History of Primary Education in Barntown
Our new school is situated in Barntown just off the N25. The school serves the community of Barntown parish which encompasses the suburbs of Wexford town. It is a state of the art primary school with 16 classrooms, hall, library, learning support rooms, administrative offices and outdoor facilities which include yards, basketball court and a playing pitch with dedicated parking in the adjoining church carpark.
There are currently 271 pupils in the school with a full time staff of 17 teachers and 6 SNAs. The school has ten mainstream classes and two ASD classes which cater for the needs of pupils on the autistic spectrum. The school has an administrative principal, a school secretary and caretaker. Construction work on the school commenced on the 8th March 2014 and we moved into the school on the 8th January 2015.We have just celebrated our first birthday. It is the fourth primary school in the parish since 1819.
The first parish school was established in 1819 close to the chapel in Ballygoman. It was a single room built from lime and stone which catered for 100 children both girls and boys. The building was financed through donations from Mr. Robert Shapland Carew M.P. and Mr. Caesar Colclough M.P.
By 1868 there was a need for a new building and so construction began on a two roomed school on a site close to the current church. It was completed in 1871 at a cost of £225. This building was to remain in use as a school until 1953 when it became the parish hall. It was finally demolished in 1989.
By the early 1950s this building was in a state of poor repair and an extra classroom was needed to cater for pupil numbers so it was decided to build a brand new school on a green field site beside the Wexford to New Ross road. This new school followed a design that had been developed by the OPW based on the work of an architect called Boyd Barrett. It was officially opened on Monday 20th September 1954. The school was built to cater for one hundred pupils - there were three classrooms, two cloakrooms, a teacher’s room and every possible modern convenience of the time. Almost immediately the school proved to be too small and a fourth classroom had to be added.
By 1978 there were 163 pupils and five teachers in the school. Once again the school building had become inadequate for the needs of the community. Plans were drawn up for an extension to include five new classrooms and a GP hall. The extension was completed and opened in 1980. Much to the joy of the pupils the summer holidays were extended by three weeks to allow the building work to be completed. Pupil numbers in the school continued to grow and prefabs were used to provide additional accommodation.
Finally in 2015 our super new building was completed and the old Boyd Barrett school with its 1980s extension and prefabs were demolished to make way for our new playing pitch and walking track. Another new chapter in the history of Barntown school began with the official opening of our new school by Minister Brendan Howlin and its blessing by Bishop Denis Brennan on 18th December 2015.
"Scoil Mhuire, Barntown is a Catholic, co-educational primary school under the patronage of the Bishop of Ferns, catering for pupils from Junior Infants to 6th class. We are committed to providing a quality education that celebrates diversity and challenges all members of our school community to develop and share their gifts in a supportive and stimulating environment. We cherish the varied backgrounds, cultures and religions of our pupils."
- PRINCIPAL - Ms Louisa O'Brien