthropies and was managed by Queen’s University.

Through SEP 11 our partnership established a wide range of curricular and extra-curricular shared projects in the areas of:

  • Key stage 3 LLW
  • Key Stage 2, 3 and 4 Music
  • Key Stage 2, 3 and 4 Drama
  • Key Stage 4 History
  • Key Stage 3 and 4 Science
  • Key Stage 2 and 3 Spanish
  • Key Stage 2, 3 and 4 PE/Sports including a Joint Rugby Team
  • Key Stage 3 Art and Design
  • A joint Duke of Edinburgh Programme
  • A Sound Start Musical Instrument Tuition Programme

PACT: 2014-2016

PACT funding enabled our school to strengthen and further develop links with two of our partner primary schools (St Peter’s PS and Bessbrook PS) which were initiated through SEP 11. Through the funding made available to us from PACT we developed the Best Ball Buddy Project

Best Ball Buddy

St Paul’s High School Bessbrook officially launched this new cross community primary school sports project known as Best Ball in 2014. The programme is a cross community sports initiative aimed around the concept of team-work, mutual respect and cultural appreciation. Through this initiative P7 pupils from Cloughreagh and Bessbrook Primary schools are coached on a weekly basis in a modified form of Olympic Handball by staff from the PE Department of St Paul’s HS Bessbrook. The pupils from both schools meet regularly to play together and also to compete in competitions and mini festivals where they get to show off the skills they have learned over the course of the programme as well as to build friendships with the boys and girls from their neighbouring school.

FUTURE FOUNDATIONS PROJECT – (October 2011 to October 2013)

Future Foundations was a Southern Partnership PEACE III Programme delivered by Armagh City and District Council across the local council areas of Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon and Newry and Mourne. The overall aim of PEACE III was to reinforce progress towards a peaceful and stable society and promote reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland. The programme was supported by the EU’s PEACE III Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body and delivered by the Southern Partnership.

St Paul’s History Department Shared Future Foundations Project with Newtownhamilton High School.

The History departments from both schools completed a successful application to become part of the Peace III project. In their shared project they highlighted their concern that pupils from the two schools whilst coming from different religious backgrounds, shared in common the fact that they from a rural border area, on the periphery of the social and political heart of Northern Ireland.
The Battle of the Somme was a key focus of the first part of the project. They hoped to show the significance of the battle as part of the European theatre in WW1. They also explored the huge importance the Somme had to the Unionist Tradition in Northern Ireland and hoped to challenge the perception that the Somme was “owned” by one community. Whilst classroom based tasks were conducted separately, the complete Year10 from NHS and two classes from St Paul’s Year 10 met for an icebreaker afternoon, where small mixed group had to script and act out humorous sketches. In late November the school visited the Somme Heritage Centre in Newtownards together. This served to reinforce the class based learning, but more significantly was an opportunity to two groups to mix socially, if only for a limited time.
In the spring term their project moved on to the Easter Rising of 1916. Again the hope here was to broaden the pupils understanding of the event and to give an insight to why it has been an important event in Irish History. In addition to class based tasks, the two groups had a visit to Dublin, which incorporated tours of Kilmainham jail, Arbour Hill and the World War One Memorial at Islandbridge.
The teachers of St Pauls & NTH HS felt that many aspects of the project were very successful. At an educator level, they established a very strong connection between the two departments. This has led to on-going sharing of resources and mutual support on issue such as exams. In both schools the History teachers are committed to growing theses links which they feel can only serve to enhance learning and teaching across both schools.

Newry and Mourne Area Learning Community – Western Campus

The four post-primary partner schools of St Paul’s, St Joseph’s, Newtownhamilton and Newry High School together form the “Western Campus” of the Newry and Mourne Area Learning Community. The schools work very closely to ensure that all students from the area can access a broad and balanced curriculum.
The current shared curricular offer between the four PEACE schools includes:


  • GCSE Drama
  • GCSE Agriculture
  • GCSE Psychology
  • Btec Children’s Play, Learning and Development
  • Btec First Sport
  • Btec Engineering
  • Btec Media


  • A Level Biology
  • A level Physics
  • A Level Psychology
  • A Level Travel and Tourism
  • A Level History
  • A Level Music
  • A Level Maths
  • A Level Irish
  • Btec Engineering
  • Btec Construction

SEP Booklet