January 2017

Welcome back and a Happy New Year to all our readers!

Isn't this just a lovely picture to get us all started?

For those wishing to check on our after-school programme, there is a full timetable available on the Calendar page (at January 2017).

The new year sports' programme for our school teams kicked off with the annual 5-a-side competition at Ards Leisure Centre.  The boys played really well in securing 2 winds and a draw, but on the day this wasn't quite good enough to progress to the finals.  Our best wishes to those that did make it - and we'll be back soon!

Our friends and neighbours at Comber PS are hosting a programme for parents and carers of children aged between 3 and 6 called 'The Incredible Years'.  If you wish to find out more, including how to attend, please click on the links below:

The Incredible Years

School Readiness information

We always have to remember that the core work of the school takes place in and around the classrooms, as well as on various sports fields, so here are some pictures of P4s working on their Procedural Writing - sounds very formal, but, as you can see, doesn't have to be!  Writing instructions for making buns or sandwiches means so much more if you actually do it.  And eat them!

Among our regular visitors to Andrews is Rita, who comes twice a year to make 'The World Around Us' topics related to 'early man' and 'the Vikings' come alive.  She is always welcomed by the children and staff, whatever her guise, as she unleashes the creative empathy of the pupils through various practical activities.  Rita was a Viking most recently, as were many of our pupils; some more formidable than others, but then not all Vikings were marauding and violent raiders.  We wonder what do you think of these particular examples?

December 2016

PTA Christmas Raffle Prize - winners click below

Winners List

Goodness, it's been a busy start to December and Christmas hasn't quite arrived just yet.  That said, there'll be lots and lots of children (and parents) counting the sleeps...

Our sporting teams have begun their various campaigns and,as always, we'll seek to keep you up to date as the year progresses.  This month saw the hardy cross-country runners participate in their league meeting on the top of the Castlereagh Hills - with a tough course made tougher by the biting wind!  Well done to all!

 

This month sees the busy enrolment period for prospective P1 pupils.  You'll have read this already, but it was a privilege to welcome all our visitors to Open Day - all three sessions were really well attended, so thanks to everyone for taking the time to visit our wonderful school!  Thanks, especially, to our P7 ambassadors for providing the guided tours and our musicians for the musical entertainment at various locations around the school.  Here's hoping for lots of excited new pupils coming to join us in September.

Mr Sandford, our eminent Vice Principal and (seriously) expert science teacher, hosted two important events this month.  First, there was a family STEM evening, at which Mr Sandford challenged family groups to think about maths and science in a fun-packed and educational evening - with lots of music and two technology challenges thrown in!  The latter saw intrepid designers attempt to make a fresh (smiley-faced) egg get from the balcony to the floor of the Andrews Hall in a capsule that provided comfort and safety (from the egg's perspective).  Essentially, the challenge was to avoid breaking the egg!  Some of our guests went home with an egg; others left a semi-made omelette on the floor.  The other aimed at launching a rocket the furthest distance from the stage - dangerous to those of us in the body of the hall!

 

Mr Sandford also organised his annual Chemistry at Work Day, where groups of P6 pupils were entertained and enthused about chemistry by visitors from Queen's University, Big Ted's American Cookies, Mr Sandford himself, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and Nendrum College.  Very significantly, this was a cross-community event, with P6 pupils joining our own from Alexander Dickson PS, Ballygowan, Comber PS and St Mary's PS, Comber.  This event has become a fixture in our calendar and, we hope, those of the other schools.  It is a fantastic way to sow the seeds for future science learning among pupils who will be to 'big school' quite soon.  STEM means Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths - here at Andrews, we know we're covering all the bases really well.  Our own Science Week runs alongside both these events, with all classes in school engaged in a number of science-related activities.  We really do feel that the children get a meaningful and enthusiastic introduction to this important area of the curriculum.  Thanks to all the staff and pupils at all the schools and, of course, to the great presenters from the various organisations that we rely on so much to make the event happen.

 

And finally, let's finish the term's news with some wonderful Christmas memories.  From top to bottom - the P4/5 Christmas Service, the P6/7 Christmas Service and the P1-3 Nativity, the Little Angel.

 

 

From all of us here, have a wonderful happy and peaceful Christmas.  See you all again in 2017!

November 2016

Hello and welcome to the second half of this first term.  We're going back as well as forward this month...

With the last week including the annual P6 residential at 'Seaboard', Killyleagh, and our PTA Hallowe'en Family Night, we didn't quite manage to get the pictures up before the break, but there are some great memories to share!

Hallowe'en at Andrews gets bigger and better by the year -  thanks to everyone who turned out and made it another fantastic event.  And what about the pumpkins - wow!  We tweeted the fireworks, so here are some pumpkin pics celebrating amazing creative talent among children and parents.

One of our aims this year is to begin a process of 'finding our pupil voice', or rather to develop what we do even more.  So, with Mr Magee at Seaboard, the Bike Crew were left in charge of organising the first of this year's Active Travel Bike/Walking Buses on the last day of the half-term.  Along with the new and very welcome support of 1st Comber Presbyterian Church (in allowing us to use their car park), we owe the children a big vote of thanks.  Also to all the staff who helped on the morning.  There'll be more to come on this front, of course - and keep an eye for our next Healthy Breakfast to enjoy after the journey.

Seaboard is a huge highlight of the P6 year at Andrews.  We will post a set of pictures on the website separately (on the Gallery page); for now, here are a few 'tasters'.

Now, as we near December, please remember that our Open Day takes place on Friday 2 December 2016, with school tours at 9.30am, 11.15am and 1.15pm.  Prospective parents are welcome throughout the day; our own parents are invited to attend in the afternoon.  You will have the opportunity to see the school in action, meet the children and teachers and ask any questions about enrolment, the curriculum, our policies or our school development plans.  The PTA will also be providing refreshments.  Please do try and come along - the buzz comes from the children and they will be delighted to see you!