Welcome to The Royal School
Preparatory Department

The Royal School Armagh Preparatory Department is co-educational admitting both boys and girls of primary age as day pupils. It is also possible for Preparatory Department pupils to be members of the Boarding Department from the age of 8.

The Preparatory Department wants pupils to grow up with confidence, to enjoy success, to strive for high standards and to respect themselves and each other.

The school provides a rich and varied curriculum, inside and outside the classroom, with small class sizes enabling all pupils to receive the attention they deserve. The pupils also benefit from the Senior School staff expertise in ICT, Music and PE lessons. The school also offers specialist teaching in French, Spanish and Hockey.

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🎅🏼🚶🏼‍♂️Sponsored Santa Stroll around the Mall🎅🏼🚶🏼‍♀️

December 9th, 2019|0 Comments

This morning, the Prep Department enjoyed a brisk walk around the Mall with Santa as part of our fundraising effort for our Trim Trail. Thank [...]

🎨🎄🍰Free Choice Homework📝🎅🏼🖼

December 9th, 2019|0 Comments

Last week, Primary 3-7 celebrated the end of our Winter Exams with a week of Free Choice Homework. The staff enjoyed a special assembly on [...]

🎅🏼🎄Santa and Dancer visit the Prep 🎅🏼🎄

December 3rd, 2019|0 Comments

On Monday, we were delighted to welcome Santa and his reindeer, Dancer to kick off Christmas in the Prep Department. Each Child got to meet [...]

  • Provide a caring supportive and orderly environment where children can learn and be happy.
  • develop the personal, social and academic potential of all pupils in a small, caring environment.
  • provide a caring community where small class sizes ensure individual attention.
  • catering for individual needs in small, well equipped classes.
  • provide opportunities/work that is matched to the ability of the child.
  • encourage in all pupils the attitudes and concepts of respect, and equality.
  • provide opportunities for pupils to develop self esteem and confidence in themselves as learners.
  • develop in all pupils the self discipline to achieve personal skills, thinking and learning skills, ICT skills and physical skills.
  • provide a wide range of out of school activities to interest all children in the school.
  • be aware of the community outside the school and to provide opportunities for the children to take part in activities within the wider community.
When I first came to the Preparatory Department I was quite nervous, however I settled in no time as both teachers and pupils were very welcoming. The time I had at the Preparatory Department was brief as it was my final year of primary education, yet I gained a lot of knowledge from my teachers, made many friendships and I am very happy that I have been part of the ‘Prep family’.
Alexandra Lee
I joined P7 after moving house, having previously attended a different primary school.  Everybody welcomed me from day one and the teachers couldn’t have been nicer.  The Prep is a small yet caring environment  … like a family really.  During P7 we worked hard for the AQE tests, but also managed to fit in lots of fun things – we had a trip to Paris which was amazing, we went to the Share Centre for some outdoor fun, we also had days out to the cinema, the pantomime and other events.  The school encourages everyone to participate in the many concerts and plays that are run throughout the year and there are great opportunities to take part in a range of after school activities.

My teacher, Mrs Carson- McClenaghan was the kindest, most welcoming person.  During my year at the prep I have made many friends that I will hold throughout my senior school years and hopefully beyond.  I have also happy memories that will last a lifetime.  I found that by attending the Prep, when I went to the senior school as a new Year 8 pupil – I wasn’t worried about being somewhere new and strange.  I had already got to know my way around and knew a lot of the senior school teachers and staff.  I am now in Year 10 in the RSA and doing well.  I still love school and take part in as much as I can fit in, including being a member of the school rowing team.

