May 2015

Our May news carries on in the same vein as the April news finished.  With more sporting achievements...

Firstly, our congratulations to our netball squad who competed in a 31 team tournament at the Aurora in Bangor recently.  One team finished a very creditable 3rd.  Thanks to all the girls for their commitment throughout the year, and to Miss Savage, for her dedicated work after school on Tuesdays - throughout the winter!

Both our P7 boys' and girls' hockey teams have enjoyed much success in their local league this year.  The girls narrowly missed out on qualifications for the N. Ireland finals at Lisnagarvey, but the boys made it through to this prestigious tournament - with the top 24 schools in Ulster competing.  We are delighted to report that the team finished Runners-Up in the Plate competition - a fitting climax to a great year.  Our sincere thanks to all the boys, and girls, of course, for their enthusiasm and commitment.  Mr Skimin and Mr Magee accompanied the children to their local league competitions, but would both wish to thank and acknowledge the invaluable help from Andrew McKibbin, a former pupil, for his coaching prowess and support.  Andrew definitely had the boys playing to their potential!

As is traditional at Andrews, we enter a team of P7 runners in the Fun Run of the Belfast Marathon - their aim to raise funds for a chosen project for the school.  In other words, to add to their own legacy...  In the past the children have purchased window boxes, a balance beam for the playground and a pond (to be established this June).  This year, they are still looking toward developing the outdoor classroom - more news when we have it!  Thanks to everyone, and the accompanying (and running) parents and teachers, for their efforts.  Our first boys home actually broke the tape on the finishing line, they were so fast.  Allegedly...

However, this year also saw the rekindling of an older tradition, that of the parents' relay team.  Once more, very ably organised by Kerri McCracken, the team also did their bit to raise funds for our school.  Alongside Kerri, the team members were Claire Childs, Anne-Marie Hutchinson, Julia Moore and Nikki Rebbeck.  Well done to all!  What about some dads next year??

Now for news you've all been waiting for...   Next year's holidays.  We'll add these to the website calendar soon, but so as not to confuse with this year's dates, please click on the link below.

Term Dates & Holidays 2015-16

Our boys' football team narrowly missed out on the League and Cup double, after losing a tight game against Dundonald PS on a very wet evening at Ards Rangers.  Our thanks and congratulations go to Dundonald who played really well on the night, especially in defence, where they broke down successive Andrews' attacks very effectively.

The girls brought more smiles to the football squad, however, by finishing 3rd in their area tournament.  Well done to them!

Our last piece of sports news for this very busy May, concerns a special visit to school that hopefully inspired a great team performance...

We have links with many Post Primary schools, and were delighted when RBAI (Belfast Inst) asked us if they could bring the Medallion Shield and Schools Cup into school.  RBAI won both of these trophies this year, which is a remarkable and very rare feat.  We were delighted to host the winning coach, Mr Soper, along with the 1st XV captain, Lewis McNamara.  Our mini rugby squad then turned out at Campbell College's festival that same afternoon and performed brilliantly, so maybe the sight of the trophies helped inspire their confidence.  We also found out that Mr Soper had heard one of our players, Sam, giving a 'shout out' to his team mates that same morning on Citybeat!  Well done Sam - and thanks!

April 2015

It's our big birthday month...


We will be celebrating the 100th birthday of our wonderful Andrews Memorial Hall during a special Centenary Festival.  We very much hope that you will be able to come along and share in this very special occasion - and hope that the programme below offers something for the whole  family...


If you'd like to know a little more about the hall, perhaps our Commemorative Booklet will help.  Just click on the link below:


Centenary Commemorative Booklet


Wednesday 22nd - film shows (the hall was Comber's first ciinema)

2pm - children's show (tickets £1)

6.30pm - adult's show (tickets £2)


Thursday 23rd - PTA Fashion Show

7pm - tickets £10


Friday 24th - school exhibition celebrating the life and role of the hall

6.30pm - free


Saturday 25th - Family Fun Day

11am-4pm - free admission (voluntary donations)

Tea Dance, 2pm (tickets £5)

Face-painting, playground games, Cadet Force archery & marching band, PSNI car, fire engine, vintage vehicles



Sunday 26th - Service of Thanksgiving

3pm - invited guests & restricted number of visitors

There will be a special Commemorative Centenary Booklet produced for the occasion, available from next weekend.  It reproduces some previously unseen material relating to the hall's construction.  We hope that will add to the school's 'learning legacy' and will be an important addition to our  book, A Titanic Memorial - the Andrews Memorial Hall, which we published in 2012.  Here are two pictures from that book, as a reminder of how the hall's interior looked in the 1940s (note the gas lamps) and in the eyes of the architect, Young & Mackenzie, before it was built.  Can you see any differences in the drawing from the building that is here today?

