February 2014

We have just completed a review and update of our Policy on Learning and Teaching- the policy which 'overarches' our teaching strategies in school, no matter the area of the curriculum. Please click on the link and have a look. This is displayed here to allow for a consultation period, before we publish it on the 'About Us' page alongside other key school policies. If you have any queries or comments, please get in touch. You are, of course, welcome to request a hard copy form the office.

First up this month simply has to be another good news report from Seaboard - as suggested at the end of last month's news. The weather was 'average', but the children were very far from that. They were fantastic! They had a go, they had lots of fun, they learned a lot with and from one another, and they got to try outdoor activities that will have been new to many.

Archery, adventure walking, the night line, climbing, orienteering (in the absolutely pouring rain and freezing wind!), canoeing, the low ropes course... It's lovely to be able to report on such a great week,; the staff, too, had a great time because the children did.

There will be more photos published on the Gallery page soon, but here are a few to whet the appetite... Oh yes, and the appetites were well catered for, too!

Although this event took place at the end of January, we feel it still merits inclusion here, as we ran out of room last month! The school was very priivileged to host the BBC's Talkback programme, presented by Wendy Austin, on Wednesday 29 January 2014. We welcomed Wendy and her BBC colleagues early in the morning, as they created a studio in one of the classrooms; once that job was done, we created our own 'green room', complete with delicious cake and sandwiches (very, very much appreciated by all the guests), and enjoyed the guests' lively debate on the 'hot' topics of education - transfer, the review of funding, teachers' careers and the aspirations of students, and links between education and business.

We must say that everyone was incredibly proud here, and the BBC and their guests were extremely complimentary toward us - including, of course, our wonderful pupils, a selection of whom you can see performing in the 'studio' just before the lunchtime news!

We also heard the Minister hint at a 'review of his review' live on the programme - since qualified - whereby schools are not set to lose funding in the first year of his common funding formula review. This gives us another chance to thank all the parents and friends of Andrews Memorial, as well as every other respondent, for raising awareness as to the unfairness of the original proposals. We can all be very proud of our role in creating a dynamic and meaningful consultation.

The choir performing for BBC Radio Ulster listeners - you can see Wendy and Mervyn Storey (Chair of the Assembly's Education Committtee) seated in our 'studio'

February saw the children take part in their annual charity sponsored event, this year in aid of the NSPCC (N. Ireland). Miss Fisher and her P5 class coordinated the event brilliantly and the children rasied the incredible amount of £4801.73. This is an example of the truly wonderful generosity of our school community. We know that Joanne, from the NSPCC, was genuinely delighted with everyone's efforts - she was certainly a long time counting the money!

Finally, some Eco news... Last year, the children visited B&Q and made some bird feeders. After making them lovely and bright, they have been hanging them around the school grounds to attract our feathered friends...

January 2014

Happy New Year!

May 2014 bring happiness, success and fulfillment to you all...

We'll begin this month's news with a reminder about our Open Evening - on Wednesday 8 January 2014, from 7.00pm.  All visitors are very welcome, especially those of you who are thinking about sending your child to Andrews Memorial.  We welcome enquiries from everyone; don't worry if you can't make it on Wednesday, we're on the end of a telephone line or email connection and will always be happy to anwser your questions, or arrange to show you around the school.

You can download our Admissions Criteria from the Home Page, or a short summary of why we think our school is special by clicking here.

We look forward to meeting you very soon.

We can now report on a very successful period in terms of school promotion, with Open Morning and Evening being very busy.  Our thanks must go to both prospective parents for coming to visit and to our current parents (and pupils, of course) who provide such warmth and positive energy on such occasions.

The staff work very hard to make everyone welcome at these events and deserve all our thanks and congratulations.  Here are a few pictures from our Open Evening..

Next up is news of an absolutely fantastic event in school in December, set alongside an equally fantastic achievement by one of our teachers.  For the second year in succession, Andrews Memorial, and our VP, Mr John Sandford, in particular, was asked by the Royal Society of Chemistry to host a 'Chemistry at Work' day - the only day of its kind for Primary-aged children in Ireland.  This is an honour in itself and follows on from the success of the event in 2012.  However, this year we had special reason to celebrate because Mr Sandford has just been elected a Fellow of the Primary Science Teaching Trust.

This award is in recognition of John's commitment to, creativity in and flair for science teaching in the Primary school.  It is a huge honour and we are all absolutely delighted for him.  The school also sets to gain in terms of new resources, which is always welcome!