Lucy Patterson
When looking back at my time in the Prep, I remember all the fun times I had there. The teachers were all very friendly and supportive towards the pupils and they were always trying to make sure we worked to the best of our abilities, while having fun at the same time. The lessons were fun and interactive, hockey was a brilliant sport to play once a week, and there was a wide range of after school activities, including ICT club on a Monday. The Transfer Club was a great help to me coming up to the Transfer Test!
The trips were also very enjoyable, whether it was a trip to Belfast Zoo or across the road to the Planetarium; you always learned something new while enjoying being with your friends. We also went on a trip to the Share Centre at the end of P7, and it was the best fun I ever had on a trip, with many memorable moments and great activities that I will remember for years and years to come.
I really enjoyed my time at the Prep and I hope it will continue to grow and give all the children who attend there as many happy memories as it gave me.
Adam Leetch
The Prep is a place that I will never forget. I spent the first 7 years of my school days there and made friendships that will last through the ages. One thing that makes the prep very different to other schools is the bond that you form with not only the other pupils but the teachers as well. You really are just one big family. I only have vague memories of my primary one and two years but my first real memories were of primary 3 and the beloved play room. The play room was our version of heaven. When your work was done it was who could sprint in the fastest and take control of the most popular toy that week; sometimes it was the Lego, other times it was the big house set that we used as a base to play spies. In the playroom your imagination was set free. During my primary three year the whole way to primary 6, I was the only girl so throughout my prep life I had to learn how to muck in with the boys. This doesn’t seem like a very big deal to me now but my P3 self did not agree. Even at early ages in the prep we were taught valuable life skills which I still carry with me today. Another big moment of my prep life was when I moved into my new classroom which was upstairs. This transition may only look like a year on paper but actually it was a much bigger deal. When you move to the upstairs classrooms it is a marking of you becoming a big person. You were expected to set good examples for the years below you but you still had the upmost fun.
These next few years were probably my favourite as there was no pressure on you about the transfer and you were able to just learn and have fun. If you know me today, you will that I am an avid hockey player and a question which I actually do get asked a lot is when did you start playing and why? The answer to that question is actually the prep. Every week would receive training from my current coach Christine Russell and she along with the prep encouraged me to pursue hockey and really got me into it. Without the prep I most likely would never have picked up a hockey stick until I was in first year. The prep did not only offer hockey, I was also an avid attendee of the rounder’s club. This was without a doubt the best 45 minutes of my week. Accompanied outside by Mrs Swann, who was not only the ref but also the score keeper, we played as if we were in the Olympics. There was no fooling around when it came to rounders in our school. For those of us who maybe weren’t the sportiest, we also had the opportunity to compete in the Lena Mackerel poetry competition, this was a big highlight of the year and everybody wanted to win to get a day out for the awards ceremony. Towards the end of Primary 5 started the talk of the dreaded transfer, as I was still quite naive I didn’t truly understand the importance of it until it was explained to me, but we were nothing but well prepared.
My primary six year was very memorable for me; this was the year that you had to work your socks off if you wanted to get into the senior section of the school. Miss Carson, as she was known back then provided us with so many notes and practice papers that a whole rain forest must have been cut down to provide us with that much paper. Never the less all the after school transfer clubs and the summer practice papers were worth it because they have got me into an incredible school which I love. The end of my Primary 6 year was marked with a visit to the share centre. This was for some people the first time they had been away from home for over one night, so there was great excitement. We embarked on our trip early on a Thursday morning and returned on the Sunday. We spent 3 days rock climbing, banana boating, making t-shirts and of course going to the annual disco. I don’t know about everybody else that when t but when I got home I collapsed into my bed and didn’t get out for about 2 more days I was that exhausted.
The first day of my last year of the prep was a sad one this would be the last year that I would be with my prep family and soon I would be leaving for bigger but not necessarily better things. The start of the year was full of nerves, making sure we knew everything and double checking every maths question that we did, the tension levels were high. The worst part of transfer was not actually sitting down and doing the papers it was the weeks in-between. You just didn’t know what to do with yourself. You couldn’t study the whole time but then if you didn’t study enough and got a bad mark you would regret it afterwards, it was a balancing act. Apart from the transfer, I actually had a brilliant P7 year, Instead of getting huge amounts of boring maths and English we got to do fun projects such as one we did about pairs just before our trip with saints and scholars to Disney land. If there is anything that I would recommend you to do it is to go on the Paris trip. I can honestly say that it will be the best trip of your life. The banter is high and you get to go to Disney! Is there anything better? P7 was an extremely memorable year for me and one that I will not soon forget.