If you would like a copy of the booklet, please contact the school.


We had a fabulous festival - our sincere thanks to all our pupils, parents, staff and friends for their support!

The Andrews Hall Centenary Festival will live long in our memories; most appropriately, it was a fitting tribute to our amazing building, the man whose name appears over the door, and the wonderful legacy it has provided for our school and the community of Comber - and beyond.

And for those children who entered our photo competition, keep an eye on the May news page...


In other news...

Our wildflower garden has been rotavated and prepared for this season's planting - the last steps of which were, quite literally, lots of steps in very quick succession by the children in our Eco Club.  We're all looking forward to another season of beautiful blooms.

The various sporting seasons we are involved in are coming to their climax over the next few weeks.  Hopefully, we'll bring you news of successes; we'll certainly be bringing you news of enjoyment and fun!

We're starting with the football team, who had an impressive Quarter Final win over Comber PS in the 9-a-side cup.  The photo below with the ball in mid-air hasn't captured the shooter, simply because he's too far away...  it was one of THOSE goals!


Moving swiftly on, this squad is now the newly crowned League Champions!  Congratulations to Mr Skimin and the team, some of whom are only in P5.  We look forward to receiving the trophy in school from none other than Mr Denis Nash, the doyenne of local soccer and a long-time supported and friend to the Newtownards & District Primary Schools' Football Association.  See you soon, Denis!

Our Mini Rugby squad was privileged to be part of the Maxol Primary Schools Rugby Festival at Ravenhill.  The thrill of playing at the headquarters of Ulster Rugby is incredible and it certainly brings out the best in the players.  We had a fantastic afternoon and enjoyed three really competitive matches against Riverdale PS, Ebrington PS and Fullerton House Prep.  Thanks to all the players and supporters, too - from all the schools present.  

We were lucky, also, to meet one of Ulster's stars this season, Franc van der Merwe, who posed for a photograph and then signed programmes, a sweatshirt and scrum cap.  A few 'selfies' were also taken! 

March 2015

Digital Photo Competition

Take a digital photograph of our wonderful Andrews Memorial Hall & email to the school (at the address below).

Your picture can be of any part of the outside of the building - you may even want to include your family or friends.  Or even yourself!

The competition is open to all children in P4 - P7 and we look forward to judging some genuinely creative photographic talent!

The closing date for entry is Sunday 19 April 2015.

There will be House prizes and the winning picture will be printed, framed and hung in the Andrews Hall as part of our celebration of its 100th birthday.

Email entries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Remember to include your name, class and house in your email.

Good luck!


Welcome to March and the last month of our second term.

We're beginning this month's news with a reminder of last month's big event - our fabulous production of 'The Boat Factory' by Dan Gordon.  Unlike our first production of his play in 2012, Dan wasn't able to join us, but he was with us via twitter - very 21st century!

Once again, Mrs Barry produced a fabulous version of the play and this time she really embraced the concept of bringing the performance to the audience.  Much of the action took place on the floor of the hall, surrounded by the audience.  This created a wonderfully dynamic performance with lots of action and sound in lots of places.  Here are some photos of the children in action...

Our thanks to Mrs Barry for her direction, Mrs Moorhead for the costumes, Mrs Hanafin for the lighting and sound, all the staff for their support and cooperation and, of course, our wonderful children and parents for making this yet another memorable and enjoyable Andrews Memorial production.

More sports news now...

Our boys' and girls' cross-country teams were in action this month at Parkway in Comber, in their regional heats of the SEELB's schools' competition.  Organised and run by Ards Borough Council, the event attracted a big field, the runners having to race around a challenging circuit over grass and gravel.  The children performed admirably, but the boys deserve special praise as they finished first!  Well done to all - we had two runners in the top 10 (Matthew Lusty and Harvey Kane), with Matthew finishing a brilliant 2nd overall and Harvey 5th.

Our Mini Rugby squad also took to the field for the first time this year, playing practice matches against Campbell College Junior School.  It was a tough challenge, but everyone participated enthusiastically.  We look forward to our next outing,very possibly a return match!

Always exciting in March is the Big Pedal, our annual cycling race around the UK - oh, and not forgetting scooting!  As ever, we did ourselves proud and, despite the ridiculously inconsistent weather, many of us supported our Bike Buses and Bike It Breakfast on the final day.  Thankfully, the last day saw an upturn in the weather, too!