School History


Model schools were set up in the 19th century to encourage “persons of character and ability” to become teachers.  
Each model school was to be a “model” for all other schools in the area.  In May 1852 the Belfast Model was opened in Divis Street, off the Falls Road.  One and a half thousand pupils attended during the day with adult education at night.  
Boys and girls attended the school but once inside they were educated separately!

Following the partition of Ireland the 1920s were marked by much civil unrest. The Belfast Model School was burnt down in 1922, when the present site was purchased. The pupils moved to a house on the site and this was probably Cliftonville Lodge, a house built when the present ‘Cliftonville Road’ was still part of the ‘New Lodge Road’.  The main driveway at the front of the school was the driveway to this grand house.  Its one time owner Mr Herdman was shot in 1862 by his cousin as he strolled in the Waterworks with a Mrs Thompson, and carried to the Lodge where he later died!

The Boys’ and Girls’ Departments of the Model School were both housed in Cliftonville Lodge, commonly known as the ‘big house’. The accommodation was very cramped and in October 1937 a new building (the present primary school), was opened.

As a result of the 1947 Education Act, the Model School became two separate schools which moved to their new sites at Ballysillan and Dunkeld in 1954.

In 1957, Antrim Road Baptist, Lynn Memorial, The Jaffe, Percy Street and Duncairn Schools amalgamated to form Cliftonville Infant and Junior Schools.  In 1982 the Infant and Junior Schools amalgamated to form Cliftonville Primary School. In 2008 the school was granted Integrated status by the DE an became Cliftonville Controlled Integrated Primary School.

If you attended Cliftonville Integrated Primary, check out our GALLERY of past pupils dating back to 1950's.