Overall my time in the prep was fantastic. I learnt life skills that you will learn nowhere else, made friendships that I still have today and became part of the prep family which is one of the best feelings in the world. Unless you went or are going to the prep you will never understand what it feels like. So if you are undecided if you should send you child here take it from me, you will not find a better school that will not only teach your child maths and English but also how to be a good person and how to live a life that matters . The last thing that I will say is… once a preppy always a preppy.
Jemima Stevenson
The Preparatory School, Armagh was a fun place for me to attend as I enjoyed the smaller classes and found it a good environment to learn in. The teachers were very helpful and supportive. Every year we did a Spring Concert where classmates could show off their skills. I made lots of friends and most of them I am still friendly with today. We were the first year to start the junior rugby team and were quite successful in the annual competition. Whilst attending the Prep, we had several trips away including the Share Centre in Enniskillen where we took part in lots of outdoor activities, plus a trip to Paris which was the highlight of the year. I really enjoyed it and have many great memories.
James Hazelton
The Preparatory School, Armagh was a fun place for me to attend as I enjoyed the smaller classes and found it a good environment to learn in. The teachers were very helpful and supportive. Every year we did a Spring Concert where classmates could show off their skills. I made lots of friends and most of them I am still friendly with today. We were the first year to start the junior rugby team and were quite successful in the annual competition. Whilst attending the Prep, we had several trips away including the Share Centre in Enniskillen where we took part in lots of outdoor activities, plus a trip to Paris which was the highlight of the year. I really enjoyed it and have many great memories.
Rebecca Pinkerton
I wasn’t long at RSA Prep School I joined in P6, were we worked hard but had a lot of fun too. I learnt a lot from my teachers, who were dedicated, energetic and extremely patient. My teachers made sure each and every day was full of play, imagination and creativity. I’ve fond memories of the Prep, especially my trip to Paris and would highly recommend the school and the teaching team – it’s definitely a great place to learn and have fun too!
William Pinkerton
We feel very privileged as a family that my daughter, Lily-Rae was able to continue her education at the Royal School Armagh Prep after the family returned from living in France.
To that point all of her education had been in French, so when she arrived in P7 she had to take on the English language and the AQE! All of this as handled with aplomb by the staff at the Prep.
We found the perfect environment which was child centred and caring. The teachers were able to guide Lily-Rae effortlessly through the many transitions of moving country and educational system. She successfully completed her AQE and is happily settled as a first year student in the Senior School.
Kirsten McClenaghan and her team provide exceptional care and a child centred educational practice with small classes and attention to each individual child that parents can only dream about.
I cannot recommend the Preparatory Department highly enough.
Heather Allen
I only spent two years of my primary school years in the Prep Department, but I can easily say they were my best few years of primary school. I am now studying my A Levels and in my final year in the Royal and it felt like yesterday when I was in P7. Every time I walk past and see all the children playing in the playground I think I would love to be back in their position and do it all over again. I had the most wonderful experience at the Prep. First of all, during my time at the Prep I felt like I discovered the things I loved and I still have a strong passion for now, such as my love for sport. When I first joined the prep I was very shy, however through my time there I became much more confident within myself. This was because I was always pushed outside my comfort zone and encouraged to try things I hadn’t before. I always found that we were encouraged to become all rounded as we got involved in many activities and not just on the academic side of school, such as singing and the school play. I had so many opportunities given to me when I was there, including orienteering, being on the hockey team and being a member of the equestrian team. Through my time there, I built up friendships with some of the teachers such as Miss Carson who I will always remember and I see as a great friend. The thing I loved about the prep was that you weren’t just seen as a number but each individual child is known throughout the school and their personality. I always found that the teachers really carry about your interests, how your studies are going and they will do everything they can to help you achieve your goals. I made so many amazing memories such as going on my first trip away from home to Paris, which was an incredible experience. There are also the small things that I will always remember like playing stuck in the mud every lunchtime in the playground. I made friends in the prep that I can say are still some of my best friends now. The prep pushed me to my full- academically and I was really encouraged to strive for high goals, helping me reach my full potential. When people ask me how was the prep, I often describe it is a ‘big family,’ as everyone is always looking out for each other. The prep really prepared me for my time in the senior school as it developed me as a person and the challenges I would face. I will always remember my primary school years there as they are memories that have a special place in my heart. I would like to thank the prep for all their help and guidance helping me find me feet.

