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! 



October 2016

Yes, we're a little early, but better that this news is at the start of a month rather than the end - nice pics, you see!

We celebrated European Day of Languages on 26 September in style - with a non-uniform day, lots of dressing up in national costume and, most impressively of all, a wonderful array of face-painted flags. Thanks to all for their support!  We also raised £284 for our school fund.  We must thank Mrs Jensen for her idea and organisation, and Miss Hall and Mrs Hamilton, our P2 team, for their brilliant dressing up!

With French and Spanish lessons for P4-7 pupils starting up next week, we think we did our bit for European unity.  And with Mandarin lessons for P5 and P6 children already in place, our international curriculum is really taking shape!

Attendance Policy

Following revised guidelines and advice from the Education Authority and the Department of Education, we have written a new Policy on Attendance.  Attendance for every child really does matter; irregular or poor attendance has a significant impact on not only a child's experience of learning, but on his/her ability to learn and attitudes towards school.  In other words, if a child is at school, they can achieve much more and enjoy much more.  As is our regular practice, we want to give parents the opportunity to look at the policy before we adopt it formally.  Please take a few minutes to read it and, if you wish to contract the school, just contact us through the normal channels.

Policy on Attendance - draft

Those of you who are frequent users of our website will know that we take great pride in reporting our pupils' sporting participation and successes.  Events are just getting started now, so do keep an eye out for more news soon.  This month our P6/7 Cross-Country league teams were in action for the first time at Downpatrick.  All credit to the girls and boys for their efforts - there were some very encouraging results.  Time for more training before the next event, too.