Welcome to a very special month in school...
Before we tell you our Christmas news, we hope that many new visitors come to see our wonderful school on Open Morning - Friday 5 December, at 9.30am or 11.15am. It's always a pleasure to welcome new or prospective parents to Andrews and show them around the school on a real working day. If you missed the Open Day, you have another chance to visit on Open Evening, from 6.30pm on Thursday 8 January 2015. And if neither of these dates suit, please get in touch and we'll arrange a visit for you at another time.
If you need a reminder about Christmas services, please visit the Calendar page. We look forward to meeting you over the next couple of weeks - and at the PTA's Winter Wonderland on 5 December.
We have just updated our prospectus, so if you'd like to view it on the website, just click on the link below. Hard copies will be available in school before the end of term.
We'll begin this month's news with sport. Our hockey (boys and girls) teams and football teams have been in action in their respective leagues this month. In both sports, we have enjoyed much success. The boys' hockey team won 3 matches and drew 1; the girls' lost 1, drew 1 and won 2. So, a great start to their league campaigns! The footballers have won 4 matches, drawn 1 and lost 1, so here's hoping for further success in the new year.
Our P7 pupils enjoyed a bit of light relief after their 'testing November' with a visit to... Crumlin Road Gaol! Now, although they were dressed in the clothes of a Victorian child prisoner and learning about the very tough life these children endured in the gaol, they did have a great day 'out'! The visit was a genuinely interesting insight into life at the time and certainly didn't leave any of the children wishing that they didn't enjoy the privileges of being able to go to school every day rather than onto 'the street'...
Our Christmas events got off to a busy start with the P6 and 7 choir members and musicians visiting several venues and entertaining everyone with their beautiful singing and playing. Our 'tour' started in the TT with the University of the 3rd Age Christmas lunch, moved on to Comber Baptist Church, then to the Famers' Market and finally to Supervalu. Later this month, we'll finish our engagements with visits to Weir Court and Comber Care Home. You can't fault us on variety!
Of course, the big events take place in the Andrews Hall, with the P4-5, then P6-7, Christmas Services getting everyone in the mood for the season. Both services were simply wonderful - with some extraordinarily beautiful singing and playing. We really are so lucky to have both the pupils and the staff to create such memorable events for our parents and families.
Thanks, also, to all of our parents and families who, as ever, contributed very generously to charities through retiring collections. The P4-5 service raised £226.51 for Bowel Cancer UK and the P6-7 service raised £198.54 for Prader Willi.
In between our Christmas Services and our Nativity Play, we had the huge thrill of receiving our Active Travel Silver Award - the first school in the area to do so! This award reflects all the hard work and commitment to the promotion of healthy ways of travelling to and from school - with the focus on walking, cycling and scooting. So, in celebration of getting the award, we hosted our Walking and Bike Buses before enjoying a healthy breakfast of delicious pancakes and fruit. Tom O'Dowd, our Active Travel Officer, presented our award and it now has pride of place on our especially designed Active Travel Noticeboard - with more than a hint of a reminder of the Giro d'Italia last May... Please, come in and have a look.
And so we come to the grand finale of this Christmas season... Two performances of 'The Grumpy Sheep' lit up the Andrews Hall to finish the term in style. Wonderful reading, singing and dancing, telling the Christmas story through the eyes of a particularly grumpy sheep, entertained families and friends and brought the first term of the school year to a fitting conclusion. Of course, the grumpy sheep wasn't grumpy by the end at all!
Our thanks go to all the parents and families who came to support our Christmas events - the PTA's Winter Wonderland, the two Christmas Services and the two Nativity performances. Once again, the generosity of the Andrews Memorial family was reflected in the collections in aid of the Comber Coal Fund (£176.30) and the N.I. Children's Hospice (£163.85).
And finally, from all of us to all of you, have a wonderful, peaceful and relaxing Christmas and New Year.