Welcome

Welcome to Rockport: a great school with a proud tradition.

Idyllically situated on the shores of Belfast Lough and a proud member of Round Square, we have strong values and a sense of adventure. Combine everything that makes us ‘Rockport’ and you have an inspiring environment and an education which goes far beyond the classroom.

Small class sizes help meet the individual needs of our pupils and our excellent GCSE and ALevel results, alongside overall academic achievements are testament to our bespoke educational approach. 

In a woodland setting adjacent to ten miles of coastal path and with the Mourne Mountains only an hour away, we foster a spirit of adventure and a love for the great outdoors which can last a lifetime. 

Children from the age of 8 go hillwalking and sailing and in the senior school we enjoy almost 100% participation in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Service is encouraged at Rockport and our children regularly volunteer to help in the community and to care for the environment. 

We enjoy much success on the sports field, and believe sport is so important that we do an hour of games every day. 

We are also successful in the Arts, with a remarkably high level of participation in Music and Drama. Our children develop leadership skills and practice public speaking from an early age; developing a confidence which stands them in good stead in later life.

I hope you find our website informative and would encourage you to get in touch (in the many various ways!), but stress that only by seeing Rockport in action will you get a true feel for what goes on here.

Every day is an open day here. I welcome you to come and see for yourself the safe, happy, learning environment that is Rockport School.

 

Rockport was founded by Geoffrey Bing, in 1906, as a boys’ preparatory school and pupils were made ready for the Common Entrance examination to public schools throughout the United Kingdom.

 

Originally with just four boys, one assistant master and a matron, the school expanded considerably during Bing’s Headship, and concerts, plays, sporting fixtures and Lough swims flourished.

 

 

It is important to note that during the two world wars, 23 Rockportians bravely made the ultimate sacrifice. This rate of attrition for such a small school is remembered with pride in our McBride Room - the school's dedicated memorial room. We welcome you to read our Remembrance Book that honours the sacrifice of these young men.  Simply click on the booklet picture to the left. 

Rockport became a Charitable Trust in 1967, has subsequently had two Headmistresses and three Headmasters and has grown to be a school of 250 pupils.

The school became fully co-educational in 1967 and began taking pupils to the age of 16 in 1998 and to the age of 18 in 2015. 

New buildings and facilities have continued to be added to the Rockport estate, but the school remains very identifiable with the one established by Bing over a century ago.

 

Why Rockport?

In comparison, Rockport is a relatively small school with around 250 pupils throughout, from Playgroup to Sixth Form. This means smaller class sizes and a staff to pupil ratio that has innumerable benefits. 

Every pupil is known by every member of staff, and each pupil knows one another. This enables us to give completely individual attention to every pupil, no pupil is able to slip through the net and we are able to adopt bespoke learning programmes according to each child’s ability and needs.

As a result pupils at both ends of the academic spectrum achieve outstanding results. Feedback from families has told us time and time again this is a major strength for our school.

Location, Location, Location

Rockport is located in a stunning estate on the edge of Belfast Lough and with its own shoreline. Not only is this an inspiring and safe place to live and work, but it is also conveniently located 10 minutes away from Belfast City Airport (for short flights to London and international connections), and the cultural and educational opportunities of the city of Belfast. The Mourne Mountains and other Northern Ireland attractions are on the school’s doorstep and are used frequently by pupils.

Confidence without Arrogance

Rockport pupils are confident and well-rounded pupils who are at ease with themselves and adults; the school’s size means that every pupil is used to speaking in public and meeting visitors to the school. However, all pupils are reminded that with privilege comes responsibility and a duty of service.

Independence

Rockport is Northern Ireland’s only fully independent day and boarding school. This allows us to shadow the National Curriculum but not to be constrained by it and class sizes are able to be kept small. Pupils are able to be prepared for 11+ (Transfer Procedure), 13+ (Common Entrance) and 16+ (GCSE & Sixth Form) entrance to other schools – to both independent schools throughout the UK and local Grammar Schools.

It’s a small, big world!

Northern Ireland is a small, safe and nurturing place in which to grow up. However, Rockport is a truly international school with over 20 different nationalities represented and our pupils are global citizens, taught to be outward looking, and have an understanding of the wider world.

To this end, Rockport is a member of Round Square – an association of schools worldwide committed to shared IDEALS (Internationalism; Democracy; Environment; Adventure; Leadership; Service). Pupils go on exchanges with other schools across the globe, and participate in international conferences and service projects.