News Archive

April 2013

We begin this month's news with a picture of our new climbing wall, purchased with funds from the PTA.  Our sincere thanks to all parents who remain our most willing supporters in resourcing the school.  The wall marks the next stage in our commitment to school grounds development, this time in association with extending our playground resources.

The beginning of this term also saw an important release.  The baby trout that our P7 pupils had been looking after were released into the Glen River behind the school.  They were joined by other trout that had been looked after by P7 pupils from Comber Primary.  The children and teachers from both schools, along with the Mayor, Alderman Hamilton Gregory, also witnessed the release.  Both Principals were present and, contrary to whispered wishes, managed to avoid getting too wet.

Hundreds of trout were released into the river and because they had been hatched and protected in the classrooms, their chances of survival in the wild have been increased by 50%.  The scheme was sponsored by Ards Borough Council and will finish for this year with a 'river walk' at Crawfordsburn Country Park.

Is that the Mayor about to take a wee dip along with the trout?

Who'll we fish out first? Taking a close look at what we found in the river...  Maybe a little too close?

Here we go, here we go, here we go!

At this time of year, it is always a pleasure to report on yet another of Andrews Memorial's brilliant school productions.  This year saw us return to an old favourite, Oliver! And what a great idea!  Mrs Barry and Mrs Knaggs did a simply wonderful job with their casting and production - the acting and singing were quite brilliant.  We will be uploading photos to the Gallery page shortly, but here's a taster for now...

You may remember that our P7 choir sang with Peter Corry at Christmas.  Peter was asked to produce a Gala Concert to celebrate the 400th birthday of Ards Borough, which took place on Friday 26 April 2013.  Our children were asked to perform and chose a selection of songs from their production.  As one letter that came to school the next day claimed, they were the stars of the show and top of the bill!

And while we're on the subject of music and the arts, this picture shows a selection of our young musicians who recently sat instrumental exams with the Associated Board.  More pupils will sit exams this term so, while congratulating all those in this picture, we must also remember to wish the others every success in the weeks ahead.  And happy practice!

As you all know, Andrews has become more and more committed to Eco-related studies and issues in the past two years.  Our Eco Club with Mrs Moorhead, goes from strength to strength and this month saw the children enter a poster competition sponsored by Ards Borough Council on a theme of 'Have taste, don't waste'.  The children went to visit the Council's recycling centre to receive their prize of a wormery - which will find a home in the school grounds very soon.

Our new wormery was presented as a prize by local Newtownards firm, Wright Recycling, which the Eco Club took the time to visit this month.  We must report on the generous hospitality provided by Susan and Robert, as well as the genuinely interesting visit we all enjoyed. We got stuck in to some serious recycling work with plastic bottles, too!  In fact, everyone could do with visiting this site, as we can all do more recycling of our waste.  Pretty much everything we used to throw away can be put to another use - which is just as well, as we are in genuine danger of running out of landfill sites in this country.

The 15 April is always a significant date for our school, as it marks the anniversary of Titanic's sinking.  After the commemorations last year, which saw the whole of Comber come together to mark the centenary, this year's 101st anniversary has been more muted.  However, our P2 and P4 children always study the topic around this time.  The P4s recently spent a day visiting Titanic's dry dock in Belfast, as well as the adjacent pump house.  In 1911, when the dock was completed, it represented the very highest achievement in Edwardian engineering - the dock could empty itself of water, through steam powered pumps, in just 90 minutes!  Similarly incredible, the water level could be controlled by the same pumps to an accuracy of fractions of an inch!  This site is a must-see for anyone interested in the scale of the ship and the incredible engineering talents of those that worked in Harland & Wolff's at the time.  The pictures below show the pupils getting to grips with one of the bollards used to tie the ship up and marvelling at the scale of the dock itself - from the depth of its floor!

Dancing anyone?  We know that the Andrews Hall has played host to hundreds of dances over the years and that many of that generation of dancers has been reacquainted with their 'big hall' during the last two years through our work with the local community.  This year, our Intergenerational Learning Programme has also focused on music - on 'proper' dancing, in fact!  Our P7 pupils have been learning and practising a number of dances with some intrepid teachers during the past couple of months.  April saw us organise and host a proper tea dance in the Assembly Hall - even with a real group of talented musicians, 'The Music Makers', led by Sammy Pollock.  We're sure you'll agree that the pictures tell their own story.  The children and adults genuinely enjoyed their time together and we had some 60 visitors to school that day!

This has been a bumper month for news - and we're not done yet.  There are a lot of sporting events to report on, the details of which can be found by clicking on the links below.  Our pupils have been participating and competing in, wait for it, football, netball, hockey, mini rugby, kwik cricket and cross-country in this month alone. Now those are experiences for the children that we are extremely proud to provide.  And we know through the children's, teacher's and parents' commitment and enthiusiasm, that they are all very proud ambassadors of our school.

Football News

Other Sports News

Mini Rugby News

Before closing this 'mega-month' of news, we must mention one of our pupils, in particular.  Eve Porter finished second in our area heats of the SEELB Cross-Country event (see last month's News) and, while the girls' team very narrowly missed out on qualification for the regional finals at Billy Neill playing fields, Eve did so courtesy of her fine individual performance.  We are delighted and very proud to announce that she finished this genuinely tough and long course in a magnifincent 11th place - out of 132 competitors!  This personal achievement is simply astounding, made even more impressive by the fact that she had no team support.  Well, none on the course, but we brought a few pals to encourage her from the side.  They were very good at it!