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Loughries Primary School, Newtownards

The History

Loughries Integrated Primary School enjoys a pleasant rural setting just 3 miles from Newtownards, close to the shores of Strangford Lough. The current enrolment for September 2021 is 95. Our present pupils come from a wide area encompassing Newtownards, Bangor and the Ards Peninsula. The parents appreciate the wrap around care which is available from 8:15am to 6pm Monday to Friday.

The school was originally established in 1842 and is now the oldest school in Newtownards. In recent years the facilities have been greatly improved and extended with four spacious classrooms, each equipped with an interactive whiteboard, a small hall which is used for Breakfast Club, dinners and assemblies, a computer suite/staffroom and two offices. There are two playgrounds and a large grass area for the children to play on. The school also enjoys the use of larger spaces within our community which are made available by Ballyblack Presbyterian Church and Ards Evangelical Church. These facilities are used for our annual Fireworks Display, Special Assemblies, Nativity, KS2 Show, P7 Leavers Assembly and PE.


In 2013 the campaign for the transformation was largely driven by parents and supported by the Board of Governors.

The Board of Governors held a meeting on Monday 19th August 2013, where it passed a resolution to hold a ballot to allow parents to vote on the proposal to change the status of Loughries Primary School to controlled integrated.

92.7% of parents voted in favour of the governors proceeding with a development proposal for transformation to integrated status. This clearly demonstrated an enthusiasm for integration throughout the parent body.

At a full meeting of the Board of Governors held on Monday 3rd February 2014, the result of the ballot was received and it was unanimously agreed that the school proceed to Development Proposal stage. During a meeting held on Monday 3rd March 2014 with Board of Governors, and representatives from the teaching staff, SEELB and NICIE, it was decided that a Steering Committee comprising of two parents, two members of staff and two Board of Governors would be set up.

The Steering Group commenced and supported the Board of Governors and staff through the process of seeking transformed integrated status. In February 2016 this group changed its name to Transformation Action Group.

On Friday 30th September 2016, we had our official opening. Special guests were Mr Peter Weir, the Education Minister and the actress, Olivia Nash MBE, who is a great supporter of Integrated Education. There were speeches, poetry and singing from the children, and Mr Weir and Olivia Nash cut the celebration cake and the ribbon around the plaque.

In March 2017 the whole school celebrated Integration Month by creating two mosaics. One mosaic is based on the story of the Rainbow Fish and displays the message, “We may all be different, but in this school, we all swim together.” The second mosaic is based on the story of Elmer and displays the message, “We celebrate difference, we’re all unique.”

In June 2017 the school held a Summer Fair to celebrate our first year as an Integrated School.

In September 2021 the school celebrated our 5th year as an Integrated School.

Loughries continues to be highly regarded as a provider of quality education for over 179 years. It is a school for everyone where we Learn, Integrate, Participate, Succeed.

Now that the school has transformed, the work of the Transformation Action Group has now been passed to the Governors and a Marketing group has evolved from this group.

Loughries has a Teaching Principal, 2 full time teaching staff and 3 part-time teaching staff. In addition, there are 10 support staff employed at the school which includes, the Secretary, Building Supervisor, nine classroom assistants and two lunch-time supervisors.

The school wishes to acknowledge the support from the Department of Education through the Business Case grants, The IEF Grants and NICIE Training.