Here are some pictures from the day, which saw more than 100 P6 children taking part in the visiting workshops.  Our gallery begins with John in action and concludes with the list of wonderful and generous participants and sponsors.

Pupils attended from:

Alexander Dickson PS, Ballygowan

Andrews Memorial PS, Comber

Comber PS

Macosquin PS, Coleraine

St Mary's PS, Comber

Our sincere thanks to the following for their support:

Royal Society of Chemistry

Wolfson Foundation

Big Ted's American Cookies

Nendrum College, Comber

NI Water

Party Animals

QUB - Department of Chemistry




December 2013

Welcome to December!

How time flies and we're nearly at Santa time already...  As you can imagine, school is really buzzing right now, with various Christmas preparations, as well as all our other activities.  However, if we can't get excited about Christmas in a Primary school, we can't get excited about Christmas full stop.

Our Open Morning takes place on Friday 6 December 2013, as previously advertised.  Visiting times are at 9.30am and 11.15 am, but don't worry if you can't make either, as there is an Open Evening on Wednesday 8 January 2014, from 7.00pm.  If you're still stuck for a time, just call us and we'll arrange a time for you to come and visit.  If you click on Home Page, you'll find information on our Admissions Criteria, too.  However, please remember that these only become active once the school is over-subscribed for P1 entry, ie we have more than 53 applicants.  Remember, too, that we welcome applications from all pre-school providers in the true spirit of the open enrolment procedure.  For additional information, you can also view our Prospectus and promotional flier.

Before Christmas, we'll be updating our year group News Sheets, so if you want more information on what's going on in the classes, this is where you'll find it (to the right-hand-side of this page).

In March 2012, we published our book in recognition and commemoration of the Titanic Centenary.  'A Titanic Memorial - the Andrews Memorial Hall' sold widely, in Comber and all around the world.  It was a great success and we are tremendously proud to have been able to publish a book of its quality and significance to the ongoing legacy of Titanic.  This December we are again very proud to announce the availability of the book in downloadable form via this website.  We are conscious of the Hall celebrating its own centenary in January 2015 and are making plans for that year, but this is a lovely opportunity to once again promote the book, this time in a very 21st century form.  'Hard' copies are still available for sale from the school and newsagents in Comber; and we are still welcoming additional information to the original content, such as people's names from photographs or other anecdotes about the hall and those who used it.

The book can be accessed from the Titanic Centenary page of the website, or by clicking on the link below.  We very much hope that you will be encouraged to spread the news and that new readers can enjoy the stories behind Comber's most famous public building.

A Titanic Memorial - the Andrews Memorial Hall

We reported on our first Walking Buses last month, so this month sees us returning to our already established 'Bike Bus'.  We invited children and adults to form the bus and then to help themselves to a healthy 'Bike It Breakfast' in school.  Once again, we were delighted with the response and look forward to more of the same in 2014.

Before we publish more Christmas news, we have a very important story to report on...  On our Eco Club's recent visit to the Linen Museum in Lisburn, we were informed that we are the only school that the museum staff know of that actually grow their own flax.  We were chuffed indeed!

We are indebted to Mrs Moorhead and her valiant Eco Club pupils for their commitment and hard work in nurturing and harvesting the flax; then processing it to its current state, ready for combing and spinning into thread (the museum have offered their assistance in this).

A lovely parallel for our school, in particular, is the fact that the Andrews family ran the Andrews Mill across the road from where the school stands - making linen thread no less!  We look forward to inviting members of the family to see our own crop in the new year.

Flax in our polytunnel - drying after harvesting.

Spinning linen thread in Lisburn - soon we'll be spinning our own.

After harvesting, the seeds must be separated from the plant.  This is called rippling.

Here we are, retting the flax - wetting it to soften the stems of the plant. Did you know that the actual linen will come from the stem of the plant?  Here's hoping that we'll have pictures of that soon.

And finally, as we approach the end of term, we arrive at our Christmas celebrations...  It really has been a busy month!

Here are two photographs of the Carol Services - played out to a full Andrews Hall on each evening.  We must also thank everyone for their generosity towards the Philippines' disaster and emergency fund, and Prader Willi, for which we raised over £300.

Our Nativity Play, the Gigantic Star stars all the children in P1-3.  Hot from the first performances, here are two pictures to whet your appetite.  To view more pictures, click here to download them.

And finally... who says Santa gets stuck in the chimney?

Happy Christmas!

More Articles ...

  1. October 2013
  2. September 2013