School Facilities

School Facilities

The Mary Carroll Library

Founded in 1954 by Miss Mary Carroll, the School Library serves the students and Staff.  It houses well over 10,000 books and is equipped with tape recorders, cassettes, headphones and a projector. Over the years, Miss Carroll worked out a scheme of training a team of Desk Librarians and this system, under the direction and with the assistance of the present Librarian, is still in operation today.  The students gain very valuable experience in dealing with queries and handling books.

The Library is open to all students and Staff.  Most of the stock can be borrowed for home use but dictionaries, encyclopaedia and  out-of-print books may not be taken out.  A book may be borrowed for a fortnight and may be renewed on request if no one else has asked for it.  Books can be reserved on request as in the public libraries.  There is no fee required for joining the school Library.

Library News
Our new computerised system has been purchased and we have already uploaded over two thousand books onto the system! We hope to have all our fiction books uploaded by the end of the school year. Once all the fiction books have been uploaded we can begin using the new system to check out books. This means that students can also search our catalogue and renew books from home.

Library Opening Hours
A reminder that the library is open Monday to Friday at lunchtime, 1.00–1.40.

Library Notice Board
Keep an eye on the library noticeboard for details of writing competitions and library events!

Library Readathon
Following the success of our readathon last year we ran another one before the Christmas Holidays. Once again this year, the winning student was presented with a hamper of goodies. The hamper was on display in the library and sponsorship cards were collected from the library at lunchtime. All were invited to participate!

The Music Room

The Music Room  was established in 2001. All Music classes take place in the Music Room. The resources include a piano, keyboard, a C.D. player, percussion instruments and a stave-lined blackboard.  There is also a computer here with dedicated music software on it.  Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate Examinations are held in the Music Room.

The Science Laboratories

There are two fully equipped Science Laboratories.  One Laboratory is housed in the main redbrick building on the first floor and is used mainly as the Senior Chemistry and Biology Laboratory.  The second Laboratory is housed in a separate unit on the ground floor of the school and is used mainly as the senior Physics Laboratory.  Both of these Laboratories are used for the Junior Cycle Science Course as well.  The labs also have digital projectors  and computers.

The Geography Room

Every geography class is timetabled for at least one period of study in this room.  Various facilities for the Geography students are located there – a computer, T.V. and video, wall charts and maps, rock displays, overhead projector, ordnance survey maps and aerial photographs, weather instruments, dvds and various sets of textbooks.  There is a digital projector which teachers can connect to their laptops and display to the class.

The Computer Room

A Computer Room first made its appearance in St. Mary’s in 1980 when a team of students, under the guidance of Ms. Marie Mulvahill, won a prize consisting of the loan of a microcomputer from Memory Ireland Ltd.  In 1981, the Department of Education donated an Apple11 as part of a nationwide scheme.  This, and a latter Apple 11 and Applelle addition, became the nucleus of the Computer Studies Department.  In 1984, four Sinclair Spectrums (48K) and a BBC Model B (32K) were added.  Towards the end of the 1987-1988 school year, the facility was substantially upgraded with the installation of a sixteen station Acorn Archimedes network.  The facility cost £25,000 to install and was the subject of energetic fund-raising efforts, chief among which was an official opening by the then Minister for Labour, Mr. Bertie Ahern T.D. in November 1989.

The Computer Room was refurbished in 2004.  It currently contains 30 computers, 2 printers and a digital projector.  Internet access is available.  The computer club is open for all students at lunchtime, three days a week.

The Art Room

The Art Room is located outside the main red brick building.  It was built approximately 15 years ago.  Classes are timetabled for its use and generally, all Art students use the Art Room for their practical classes.

There are many and varied facilities in the Art Room such as a computer, a projector and screen, a T.V. with a DVD player and video, sinks, presses containing Art materials, large tables, blackboard, a large electric kiln, an electric wheel and a manual wheel for throwing clay.

The Kiln Room is located beside the entrance to the Gym and it holds a front-loader kiln and a test kiln for ceramic projects.


The Gym is located outside the main red brick building.  It is called the Sr. Maria Monica Sports Complex in honour of a previous Principal, Sr. Maria Monica O’Connor.  The money for the Gym was raised through fund-raising, including the efforts of Past Pupils and contributions from the Congregation of the Holy Faith.

Classes are timetabled to go to the Gym.  There are varied and many sporting facilities in the Gym such as trampolines, a table tennis table, heavy duty mats, storage chests, basketballs, badminton racquets, shuttles and nets, soccer balls, volleyballs, Uni-hoc sticks and pucs, Olympic handballs, bibs, gymnastic boxes, horses and facilities.  The indoor gymnasium comprises of a basketball court, four badminton courts, four practice basketball rings, one storeroom, one reception area, one changing room, two toilets and four showers.  The Gym is also equipped with a computer.

