Saint Joseph's Primary School at Poyntzpass can trace its origin back to 1813 when
Poyntzpass Chapel School was established on an area of land granted to the local
Catholic community by Alexander Stewart of Acton.
The 'Chapel' school was established in a plain rectangular building with an earthen floor. It sought to provide education for the children of families who could not afford the few pennies per week, which usually went to the schoolmaster.
The first teacher at the school was Thomas McCreash, a skilled stone mason who specialised in sundials and slate headstones. His work can still be seen on Saint Joseph's Church, Acton Parish Church and Ballyargan Chapel. In 1826 Mr.McCreash was in receipt of £16 per annum.
In 1832 the school became a National School and a new teacher, Patrick Conroy was appointed. When a second national school was established in Poyntzpass the school became known as Poyntzpass No.1 National School. Patrick Conroy remained as master until 1855 when the inspector recorded,
"Mr.Conroy was so old and infirm he was no longer competent to conduct the school with efficiency".
Peter Murphy succeeded as principal in 1855 and by 1858 numbers at the school warranted the employment of a workmistress. Mary Ann Campbell taught sewing and knitting for the salary of £8 per annum.
Over the following number of years there were a succession of principals and teachers. In 1906 the schoolhouse was extended to provide more room for the infants. For some time James and Bridget Ryder took on the school. During their term the school changed its name to Poyntzpass No.1 Public Elementary School.
In 1929 Mr. J J McGee became principal with Miss MA Cassidy as assistant. A third teacher was employed in 1958.
In May of 1964 the school moved out of the 170 year old building into the new school which took as its name Saint Joseph's Primary School. The old building was used as a community venue until 1982 when it was demolished to make was for a new parochial hall. The school was further extended in 1973 with the creation of a new infants classroom, staffroom and store. A fourth teacher was appointed in 1989 and a new mobile classroom added to the school the following year.
1813-1832 Mr.Thomas McCreash
1832-1855 Mr.Patrick Conroy
1855-1875 Mr.Peter Murphy
1875-1900 Mr.Archibald McVeigh
? Miss McDermott
1906-1929 Bridget Ryder
1929-1963 Mr.JJ McGee
1989-2001 Mr.F Watters
2001- Mrs.G Turley
In 2014, the current principal is Mr P McAllister.