The start of December means just one thing... Christmas is coming! While letters to Santa are a very definite priority, so is decorating the school. Here, the P1 tree receives some finishing touches...
The start of the month saw a busy, busy weekend in the Andrews Hall. Firstly, our Christmas Fair attracted its usual large and enthusiastic following, despite the awful weather. The change of venue added atmosphere to the occasion and Santa kept himself and his helpers very busy downstairs all evening! Our sincere thanks to the PTA members who worked so hard in setting up the hall, orgainising the stalls, helping Santa and providing refreshments. Thanks also to all the families who braved the rain and came out to support the school. The final total raised will be available soon.
On Sunday 6 December, the Hall hosted around 250 cyclists (and one reindeer), many in Santa hats and costumes, who had cycled from Titanic Quarter, along the Comber Greenway, in aid of cancer research. Rosi Kirker, the organiser, has been raising money through various events in aid of Lance Armstrong's Livestrong charity. When she requested the use of the Andrews Hall, we thought we'd add an 'Andrews' dimension to the cycle, by starting just outside the old Harland and Wolff drawing office, thereby linking our school with the very building where Thomas Andrews worked. The event was a huge success and Rosi has raised over £7000 to date!
Coincidentally, the cycle arrived in school, just as our new cycle shelter was 'opened'. We'll be having a proper ceremony, of course, in January, along with a more focused promotion of this wonderfully healthy activity. The shelter holds 20 bicycles, so get pedalling for the lighter mornings in 2010!
Of course, the real excitement in the build up to Christmas comes with the school Carol Services and Nativity Play. This year's services were just fabulous - a full Andrews Hall with our wonderful children singing and performing sets off the season so perfectly. Of course, the services and performances reflect a huge amount of hard work - a whole school team commitment from staff and pupils and a true reflection of everyone's talents. Our parents, too, play their part in supporting the events. They also show their generosity year on year, with collections at the end of each service. This year, we were helping Diabetes Research, Prader Willi Syndrome and the Comber Coal Fund. The amounts raised were £186.05, £188.00 and £342.99 respectively; sincere thanks to everyone who contributed.
Earlier in the term, two of our pupils, Rachel Cairns and Emily Gibson received awards from the Nothern Ireland Fire Service for their posters relating to firework safety. Yes, we should have mentioned this earlier! Well done to both; they received their prizes at Hillsborough Castle, no less! Unfortunately, we can't let you see the girls' posters, as they were kept for display.
This month saw further art success, this time for two girls, one in P1 and one in P2 - for pictures they painted in relation to Environmental Heritage in Northern Ireland. Even more special is the fact that they are sisters! Our congratulations to Rose and Ruby Rebbeck, whose pictures you can see below - Ruby's picture is of 'Samson and Goliath', Rose's of Mount Stewart.
Finally, from all of us at Andrews, have a wonderful, peaceful and relaxing Christmas. Any messages you send us will be published in January. Do have a look at the Christmas art in the Gallery section of the website, too.
We'll see you all again in 2010; term starts at 9.00am on Wednesday 6 January 2010.
Following the discovery of an obscure newspaper article by our intrepid Primary 7 teachers, groups of children have been busy building a model of a new sleigh for Santa. This is a crucially important job, as the article was very clear in stating that Santa's existing sleigh was simply not up to scratch - too old, too small, made of unsustainable resources and proving too much for his ageing reindeers to pull...
We'll publish pictures of the finished sleighs soon; in the meantime, here's some evidence of early progress...