October 2017

We're back to what we hope is normal service after the hurricane...

First up this month is some Eco news - the harvesting of our very own apples!  Our Eco Club remains a vibrant and extremely popular part of our provision, so here's hoping for another bumper year.  The juice was delicious, by the way!

Our first sporting news this year comes from the cross-country squad, who are competing in three local league events sponsored by Flahavan's porridge - a bowl of which would have been very welcome at the finish line!

We hope many of you have been following us on twitter, as it provides an immediate and current news feed on what's going on.  Annual October highlights are the PTA Family Fun Night, with amazing pumpkins, fancy dress, discos and fireworks, as well as the P6 residential trip to Killyleagh Outdoor Education Centre, otherwise known as Seaboard - another big part of our provision at Andrews.  Unfortunately, the Education Authority have recommended that the centre closes for residential trips like ours so this may be the last one in a long history - over 30 years!  We had a wonderful week, with the children a credit to everyone and the weather being very kind.  Pictures will follow shortly - but just as a taster and a reminder for those of you that have been, here's a typical and typically beautiful Seaboard sunrise...

Here are a few pics from each class trip - firstly, Mrs Van Giesen's class, then Mr Skimin's class...


What about these for amazing pumpkin designs?  Wow!

September 2017

Hello again, everyone, and welcome back!

The school term dates and holidays are now on the Calendar page of the website; as the weeks progress, we'll be updating the Calendar with events, too.

Please click below to view the school dinner menu for this term.  Dinners cost £2.60 each and can be ordered on a Monday morning.  We really appreciate you sending in the exact amount of money for the week and details of the day(s) your child requires a dinner.

School dinner menu for Term 1

The children's Christmas Dinner will be on Wednesday 6 December 2017.  Please make a note of this as further flyers won't be sent out.

Our extensive after-school programme will be starting soon.  For your reference, please click on the link below to see what's coming up this term - we hope you'll find something you like.  We very proud of the programme, especially the fact that our staff are so involved in its delivery.  For those activities that cost, please appreciate that our school receives no extra funding to cover such activities, so we have to pass on the costs to our parents.

After-School Programme, Term 1

September is always a mixture of excitement, challenge and busyness - for families getting back into routine as well as for school.  Thanks to everyone for making our job run smoothly and, for all our new families, we hope that your first month has been happy and successful.

While we have been tweeting regularly - more followers always welcome - the website provides an important platform for highlighting school news and creating a valuable archive of what we are about, so we hope you enjoy the first monthly news of the new year.

It is traditional, and rightly so, to start our monthly news articles with pictures from P1.  Here are the children engaged in a variety of outdoor and indoor activities - the latter sees them making - and tasting - fresh apple crumble from our very own harvest!

Every September we are treated to a visit from Don Scott, our 'Owl Man', as he comes to visit the P4 children to not just tell them about Owls, but show them some members of his own collection.  They are truly beautiful birds and always make a huge impression on the pupils - especially those that get a chance to hold one!  Making topic work, quite literally in this case, come alive, is so much more interesting than just searching on google...

We tweeted quite a few pictures from our P6 Comber Trail during the month - where the children follow a local history trail around the key historical sites in the town.  This always proves to be enjoyable for the children and the staff - we all learn and revise lots!  We are indebted to Rev and Mrs Gilpin and Canon Barry for their reception and presentations at the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church and St Mary's respectively.  Here's Mrs Gilpin telling the children about the Andrews' family connection to the church.


Just a wee reminder about checking the class Newsheets (by half-term), Calendar page and Twitter for more news - you really are very very welcome!

June 2017

It's June at last - where did the year go?

And the sun, at the time of writing...

Please remember to check our tweets, by the way - a lot of news is now reported 'at the time' using our twitter feed, and you can see all the tweets in the window on this page.

We'll start with sports news.  Our girls' football team participated in their area tournament at Ards Leisure Centre, playing well throughout against some very talented girls.  A few scores and a 'clean sheet' kept the smile on everyone's face!

We are proud of our association with all our Post Primary schools, but we always make a special effort to take part in the Lesley Scates Memorial Trophy at Nendrum College as a mark of respect to Lesley's memory and her contribution to sport at Nendrum.  And after losing out to our local rivals last year, we are delighted to have regained the trophy this year!  Well done to all our ambassadors - a great morning's sport.  Thanks also to the staff and pupils of Nendrum who invited us, hosted us and organised the event for all the local Primary schools in Comber.

Outdoor learning, as any visitor to our website will know, is an important and integral part of our curriculum.  Building the foundations are our wonderful P1s - pupils and staff!  Here we see a fresh crop of strawberries to get us in the mood for summer, along with more exciting work in our new mud kitchen!

Now to our Eco Club, which continues to inspire and motivate our pupils on a weekly basis - along with Mrs Moorhead!  The children work tirelessly to support the whole school's efforts to keep our grounds both beautiful and resourceful.  Here's some doing just that, just beyond the fence in our real frontier 'forest'...

Back to sport and pour girls' hockey team.  We would have a picture of the boys, too, but the weather beat everyone on their day!  Thanks to Newtownards Model PS for organising a tournament for local schools - much needed in the absence of a local league this year.  And even better for our girls, as they were runners-up - by only goal difference to the might of Abbey PS!  Lots of promise for next year, too, with P6s on the team - well done!

There are many 'big' events in June, but none more than the P7 residential to Holland.  Our children and staff all enjoyed a great trip again this year, seeing the sights and having lots of fun.  Our sincere thanks must go to Mrs Hanafin for her work in organising and leading the trip - brilliant job!  There will be more photos posted on the gallery, but here's a taster...


We have been looking at ways to develop 'our pupil voice' this year and have been working with the School Council and Bike Crew, in particular.  Both groups of pupils have been really helpful throughout the year and we decided to have a week in June that they could organise themselves.  The Bike Crew organised a Healthy Week (19-23 June) and the Council organised a charity collection on behalf of Reading for Refugees - a charity supported by the C2k Newsdesk (and one of our former teachers, Mr Huntley).  The results are summarised below - well done to all the children, and supporters, for their efforts!

Healthiest Class: P3 Miss Savage

Most healthy breaks: P5, Miss Fisher/Miss Cowan

Most walks to school: P6, Mrs Van Giesen

Most cycles to school: P5, Miss Fisher/Miss Cowan

Most scoots to school: P1, Mrs Ambrose & Mrs Knaggs, P6, Mr Skimin

Our efforts on behalf of Reading for Refugees yielded £500 and at least 500 books - all headed for refugee camps in Syria.

Sports Days in the sun, they're what we want and need - and this year we got them!  Two great days, with lots of support from our parents too - thanks for your support!  Enjoy some action shots now - first, from P4-7, then from P1-3.

Our Intergenerational Programme hosted a range of events to bring our P7 pupils and members of the community together during the year.  The climax - after the Tea Dance, of course - was our Yarn Bombing project with Comber Library's Knit and Natter group.  Learning needlework skills from experts was a real pleasure for both the children and the adults - and look at the amazing results!  Our sincere thanks to Linking Generations NI for funding the project and Nora Greer for being our fabulous 'artist in residence'.


As we bring the year to a close, please take a few minutes to look through the results of the Keele University surveys completed by parents and pupils earlier this term.  These results will inform our new School Development Plan 2017-20 - more about that in September.  We hope you'll agree that the results are extremely encouraging.  We're especially proud that the high standards of the 2014-15 surveys have actually improved!  Thanks to everyone for their contributions.  As always, a hard copy will be made available on request.

Keele University Surveys - summary of parents' and pupils' results

Have a wonderful summer and come back and visit soon!