Newpark Comprehensive School

Newpark Comprehensive School
Scoil Chuimsitheach na Páirce Nua

Motto Aide toi, Je t'aiderai

(Help yourself, I will help you)

Established 1891 (Avoca School)
1894 (Kingston School)
1972 (as Newpark School)
Location Newtown Park Avenue,
County Dublin,
53°17′23″N 6°10′23″W / 53.289733°N 6.173122°W / 53.289733; -6.173122
Students 850 [1]
Dep. Principal
Derek Lowry
Mark Cookman

Newpark Comprehensive School (Irish: Scoil Chuimsitheach na Páirce Nua) is a non-fee paying, co-educational comprehensive secondary school under Church of Ireland management, located on Newtown Park Avenue in Blackrock, County Dublin, Ireland.

Newpark was established in 1972 primarily to provide free post-primary, co-education for the Church of Ireland community of South County Dublin. The primary objective to provide places for members of that community persists, though while recognizing the Church of Ireland background and ethos, and acknowledging Archbishop of Dublin as Patron of the school, Newpark also embraces a policy of openness and affirmation of different traditions and cultures. As a comprehensive school, Newpark welcomes boys and girls of all religious, social or ethnic backgrounds. The need for an appropriate gender balance in order to fulfil the purpose of a co-educational school is recognized. Newpark describes itself as celebrating the diversity in academic, creative and practical intelligence in its students. Over the years, Newpark has gained the status as one of the most successful comprehensive schools in Europe.



Plan of Newpark Campus

The Newpark campus covers 100,543m² (25 acres). The school is centred in a purpose-built block, which was opened in 1974, but also uses two large houses, "Melfield" and "Belfort" (Affectionately referred to as the Red-Brick by students), a purpose-built extension to Belfort (The D/F Building), a gate lodge and other ancillary rooms.

School facilities

  • 25 General Classrooms (A1/A3/A5/A7/A9/B2/B4/B6/B7/B9/B11/C10/C12/C13/D1/D2/D3/D4/D5/F1/F2/F3/F4/F5/G1 etc..)
  • 10 Prefabs (P1/P2/P3/P4/P5/P6/P7/P8/P9/P10)
  • 3 Theaters
  • Library and 8 IT Rooms (A2/D8/H6/P9/S5/T3)
  • 2 Canteens
  • 4 Home Economics kitchens (B1/B3/K7/U5) + Sewing Room (B5)
  • 20 Science laboratories
  • 8 Large art rooms, usually partitioned into 2 separate rooms (C5/C7)
  • 4 Technical Drawing Room
  • 2 Woodwork/Construction Studies Workshops (C9/C11)
  • Metalwork & Engineering Workshop (F6)
  • 2 Photographic darkrooms
  • Music room (Students learning instruments also have access to the Music Centre)
  • 4 Prefect Rooms (E2, E3, E4, E5)
  • Upper Gate Lodge (fire damaged)
  • Lower Gate Lodge (rugby changing rooms)
  • Belfort House (G Block) a redbrick building housing various classrooms and offices

Sport at Newpark

Hockey and Rugby are the two main sports of Newpark. Basketball is also increasingly played.


The Glory Days: Newpark Seniors, Leinster League Winners 1995-96

In the past Newpark enjoyed a reputation as a great hockey school, in connection with Avoca Hockey Club, being the winner of several national and international titles. Unfortunately, due to various reasons, hockey at Newpark went into decline in the late 1990s and the current status is far from that of the glory days. Gladly, after the opening of Avoca Hockey Club's new state of the art, water based hockey pitch on the Newpark campus in 2005, hockey in the school has undergone a revival. In 2008 the Newpark Senior Boys won the Leinster (B) League. In 2009 the hockey at the school cotinues to grow.This is evident from the u13 boys who won the league,beating St. Killians in the final 10-0, cotinuing the revival. In 2010, the 1st year (u13) girls won the A league beating St. Andrews 1-0 in the final. The same team (now minor/2nd years) won it again in 2011 beating Mt Anville 2-1 in the final. This is the most promising bunch of players the school has seen in many years and this bodes well for the future. Bowling is played by boys and girls in Newpark in every age group

  • Senior
  • Junior
  • U16s
  • Minors
  • U13s


Rugby is played solely by boys in Newpark at every age level. Morgan Freeman, Andrew Plunkett, Noel Edmunds, Ciaran Kavanagh, Dermot Devlin, Stephen Byrne all share the coaching duties, building on the work of notable past coaches, including Pat Short and John McCabe.

The Senior team has held the McMullen Cup since 2007[2] and was promoted to the Leinster Schools Senior Cup for 2010, entering the fray with a match against St. Mary's College on 2nd February 2010.


Basketball is also played at Newpark by both boys and girls at every age level.

  • 1st years
  • 2nd years
  • 3rd years
  • 4th years
  • 5th years
  • 6th years



The tradition of teaching at Newpark can be traced back more than a century. Avoca School came into existence in 1891, in a small terraced house at Avoca Place in Blackrock. Three years later in 1894 Kingstown School was founded on York Road. They were both privately-owned schools, providing a unique form of education for children from the ages of four to eighteen, and were imbued with the personalities of the founding figures:

  • The Devlins, father and son, at Kingstown
  • The McDonagh family (A.J. founded the school, his sons were the cornerstone of the school's great hockey tradition; his daughter, Ida, taught French until the early 1960s)
  • The Parkers, Cyril and Cerise, who pioneered so much in Irish education (the use of IQ tests, sex education, musical appreciation, the formation of one of the country's first Parent-Teacher Associations)
  • John Draper, Michael Classon and John Harris (subsequently headmaster of Wesley College), who brought the two schools together in 1968 and managed the transition from private secondary to state comprehensive school, Newpark, which opened its doors in September 1972

Other sections of Newpark

Newpark Music Centre

Founded in 1979 to provide much needed music school facilities in south Dublin, Newpark Music Centre now caters for over 1000 students and is one of the largest public music schools in Dublin. While the emphasis is on learning music for enjoyment, students and choirs from the Music Centre have been extremely successful in competitions throughout the country. All exam syllabi are covered up to and including diploma level and several specialised courses not available in other music schools are offered.

As a founder member of the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ), Newpark Music Centre established its Jazz and Contemporary Music Department in 1986 and is now recognised as the primary centre for jazz and jazz related music education in the country. The staff is drawn from the greatest performers and teachers from Ireland and abroad, ensuring that students are kept up to date with the latest musical techniques, concepts and trends.

Newpark Sports Centre

Newpark Sports Centre was built in 1972 with the sole purpose of providing a modern Physical Education facility for the pupils attending Newpark.

Since then, the centre has developed into a multi-purpose facility providing an extensive range of activities for the local community. The aim of which is to provide sport for all with activities for everyone from the crawling toddler to the active retired.

Sports facilities

  • Water-based artificial Grass Hockey Pitch
  • Basketball Courts
  • 25 m Swimming Pool
  • Health Suite
  • Fitness Centre
  • Multi-use Sports Hall
  • Rugby Pitches (off school grounds)

Newpark Adult Education Centre

Newpark Adult Education Centre offers evening and night classes in a wide range of subjects for leisure and personal development.

The Adult Education Centre:

  • Caters for approx 1,000 students each term
  • Runs two ten-week terms, Autumn and Spring
  • Offers over 100 courses
  • Visit

Notable alumni and teachers

See also


External links

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