A Brief History of St. John the Baptist Infant Girls’ School

The earliest records available tell us that Clontarf Girls and Boys National Schools operated from a building in Vernon Ave from 1901 to 1940 when all pupils transferred to Belgrove House on Seafield Rd. West. This house called St. John's house served as both school and parish hall, presently accommodates Clontarf GAA and creche.

the title of the schools then officially changed to St. John the Baptist National Schools. This name never really became popular and the schools have been affectionately known as Belgrove schools ever since. The curriculum then was quite narrow, consisting of mainly the 3-Rs - Reading Writing and Arithmetic, with a great emphasis on Handwriting and Tables. Belgrove schools subsequently earned an excellent reputation for high educational standards and as game spread the numbers increased rapidly.

By 1956 Belgrove was catering for 700 boys and 600 girls! Belgrove House could no longer cope with such huge numbers as teachers were holding classes in corridors, sharing rooms, in makeshift huts all over the grounds.

Belgrove Junior Infants School Entrance


In January 1964, both schools divided into two, making a total of four schools with four principal teachers. The girls remained in Belgrove house until the new schools opened in 1971. It was with great pride that the transition was made from the old schools to the new and Mrs. McCarthy was appointed Principal of the nine-teacher Infant Girls' School. Mrs. Hughes was in charge from 1974 and implemented the introduction of the New Curriculum. Mrs. McHugh was appointed Principal in 1978 with a staff of highly dedicated teachers, continuing Belgrove Infant Girls' school reputation as one of the best in Dublin.

Mrs. Mary Kenny was appointed Principal in 1999 and during her time as principal there were quite a few changes.

The Revised Primary School Curriculum was revised and implemented and a resource teacher and part- time teacher for English language was appointed.

The infrastructure of the school was improved with the addition of new windows and refurbished school cloakrooms.


Mrs. Patricia O’Donoghue became principal in 2007 and during these years and with the help of our Parents Association we have been able to refurbish our school yard with a soft surface and erect a bright shelter. The heating system and toilet facilities have all been upgraded. We have repainted and restocked our school library. Extra Science and Mathematics equipment has been purchased to facilitate the implementation of the Revised Primary School Curriculum.

The school garden is funded by the Parents Association and it provides the children with the opportunity to see at first hand the origin of our food. The garden has proved to be an invaluable resource and is also used for Mathematics and Science Trails.

With the aid of government grants we have installed interactive digital projectors in every classroom in order to enhance the children's digital learning.

Recent fund raising by the Parents Association has enabled us to transform the old boiler house into a bright educational space for the children - Tír na nÓg.