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St John the Baptist’s College, Portadown


We asked our current year 8 students what questions they had before beginning their journey in St. John the Baptist’s College. We thought it might be useful for you to see what their questions were about.

Their main questions were around:

● Safety- wellbeing - friendships

● Homework

● Extra-curricular activities

We have done our best to answer these questions.


What time is break and dinner?

Break time is at 10:50 and lasts for 15 minutes.

Lunch time is at 12:45 and lasts for 35 minutes.

What afterschool clubs are there?

St. John the Baptist’s College offers lots of different after school clubs. These include Gaelic football, soccer, dance, cooking, basketball, cross country running, Spanish, numeracy club, homework club, choir, revision classes, high achiever classes for Maths and English, music theory, eco and ICT club. Joining after school clubs helped me make new friends outside of my class.

Are there any lunch clubs?

If you don’t always want to play outside during lunch time you can join various lunch clubs. In the college we currently have an Italian Club, Film Club, Numeracy/Games Club, and Eco Club.

How is bullying dealt with?

Bullying is not common at SJBC. The important thing is to report it to your form teacher, classroom teacher or any member of staff. We will deal with it and we have an Anti-Bullying Policy. It is hard to say exactly how we deal with each case, because no two cases are the same. Our aim is always to make it stop and we will take whatever actions are needed to make this happen.

Are the older students kind and supportive?

The older students are nice and helpful. They make us feel welcome and comforted in such a big school. They help us out on the corridors and make sure we know where we’re going. They are always willing to walk us to a classroom if we’re unsure of where to go.

How many different subjects are there?

There are lots of different subjects in the college. The main subjects are Maths, English and Science. But you also get to study Art, Home Economics, P.E, Geography, History, Technology, Learning for Life and Work, Music, Business Innovation and Modern Foreign Languages such as: French, Irish and Spanish.

There are enrichment classes once a week which allows you to take part in subjects of your choice such as: Coding, Journalism, Performing Arts, Dance, Gaelic football and STEM.

Will the work be too hard for me?

No. I was really worried about the school work before joining the college but you are placed into classes that target your ability. The teacher is always there to help and we get lots of time to work with our peers in groups. We are pushed to reach our full potential in all subjects through extension tasks.

How much homework do you get each week?

You get homework every day (Monday to Thursday) but very rarely get homework over the weekend. We have a homework club where you can get help from a teacher to complete your homework. You’re kept busy with homework but it’s never too much. Your teachers are there to help you and if you’re overwhelmed with homework you can let them know.

What happens if I forget something?

If you forget something, for example homework, you can use the school’s online platforms (Google Classroom or Satchel One) to upload your homework when you get home.

Is it easy to make new friends?

Yes, it is very easy to make new friends. At the beginning of term, in your form class you will participate in “getting to know you” activities and lots of team building activities. Getting involved in clubs and activities is another way of making new friends and we have lots to choose from!

Is it easy to understand your new timetable?

On the first day of school, your form teacher will give you your new timetable. They will go through it with you and help you to colour code it. This makes it a lot easier to read and understand.

You will also be brought on a tour of the school with your form teacher; you will see where your classrooms are and will meet your new subject teachers.

What happens if you get lost?

We have Peer Mentors and they are our Year 8 ‘Buddies’. They will be there to help and support you in your first few weeks. They will take you to your lessons, and to your break and lunch times. You can also ask them any questions you may have -they are so helpful and supportive.

What are the teachers like?

The teachers are so supportive and welcoming. We are ‘one big family’ here at the college. Everyone looks out for each other. The teachers also deliver lots of exciting and engaging lessons. Teachers will be there to help you if you get lost, either with your work or on the corridors.