St. Mary’s Hall

St. Mary’s Hall is connected to the main red brick building by a glass passage.  It was at one time also used by the private Junior School, which was located above the present Hall.  At present, St.Mary’s Hall is used for year assemblies, subject assemblies’ e.g. sixth year students with their Irish Teachers prior to the Oral Irish Examinations for the Leaving Certificate Examinations, Certificate Examination Centre and an in-house school examinations centre at Christmas time and at summer time.  It is also used as a Reception Area for ‘Open Night’, for displays of students’ work as at the end of year celebrations for Transition Year and also as a venue for school plays / musicals / fashion shows.

Learning Support Room

This is located beside the Boardroom and Prayer Room on the second return landing on the back stairs.  It was established in the summer of 2006 and is used by the Learning Support Team with their students.  The room can accommodate small groups of students, thus enabling individual or small group tuition.


The boardroom is used for meetings, which are held in the school e.g. meetings of Steering Committees and Task Groups.  It is also used for Interviews.

Interactive Whiteboard Room

An interactive whiteboard (IWB) is a large, touch-sensitive panel that connects to a digital projector and a computer, displaying the information on the computer screen. It resembles a traditional whiteboard and is used similarly. The computer connected to the interactive whiteboard can be controlled by touching the board directly or by using a special pen. Such actions (inputs) are transmitted to the computer instead of using a mouse or keyboard.  Training has been provided for all members of Staff in the use of the Interactive Whiteboard Room.

Interactive whiteboards are at the cutting edge of educational technology and they can enhance the learning experience in a number of ways.  They allow pupils to engage and interact with the technology to become active participants in learning. Pupils with special needs can particularly benefit from the presentation of multimedia content on a large screen as it can aid in both information processing and retention.

The IWB is used in a number of different ways:

  • Allows presentation of student work in a more interactive and collaborative model
  • Show video clips that explain difficult concepts (in any curricular area)
  • Demonstrate how an educational software program works, e.g., an art program with students using their fingers and hands to draw rather than working with a mouse
  • Cater more effectively for visually impaired students and other students with special needs
  • Display Internet resources in a teacher-directed manner
  • Create handwritten drawings, notes and concept maps during class time, all of which can be saved for future reference

Prayer Room

The objective of the Prayer Room was, at its inception, and is now also, to create a Sacred Space, in which the Staff and students of St. Mary’s can celebrate, remember and reflect.

The room was furnished in 1996.  The Religion Department planned its layout.  Mr. Noel Collopy did the painting of the walls in the Prayer Room.  Noel also attended to the electrical and lighting issues at this time.  The Altar, Tabernacle, Stand and Lectern were manufactured at St. Josephs – now St. Johns Centre – a joint venture then between the Holy Faith and Christian Brother Orders.

The Prayer Room is used for many purposes which include – Prayer time and Reflection; the Celebration of Holy Mass; Liturgical occasions e.g. Advent, Ash Wednesday, Lent; Remembrance. The use of audio-visual media in the room is to enhance learning. The usage of the room is facilitated by means of a weekly timetable available to Staff on the general Staff notice board, located in the Staff Room.

Home Economics Kitchens

There are two Home Economics Kitchens located on the ground floor of the main red brick building, namely St. Mary’s and St. Anne’s Kitchens. Students avail of these facilities for the practical nature of their coursework.   One of the kitchens has been kitted out with a digital projector and sounds system.

Astro Turf Pitch

Formerly, a Hockey Pitch and Pavilion occupied this site.  Planning to have this area redesigned into an Astro Turf Pitch began in the school year 2006 – 2007 and the fund raising campaign continued throughout the year 2007 – 2008.  Work began on this area in the year 2008 – 2009.  This pitch is an all-weather, all year round facility and it enhances the recreational facilities available for the students in the school.  The surface is the first of its kind in Ireland; it has all the advantages of a water-based surface without the need of a water reservoir.


The Cinema is located in the main red brick building on the lower ground floor.  A fund raising drive collected the money for the Cinema, which was reputed to be the first Cinema in a school in Ireland! An ‘Open Door’ policy to all Subject Departments operates regarding the usage of the Cinema and this tradition is facilitated by means of a weekly timetable available to Staff on the general Staff notice board, located in the Staff Room.   The Film Club also use the Cinema throughout the academic school year.

Transition Year Rooms

Formerly, these rooms were designed as an Oratory for the school community and in 1965, the Oratory held the presence of the Blessed Sacrament for the first time.  A decision was taken in the 1980s to redesign these rooms into two classrooms, which are divided by a ‘mobile’ door. Transition Year use this area as part of their base classroom realm.  Transition Year students assemble here to listen to visiting guest speakers and to partake in workshops; the room is equipped with a digital projector and a sound system to facilitate such activities.

Home-School Liaison Office

This is located on the top corridor.  Students, Parents and Staff come to speak to the Home-School Liaison Officer regarding private or personal areas of their life.  The room is furnished with a view to providing a ‘confidential space’ in the school.

The Chaplain’s Office

The primary role of the Chaplain is to be a ‘faith presence’ in the school.  The Chaplain works closely with all members of Staff in carrying out this responsibility and also extends this to the local parish community.  The role is wide and varied ranging from teaching religious education, organising retreats and prayer services for students and Staff and meeting students on an individual basis.