Thank you to all our students for contributing their beautiful artwork to our website.

Ratheniska National School

Partnering Children on their Developmental Journey

Welcome Note

I extend a very warm welcome to you as you visit our school website. I hope it will give you an insight into the educational experience we offer. Every child in our school is valued as an individual and our aim is to develop each pupil academically, spiritually, morally, physically and socially. As children progress through the school, our team of experienced and dedicated staff plan meticulously to deliver a stimulating, engaging curriculum for the pupils in their care. A calm, safe environment prevails throughout our school leading to the wholehearted engagement of both pupils and staff, who create in turn the ideal atmosphere for teaching, learning and mutual respect. Ours is a close knit and inclusive school where respect is consciously taught, and where children are instilled with a lifelong love and enjoyment of learning.

Thank you for visiting our website.

Pauline Dunne

Our School

Ratheniska National School is a mainstream, co-ed primary school, located approximately 3kms to the south east of Portlaoise. The earliest records for a school in Ratheniska dates back to 1824 (199 years ago!) Our school has a Roman Catholic ethos. The school operates under the patronage of The Kildare & Leiglin Dioscese in the Parish of Portlaoise. Currently there are 191 children in school, 98 boys and 93 girls. The school building houses 8 spacious classrooms (90 sqm), 2 support rooms, a library, offices and store rooms. We are very fortunate to also have use of the local community hall and the nearby GAA grounds (17 acres) for all our recreational requirements. Visit  our News page and our Gallery page  to see some photographs and to get a flavour of some of the happenings in our school. Visit our Calendar page to see important dates of this school year. Continue below to read about the Policies and Curriculum in Ratheniska N.S. To view Board of Management Reports, click here.

Ratheniska National School strives to provide a well-ordered, caring, happy and secure atmosphere where the intellectual, spiritual, physical, moral and cultural needs of the pupils are identified and addressed.

While Ratheniska National School is a school with a Catholic ethos, it also has due recognition for all other religions. Ratheniska National School will strive to promote, both individually and collectively, the professional and personal development of teachers through staff development programmes. Ratheniska National School will encourage the involvement of parents through home/school contacts and through their involvement in the Parents Association. Ratheniska National school will endeavour to enhance the self-esteem of everyone in the school community, to imbue in the pupils respect for people and property and to encourage in them the idea of being responsible. Ratheniska National school will promote gender equity amongst the teachers and pupils.

I Scoil Náisiúnta Ráithín an Uisce, tá an fhoireann aontaithe ina n-iomlán gur teanga bheo chumarsáide í an Ghaeilge agus déanaimid uile iarracht dearcadh dearfach i leith na Gaeilge a chothú.

Pauline Dunne

Ms. Dunne


Ms. Dunne has been Principal at Ratheniska since 1999. Ms. Dunne is an Administrative Principal.

Mr. Lawlor

Deputy Principal

Our new Deputy Principal is Mr. Stephen Lawlor.

Our Staff

There are 9 full time teachers on staff including the Principal. We also have 4 teachers who are job-sharing along with another teacher who is shared with other schools.

There are 4 Special Needs Assistants and our school secretary,  Mairéad Fennell.

We also employ a cleaner and a caretaker.

Visit our staff page to meet our full staff and learn about each of their primary roles in the running of the school.

Policies and Curriculum in Ratheniska N.S.

Our School Policies

The school has a number of policies that form the core of its organisational plan. Copies of all of these policies are available on request through the school office. Visit our Policies and Curriculum page for more detail.

Our Child Safeguarding Statement and associated Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment can be viewed here.

School Improvement Plan for Ratheniska National School 

Our school improvement plan is now in place. If you wish to view it, please contact the office.

Board of Management Reports

Board of Management reports for this year can be accessed by clicking on the link below.

BOM Reports


Our Curriculum Policies

The educational requirements detailed in the Primary School Curriculum provide the basis for our teaching and learning in nine curricular areas. (Visit our Policies and Curriculum page for more detail.)




SESE – History, Geography, Science


Physical Education

Arts Education – Visual Arts, Music, Drama


These areas are supplemented by our Grow in Love Religious Education programmes.