June 2016

Well, here we are, June has arrived again!  But what a great start with the weather, so here's hoping!


Summer Raffle winners - click here to se if it's you!

End of term letter - click here


We begin this month with wonderful news about two of our pupils who made it through to the N. Ireland finals of the Rotary Club's Young Musician of the Year.  We are so proud of both girls and know that they contribute so much to the musical life of the school as well as to their respective groups and instruments outside Andrews.

Any regular visitor to our website will be familiar with all our work in support of Active Travel and we were rewarded in two lovely ways for our commitment recently.  First, the incoming Chief Executive of Sustrans UK, along with a delegation of his staff from Belfast, brought him all the way along the Greenway to Comber - and to our school!  Thanks to Xavier and his team for all their support and interest.  And to Tom, our own link officer, a special thanks for organising the visit.  Tom also presented the school with a brand new bicycle for us to present to a lucky girl/boy before the end of the year.  For news on how to have a chance of receiving the bike, you'll have to keep an eye on the website - and the twitter window!  

Remember that certain events in school are now being tweeted and can be accessed from the window on the left side of the website screen.  You don't need to have a twitter account to see our tweets either - but we'd lie lots of followers, so feel free to join up!

Our P7s are about to embark on their annual residential trip to Holland, staying in Noordwijk on the North Sea coast and visiting lots of lovely places, in Amsterdam and beyond.  This year we are experimenting with twitter and hoping to use it to let everyone know what we're up to throughout the trip, so it's another request to access that all-important wee window... Please have a check on the Calendar page for the forthcoming end of year events - they're always great fun and special occasions to mark the end of another great year in Andrews!

This month sees us welcome our new P1 pupils into school to spend some time with their new classmates and teachers.  Parents also have the chance to share a cuppa - and, we hope, begin to feel at home in our school family.

We also welcomed the children who are coming to Andrews from Jiminy Cricket's Pre-School Club to our P1 playground.  They had lots of fun and the staff from school and Jiminy's were able to share important information regarding the children as they prepare for their transition to school.  Perhaps even more importantly, the P1s were able to share important school information with the Jiminy's children!

We welcome children from a large number of pre-school providers, remember, but if one group shares part of our site, they do have an added advantage in getting to know the grounds at least!  We're also delighted that in their recent inspection, they received an excellent report - keeps us all on our toes!


Now, for those of you following us on Twitter (the window is on the left of the screen), you will hopefully be aware of how to enter 'the draw' for the bike shown in the picture below - a bike built by us with the help of Tom, our Sustrans officer.  It's great - and a lovely colour, too - and it's been tested!


You can also be entered for the draw by emailing the school from this website - see the Contact tab for the address.  Our Facebook master will be creating an 'event', too, so there are plenty of ways to enter - just as long as it's done without paper!


Good luck!

Hot off the press...  We've just retained our Green Flag in recognition of all our wonderful Eco work - fabulous work from everyone, as it really is everyone who contributes.  Of course, when it comes to the BIG VISIT, the Eco Council take the lead in the tour and in answering the assessor's questions.  This year was no exception in terms of our pupils' brilliant contributions.  Paul Moore, from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful was very impressed!  We must also recognise the hard work and dedication of Mr Skimin and Mrs Moorhead, who coordinate the children's learning and make sure all the boxes are ticked.  The best thing about attaining Green Flag status is the fact that the children MUST be involve at all levels of the learning, including the planning and coordinating.  It is also the children who the assessor spends the most time with on the day.  This is our third Green Flag - long may this work be at the centre of our school's ethos.

As we move into the last week of the school year, we still have some great news for you...

Mr Sandford - the very, very brave Mr Sandford - our Vice Principal, successfully completed his parachute jump in support of Marie Curie at the start of the month.  We can now report that the Andrews Memorial family - as it always does with charity - supported him generously.  To date, he has raised £620.  More will come in this month and we'll organise a presentation for him in the Autumn, so if you feel like adding anything to the collection, you can still do so.

Well done, Mr Sandford and thanks to everyone for their support!

Finally, as we bring the year to a close, here is a small selection from the end of year events.  All were fantastic and brilliantly supported - thank you!

P1-3 Sports Day

P4-7 Sports Day



P7 trip to Amsterdam

Aladdin - our P7 production

May 2016

Isn't it wonderful, that as May arrives, so does the sunny weather?  Here's hoping for a great term and lots of exciting outdoor learning and activity!

