1861 On August 10, 1861, five days after the arrival of the FCJ’s in Bunclody, a notice appeared in “The People” newspaper announcing the Sisters intention of opening a Boarding School… “to afford to parents an opportunity of giving to their children a good religious education”. The Sisters also “took charge of the small National School close by, where they taught the girls in an upper room, while a master taught the boys in the lower”.
1865 School records of 1865 give the following numbers of students: Boarders: 39 – Day Pupils : 15 – Primary School : 120
1866 The first of many extensions – a dormitory – was built
1883 The existing National School was completely renovated and the new building was handed over to the nuns for the education of girls only.
1894 During this year a Refectory, Study Hall and Dormitory were built.
1898 A further extension, comprising a Lady Chapel, Junior Study and Linen Room was completed.
1906 Changing curriculum needs required the building of a Science Laboratory, Art Room & Domestic Science Kitchen
1909 Recreation Rooms, Music Rooms and Dormitories were built.
1953 A new stairway and cloakrooms were added to the National School.
1964 A Concert Hall, locker rooms & classroom were built for the Secondary School.
1969 When Free Education was introduced in 1969 there was a marked increase in enrolment with boys attending the Secondary School for the first time. A RohFab building (St. Bridgid’s) was erected and added classrooms, a cloakroom, Science Laboratory and Art Room to the School. The Department of Education gave a 75% grant towards this building in 1969. The first time in the history of the school that a grant was received for building.
1975 The F.C.J. Girls’ N.S. amalgamated with the local Boys School and F.C.J. Sisters joined the staff in the new school, Our Lady of Lourdes N.S. The old school was demolished.
With student enrolment increasing annually: 1961: 135 Students; 1971: 262 Students; 1981: 540 Students additional accommodation became a priority at the end of the 1970’s. Ten prefabricated classrooms were provided with the aid of a Department grant and F.C.J. Community resources.
1986 The red brick building opened (St. Patrick’s), providing Classrooms, Cloakrooms, Offices & Staff room, Biology & Physics Laboratories, Sports Hall, Language Laboratory, Art Room, Library and Domestic Science Kitchen & Sewing Room.
In June 1986 the boarding school closed after 125 years and the dormitories, refectory, etc. were converted for school use.
1998 Construction Studies & Engineering Rooms (St. Aidan’s) were erected in 1998, funded by the F.C.J. Order.
2001 Tenders were accepted in October 2001 for a new extension to replace the Boarding School Building. (St. Victoire’s opened in early 2003)
2003 The Boarding School Building was demolished to make way for a new extension, The d’Houët Building, which was funded by the F.C.J.’s, opened in November 2003.
2005 New Basketball/Tennis Courts, funded by the F.C.J. Order, were provided and the Library was converted to Music Tuition rooms, an office and resource room. The Library is now located in Room 46 in the d’Houët Building.
2007 The Home Economics Kitchen & Room 68 were refurbished in the summer of 2007. The kitchen (Room 24 – St. Patrick’s), in use since 1986, needed modernising and replacement /renovation of fittings and furniture. Room 68 (St. Victoire’s) was only built in 2002, but had to be updated to cater for the new L.C. subject, “Design & Communications Graphics”, which has replaced Technical Drawing. Much of the work in this subject is done on computers so the drawing desks, etc. have been replaced by computer work stations.
2008 In the school’s 147th year, the first lay principal was appointed.
2009 In September 2009 the school entered the Le Chéile Trust
2010 Replacement of all external single glazed doors, windows with PVC aluminium double glazed windows and doors to 1969 building and all roof lights
2011 A new classroom was built at the side of St. Patrick’s Building, this incorporated Room 8 and the Games store, which were replaced elsewhere. An office for the Learning Support teacher was built adjacent to the new room and another girls’ changing room provided on the mezzanine of the Gym. Also, the Boiler system was upgraded and the controls centralised. In the autumn a new Science Laboratory was completed adjacent to the M.T. Wood room at the back of St.Victoires.
2011-2012 During this year we celebrated 150 years of F.C.J. education in Bunclody.
2012 Lockers for students were re-introduced; ePortal was provided throughout the school and we changed to the system of teachers working from their own classroom.
2013 Ramps were provided down the right side of the school buildings to increase safety for students. The Gym floor was re-surfaced.
2014 Much needed locker space was provided in St. Bridget’s Building and the whole school was painted.
2015 In September 2015, for the first time in the history of the school, our 1st Years were divided into six classes due to much increased enrolment. The new class is named Marie I, which was one of the names of the F.C.J. Foundress, The Venerable Marie Madeleine d’Houet. Since school re-opened the DES has granted permission for four classrooms to be built to replace the St. Bridget’s prefabs.
2016 Soon after the beginning of the new school year work commenced on the building of the four new classrooms – two attached to the d’Houët Building and two joined to the St. Victoire Building. Again there are six classes in 1st year, giving the highest enrolment the school has had, i.e. 864 students.