News Archive

June 2011

A reminder of next year's holiday details and term dates is now on the Calendar page.


We very much hope you will have read May's news. If you haven't, please take a few minutes to do so now...

So, to finish the year, we've decided to combine 'other' school news from May with the news from June. May was such a special month that we're sure you'll understand our reasons for that.

Don't forget to check out the year group news sheets on the right of this page, too.

May began with a brilliantly successful cycling week organised by Sustrans and the Public Health Authority - over 60 children made the effort to cycle to school and we really hope that the seeds are now sown for cycling to school / work in the future. With sensible safety precautions, everyone can enjoy the healthy benefits of cycling - at any age! And with the Comber Greenway on our doorstep, we really have a duty to promote two wheels as often as possible.

The pictures below show the children and parents who participated in the 'guided ride' around Comber. Many of the children also used the 'Dr Bike' clinic to get their bikes up and running and tidied up for a long summer of use - we hope!

Our Mini Rugby squad took part in the Primary Schools' Ravenhill Festival again this year. Once again, the boys represented their school, with pride and talent. While we're sad to be losing some superb P7 players this year, we're also confident that the success of the squad bodes well for the future of rugby at Andrews. And we look forward to welcoming the boys back, perhaps in the company of the rather special trophy brought in by two former pupils in April!

You will have read all about our Intergenerational Learning project. We were delighted to be asked to make a presentation about our work at a celebration event in the Queen's Hall, Newtownards, attended by Jim Shannon MP and Patricia Lewsley, Children's Commissioner. Our certificate now has pride of place in the best place possible - the Andrews Hall!

Come June, come the showers, come the sports days... Suddenly the weather becomes even more central to our lives, it seems! However, once again, we beat it - both sports days completed on schedule, and in sunshine! Our thanks to the PTA for providing refreshments at both events - the volunteers' time and commitment are very welcome and much appreciated.

We had a very special visitor with us during the P1-3 sports day - the 'Titanic Truck', owned, designed and produced by Maxwell Freight at Crumlin. What an incredible work of art! Darryl Maxwell airbrushed the truck in celebration of the launch centenary. We reckon it was at least as photographed as the children on the day! Our thanks to the company who provided truck at no cost - and where could possibly be more relevant for it to be on display?

And now for the serious business of racing...

One of our key events in our Titanic Centenary calendar is our Primary Technology Challenge, which we hope will become an annual event in celebration of children's innovative and creative talents in tackiling a technological design challenge. And in celebration of the talents of Thomas Andres himself. The inaugural challenge took place in the Andrews Hall on Monday 13 June, with nine local schools staking part - a brilliant level of participation! Mr Sandford set the children his challenge, all fairly secretive it has to be said, but involving the design and construction of a special capsule for a special passenger - ultimately to be tested by dropping it from the balcony in the hall!

Our sincere thanks must go to everyone who took part. Stranmillis Primary from Belfast ran out overall winners after points were awarded for design, build and dropping! Congratulations also go to Comber PS as runners-up. All participating schools deserve their place on the roll of honour, however, as below:

Abbey PS - Alexander Dickson PS - Andrews Memorial PS - Castle Gardens PS - Comber PS - Lougries PS - Stranmillis PS - Victoria PS - West Winds PS


You all know how proud we are of our musical tradition in Andrews.  This year, just to accommodate all our exam entrants, we had a special visit from the Associated Board examiner.  You can see the children's happy faces in the picture below.  Well done to one and all!

While we have all been busy celebrating the centenary of Titanic's launch, we have another Titanic launch to celebrate, rather closer to home - that of our wonderful Foundation Stage Vegetable Garden / Titanic model!  Constructed by the Conservation Volunteers and planted by the children and Mrs Moorhead, this garden represents our first steps in developing thee school grounds for outdoor learning.  We are also indebted to Mr and Mrs Gabbie for providing the topsoil.

The summer growing months beckon, so we're all hoping for a rich harvest come September - watch this space!

What makes the garden even more special is the fact that the children raised funds for its construction themselves.  They took part in a sponsored run on the 'bowling green', raising an incredible total of £964, which covered the materials, construction and lots of equipment.  The PTA also contributed half the costs of the materials.  Our thanks to everyone involved!

The finale of any school year tends to focus on our P7 pupils who are leaving - and what a fabulous group we had this year at Andrews!  They really have been amazing ambassadors for our school and themselves, responding to every challenge they have faced and meeting the high expectations we placed on them.

We will be posting pictures of the Paris trip and the school production, Annie, on the Gallery pages of the website, but here are just a few to remind you...

The year group Newsheets will also be published very soon - accessed from the right of this news page.

Our very last piece of news this year concerns the retirement of our Vice Principal, Mr Alan Ferguson.  Alan retires this year, after 23 years service to Andrews Memorial.  He has built many a legacy in his time here, but three really stand out: his work with P7 classes, particularly through the trials of transfer, his coaching of many sports, but especially football, rugby and cricket, and his peerless leadership of school trips, especially those to Killyleagh and Paris.  The staff said goodbye at a special dinner at La Mon House Hotel and the children in P7, along with their parents, had a chance to say a more personal farewell at their own Leavers' Assembly this week.  Just this morning, then, the whole school said a big 'au revoir' and wished Alan a long, healthy and happy retirement.

Alan was truly humbled by the incredible generosity of staff, pupils, parents and families, as the contributions he received allowed him to buy a very trendy Apple Mac Notebook.  Some say, he's even managed a musical slideshow of his own pictures already...

Bon voyage Monsieur!  Bon chance!

It's been a fantastic year here, we hope you agree.  And we hope that you've enjoyed reading our news.  See you all again in September - after a wonderful, peaceful and sunny summer holiday.