It has been an absolute pleasure writing this testimonial as I have got the chance to reminisce about all my wonderful memories and great times I really did have.

Sophie Buller
I believe it is fair to say that some of the best years of my life so far have been in the Royal School Armagh Preparatory Department. Having the opportunity to go to there was amazing. With its picturesque gardens and sport’s fields you really were never left with nothing to do. Whether that was a game of rounders, rugby, tennis or a trip over the road to the planetarium there was something for everyone. Being a small school, it creates an environment that is excellent for both teaching and for developing pupils as individuals. If there is one thing that I have taken away from the Prep, it is the drive and determination that is instilled in every pupil to never give up and always give one hundred percent despite the odds. Having Mrs Carson- McClenaghan as a teacher was a brilliant experience. Whilst being a strict no nonsense teacher she always knew when to have a laugh and was always there quite literally open armed to help you. I think it is fair to say that I have never come across an individual so dedicated and committed to a group of children in my life. The term “first to arrive and last to leave” most definitely comes to mind when thinking about Mrs Carson -McClenaghan. The Prep has taught me so much it is impossible to say, you have to experience its lessons for yourself. It has given me the confidence to set goals and achieve them in both sports and academics as I have been selected to shoot for Northern Ireland and play rugby for my school medallion team and get to the semi-final, the furthest we have got in many years. It has also helped me achieve high marks in examinations between A-A* and I am now looking forward to doing my Math GCSE in June this year and completing my Duke of Edinburgh’s expedition.
Zack McIntosh - El - Marif
The first day I walked through the doors of the Prep at the Royal School Armagh, when I was four, I knew I was going to have a very happy time here. I was warmly welcomed from the start and everybody was kind and caring. I made friends with everybody in my class, and I now know some of them will be my friends for life. My first teacher Mrs Carson-McClenaghan taught me all the basics and set me up for my education. Small classes meant each pupil got individual attention, and that the teacher could focus on our strengths and weaknesses as they were all different. The teaching is of the highest standard in the Prep, and the teachers themselves are devoted and want the best for every pupil they teach.
There are special events which run throughout the year, such as the annual Easter Egg hunt, which is great fun as you race around with your teammates trying to find the Easter Eggs. Every pupil in the Prep gets involved in the Harvest and Christmas plays. It gives everyone a chance to shine. Then, towards the end of the school year, we hold a Spring Concert. Everybody is given the option to take part, and showcase their talents to fellow pupils and their parents. Each class performs a song as well. We have everything from instrumental playing and reciting poems to singing and dancing.
Sports are important to the Prep too. We get hockey classes weekly with a hockey expert, and we then enter the Primary Schools’ Hockey Competition in Ardmore, which we are always successful at each year. I played in the hockey team, and it was one of the highlights of my time at the Prep. In recent years, we have taken part in Rugby and Football tournaments, which have been successful for us too. In June, there is a Sports Day for every pupil. It features all kind of different races from the Bat and Bean Bag Race to the Potato and Spoon Race! My favourite is the House Relay – will it be Beresford or Rokeby this year? Families are invited to cheer on their child. Thankfully, every Sports Day I ever took part in had sunny weather!
There are many clubs to suit all interests, from Music Club to Sports Club. These are run by teachers who give their time after school to do so. I attended many clubs, and I thoroughly enjoyed them! There is also a School Council, where pupils can express their views and opinions to teachers, to make a difference to school life, as well as an Eco Council, to discuss environmental matters and how to make our school more eco-friendly. Last year we arranged a litter-pick with the council to improve our school grounds. I enjoyed making a difference to the environment! Primary 7’s and 6’s all take part in a buddy scheme with P1’s and 2’s so nobody is left feeling lonely. The Prep also has a library room, for pupils and classes to come and read. There are Houses for pupils in Primary 3-7. Pupils present House Talks to their house, which improves their confidence in addressing people.
The Prep is an amazing school, which has so much to offer! I would really recommend sending your child to it. I have had a great experience and I know your child will too. The teachers and the pupils are like a big family, and you can be part of it as well!
Lucy Addis