Friends' School, Lisburn is a Quaker voluntary grammar school in the city of Lisburn, Northern Ireland founded in 1774.
Founded in acres were purchased at Prospect Hill from the Earl of Hertford. In 1774 the first Headmaster, John Gough, took up his post. The school was known as the Ulster Provincial School, and in 1794 became the responsibility of the Ulster Quarterly Meeting, the body representing the Religious Society of Friends in Ulster.
It is the only Quaker school in Northern Ireland; it is, however, one of nine in the United Kingdom. Friends' still embraces the Quaker ethos inherent within Quaker schools across the United Kingdom, as well as this, members of the Religious Society of Friends still have seats on the Board of Governors. It originally only accepted pupils from Quaker families and could have been described as a public school, this term has, however, lost its meaning in Northern Ireland with the introduction of Grammar Schools. A period of silence is still observed in morning Assemblies.
The School consists of a fee-paying Preparatory Department and a Grammar School, which, until recently had a boarding department, attracting pupils from abroad (such as Hong Kong) due to its reputation. Friends' now only accepts day pupils, of around 140 a year contributing to a full enrollment of 970 for the Grammar school.
The latest addition to the school was a large sports hall, opened in 2001. The school also has a swimming pool, reputed to be the oldest heated one in Ireland (1901), although it is no longer in use.
Recent building programmes have included the refurbishment of all the science laboratories and significant improvements in the provision of disabled access have been made over the last three years, including the construction of two lifts, giving access to all floors of the West Wing and to all floors of the Main Building.
The refurbishment of the former Boarding Department has included the provision of new accommodation for the Geography Department and the expansion of ICT facilities. A purpose built greenhouse and potting shed was completed in November 2004. Improvements to pupils’ cloakroom areas were made during the 2004 – 2005 school year.
A purpose built preparatory department was completed in 1996 and retains the name Prospect House, after the old building which housed the department for almost fifty years. The Preparatory Department houses Lisburn's Friends meeting House.
Every year pupils from Friends' participate in the annual Quaker Pilgrimage for pupils attending Quaker Schools, such as Bootham School and Leighton Park.
- List of Friends Schools
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