Drogheda Grammar School

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History and Ethos

History of Drogheda Grammar School

Drogheda Grammar School has been providing first class education to local, national and international students for over 350 years.
Drogheda Grammar School is a co-educational, multi-denominational  school, located on Mornington Road, Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland. The school ethos states that every individual is of value and has something to contribute and the school encourages students to achieve excellence in the classroom. The school educates boys and girls for life and welcomes pupils of all religious persuasions. It appreciates the contribution that all religious denominations make to the school community.

Drogheda Grammar School was founded under Royal Charter in 1669 by Erasmus Smith and is one of the oldest secondary schools in Ireland, now enjoying its fourth century of continuous educational service to the community. Originally a boys’ boarding school, it has now been a co-educational school for over fifty years. The school was located in Drogheda town centre, beside St. Laurence’s Gate until 1976.

Drogheda Grammar School is owned by a company with charitable status called Drogheda Grammar School Ltd.  This structure was set up in the early 1950s when a group of local people (mostly Quakers) saved the school from closure.  Although the school is not a Quaker school, it is run under the Quaker principle of “every individual is of value and has something to contribute”. This philosophy is fundamental to the Mission Statement of the school.

Drogheda Grammar School is located on 18 acres in a rural setting.  There are currently 529  students at the school.The campus consists of a beautiful Regency house flanked by woodland, with modern classroom buildings and extensive playing fields.

The school has a compulsory Transition Year, during which students have the opportunity to try subjects not normally taught at secondary level and which may open them up to new career options. These subjects include horticulture, media studies, Journalism,  motor safety awareness, oral communication, robotics, first aid and the TY musical.   There are also many educational excursions with the annual 3 day overnight trip to the outdoor activity centre being one of the most popular.

The school offers a comprehensive extracurricular activities programme which includes a chess club, Model United nations,  choir, car mechanics, green schools to name but a few. There is a wide range of sports including hockey, soccer, netball, badminton, tennis, basketball and rugby. More information is available in our extra-curricular section of the website.

The school boasts top class facilities including:
– classroom blocks with high tech computer room, technical drawing room, science laboratories, art and craft room, Library Learning and Resource Centre, home           economics  room, music room as well as general classrooms
– 3 tennis courts
– 5 playing pitches for hockey, soccer and rugby including a flood lit astro turf pitch.
– Large gymnasium with 4 badminton courts and full size basketball and volleyball courts and a stage for drama/musical productions.
– Spacious dining room with full canteen facilties.

Mixing the old with the new

The most recent addition to the school, the Dr Robert Berney building was formally opened in November 2022. The building houses 5 spacious classrooms and is where our 6th form students are located.  Of particular historical note is a stone on the upper floor which was taken from the Old Chapel located in the basement of the original school building on Lawrence Street. 

Prior this this the Allen building was opened in 2012  includes a reflection room, featuring a stained glass window that was originally in the old school building in Laurence’s Street.This stained glass window is called the Bole Memorial named after Bobbie Bole, a student who died at the school in 1942, and was created by the famous Harry Clarke Stained Glass Studio in the 1940s. It was funded by donations and contributions from friends, and, having been stored away since 1976, this beautiful window takes pride of place in the Allen building.

If you wish to read about this particular window further the article below may be of interest:


Past Pupils

We are proud of all our past pupils and hopefully our small contribution to their personal development has been worthwhile and valued. We are delighted to hear from each and every one and encourage them to get in touch.

Among the famous past pupils educated at the school were:

John Foster, last speaker of the Irish House of Commons, the generals Taylor, Ford and Pringle KCB, Sir Thomas Brown; Henry Grattan; Archbishop Magee; Bishop Stopford; Bishop Bourke; Lord Mayo; Henry Singleton (later to become the Chief Justice of Ireland). More recently writer Derek Landy was educated here.

Are you a past pupil?

Join the schools Alumni on LinkedIn and then you will have access to the Drogheda Grammar Alumni Network group and a host of subgroups representing professional fields, geographic locations, and class years. Access to the Drogheda Grammar School Alumni Network group on LinkedIn is free and completely optional.

School Ethos

“Every individual is of value and has something to contribute”

Drogheda Grammar School is a co-educational school with a Quaker and Protestant history. Our school welcomes students of all denominations and none.  We value each and every student’s identity and background. The school’s ethos is based on broad Quaker principles and values which influence and guide our actions.

Every day in the school we work hard to create a positive atmosphere that values each individual student and offers them opportunities to contribute and achieve.

By ensuring each student feels valued and important we can encourage students to strive for excellence in the classroom and challenge them to achieve their individual potential.

What underpins this ethos is the sense of mutual respect that influences all of our teaching and learning and general interaction with each other.  Treating each person with respect, decency and kindness allows everyone involved with the school to flourish.

We believe in spending more time talking to students than about them.  This is reflected in the individual attention and knowledge of each student, the small class sizes, the invitation for our students to attend parent teacher meetings and the general atmosphere around the school.

By creating this positive atmosphere it provides the environment in which effective teaching and learning can take place.  Through caring for and knowing each and every one of our students we can ensure they feel confident, listened to and encouraged.

Our overall aim is to ensure our students leave Drogheda Grammar School as confident, considerate and knowledgeable people who act with integrity and respect.