We begin this month's news in outer space...  Our Eco Club are currently taking part in a huge scientific experiment to help British astronaut, Tim Peake. The children have two sets of seeds to nurture - one from here and one that have been to space!  They are investigating if the seeds that have been in space grow better/worse than those that haven't.  There are very busy Eco pupils buzzing around the polytunnel in pursuit of their data!  We should also mention that the club, under Mrs Moorhead's passionate direction, are helping pupils in classes grow wheat, flax, potatoes and cabbage.  It's a very busty place!

Please click on the link to read more about our Rocket Science.

While learning in space takes outdoor learning to quite an extreme, our school really does pride itself on letting the children learn beyond the classroom, whether within the school grounds or beyond.  A real highlight of the latter is the P1s' annual adventure at Castle Espie.  This year we had stunningly bright weather, but it was very chilly!  The poor old teachers had to wrap up especially carefully...

May Day in Belfast has seen a group of our P7 pupils participate in the 3 mile Belfast Marathon Fun Run for the last three years.  This year, we were delighted to welcome an even bigger group, as well as some parents.  Money raised goes towards the P7s' legacy to the school - more on that to follow - so well done to all!  We even had the first primary school pupil to cross the line!

As the boys' football season comes to a close, the girls' takes off.  Our team played in the local tournament in Newtownards and scored a huge success, eventually coming second to a really strong Dundonald team.  The girls can be really proud of themselves, particularly as only a few play any football outside school.  Our thanks to Mr Skimin and Heather Kerr (IFA) for their continuing coaching and support.  Here's a before and after picture - can you spot the big sparkly difference?

Anyone visiting our website over recent years will be well aware of our Intergenerational Programme, involving our P7 children collaborating on a whole range of activities with members of the community (of a slightly more advanced age).  The latest event saw a fantastic afternoon of fun, as Ted from eye4education came along to organise the building of paper towers - in a collaborative venture.  The craic was truly mighty; the sound of laughter echoed throughout the school!  Congratulations to everyone for making the event such a success, especially to Mr s Jensen for her unswerving dedication to the programme.

 Attention P7 click on Aladdin to access costume details!!!

April 2016

Welcome to the Summer!  Here's hoping for a long and sunny and warm term, with lots of exciting learning in and beyond the classroom.  Our first piece of news refers to the NSPCC project, Keeping Safe, that the school has been invited to take part in.  Further to the school's letter to parents (click here to view), the links to the support videos are provided below.

The video links for parents are:

Parents' information video

Animated video information

There is also a useful booklet with information and 'frequently asked questions', which you can access below:

Parents' information booklet

We hope that you will find these resources useful.  If you have further queries, you can contact the school directly.

We know that folk are asking about next year's school holidays (2016-17) - these are on the Home Page of the website to avoid confusion with the current year's calendar.


The Big Pedal 2016

It's that time of year again...  Schools all across the UK are about to embark on a cycle race!  With routes all over the UK, the Big Pedal brings together 100s of schools in a massive cycle race - in a virtual world!  The challenge is to have as many children and adults cycling or scooting to school for 10 days - 18-29 April 2016.  Each day, the numbers are recorded and logged into the Big Pedal website, allowing schools to compare - ie race!  We've been brilliant every year so far, so let's step on it even harder in 2016!

Here's picture of some of our P1 children after they had built their very own big pedal.  Tom, our brilliant Sustrans NI officer, also dropped into school today to promote the big push (of the big...).


We will be tweeting updates throughout the two weeks, too, so please keep an eye - and follow us, twitter-wise...

Day 1 of the Big Pedal and a steady start - great to see our P7s leading by example, but we had children in all year groups taking part today - really encouraging!

Of course, school life goes on with or without the pedalling and the pushing...

A big sports week in April resulted in the girls' netball team competing in the West Winds Tournament, the girls' hockey team competing at the N. Ireland finals at Lisnagarvey and the boys' football team competing in the quarter-final of the 9-a-side cup in Newtownards.  Unfortunately, we are out of the cup after losing to a really strong Newtownards Model side.  The hockey players were competing with N. Ireland's very best, but still acquitted themselves really well in the Plate competition.  Leaving the best until last, we are proud to acclaim the netballers as winners of the West Winds Tournament - a second victory for the squad this year.  Congratulations to the girls - and to Miss Hall and Miss Savage for their coaching prowess!  Click on tournament report to find out more.