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January Newsletter


St Patrick’s Primary School, Ballynahinch


January 2017

Happy New Year

As we begin 2017 we would like to wish the children, parents and wider school community a very happy and peaceful New Year.


Applications for Nursery and Primary 1

Applications for places in St Patrick’s P.S. and Magheradroll Nursery Unit

Applications can be obtained from the main office. The closing date for completed applications is Wednesday, 11th January 2017. It is important that applications are returned on time to the office of the Primary School.



Regular and punctual school attendance is crucial to children. Parents and guardians are encouraged to take time to read about the importance of school attendance in the Department of Education leaflet ‘Miss School=Miss Out’ which has been circulated along with this month’s newsletter.


December Newsletter

St Patrick’s Primary School, Ballynahinch


December 2016

The Nativity and Gnome Alone

This year we are really looking forward to the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 performances.  It is great to see all of the children so keen to be involved and working so hard to prepare for their performance.  As there is a large number of children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 performances will take place on two separate evenings.  The P1 and 2 Nativity performance takes place on Wednesday, 14th December 2016 at 7pm and the P3 and 4 performance takes place on Thursday, 15th December at 7pm.

Tickets are priced at £4.00 per adult and £3.00 for Senior Citizens and Children Under 14. All proceeds go towards School Funds.

To ensure that all parents get the opportunity to see their child perform they will have the option of initially purchasing two tickets between Monday, 5th December and Friday, 9th December. After this date all tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis and parents can buy as many as they wish.  Tickets are priced at £4.00 per adult and £3.00 for Senior Citizens and Children Under 14. All proceeds go towards School Funds.

Advent Mass

P5-7 classes will provide the processions, hymns and readings for our Advent Mass, which takes place on Tuesday, 20th  December 2016 at 10.00am in St Patrick’s Church, Ballynahinch.  All parents are welcome to come to the service and join in with our singing.  Children may go directly to the Church on the morning of the mass or can come into school as normal.

Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner for the P4-P7 classes will take place on Thursday, 15th December.  The school dinner for P1-P3 children on this day will be a packed lunch.

The P1-P3 classes will have their Christmas Dinner on Friday, 16th December 2016. Again, a packed lunch will be available for the P4-P7 children as a school dinner.

The cost of the school Christmas dinner is £2.50 for those children not eligible for free school meals.

It is always a special occasion so we hope as many children as possible will take a Christmas dinner.

Christmas Hamper Appeal

We feel that the children of our school should be reminded of the importance of giving as well as receiving and so we plan to continue to work alongside the Ballynahinch Society of St Vincent de Paul to collect food for hampers which will be given to families in the area who are in need.

We know that finances are stretched at this time of year but hope that parents will be able to send in non-perishable food items to be put into hampers e.g. tinned fruit, beans, tuna, vegetables, spaghetti; jars of jam, marmalade, cranberry sauce; soft drinks, fruit juice, tea, coffee, biscuits, sweets, crisps, mints, crackers, rice, custard etc. All donations will be greatly appreciated.  Please send in whatever you can with your son/daughter by 16th December 2016.

Shared Education Cross Community Carol Service

Our Shared Education Joint Choir will take part in the Cross Community Carol Service in Ballynahinch Community Centre at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 6th December 2016.

Santa Visit

It is hoped that there will be a surprise visit to the school from Santa Claus some time in December and that ‘Santa’s Little Helpers’, the Parent Support Group, will bring along some presents for the children.

Staff Presents at Christmas

The staff of our school are very aware of tightened budgets in everyone’s household and, whilst we have always been very appreciative of presents from children at Christmas, we feel that it is an unnecessary demand on parents’ time and money.  Therefore, we ask that parents refrain from buying staff presents.  If a parent feels strongly that he/she would like to show his/her gratitude to a teacher perhaps this could be done through a simple thank you and inclusion of the teacher in their prayers.


Following discussion with the Parent Support Group it was felt that the annual trip to the pantomime placed increased financial demands on parents over the Christmas period. It was decided that it would be better to go on a whole school trip to the pantomime every two years and so our next panto trip will be in Christmas 2017.

Magheradroll Nursery Open Day

The Nursery Open Day will be on Wednesday, 7th December 2016.  Parents interested in enrolling their child in the nursery in September 2017 are welcome to drop in anytime between 2pm and 3pm.  Nursery applications for places must be returned to the main school by 11th January 2017.

St Patrick’s Primary School Open Day

St Patrick’s Primary School will hold their Open Day on Tuesday, 6th December 2016, beginning 2.00pm.  All parents interested in enrolling their child into P1 in September 2017 are welcome to come along.  Applications for P1 places must be returned to the school by 11th January 2017.

Applications can be obtained from the school secretary at the Open Days or by calling the main office after 2nd December 2016.

Information on School Closures

As we approach winter it is important that the school has an up-to-date mobile number for all parents.  Please let the school secretary know if your number changes for any reason.

Should the school be closed due to bad weather or any other reason parents will be notified by text message.  Details will also be provided on the school website, Facebook page and on the BBC Ceefax pages.

Handball and Gaelic football

Well done to our P6 Olympic Handball teams who participated in the first round of the SE league last week. A special mention must go to the boys’ team who were undefeated!

Well done to our school Gaelic football team who took part in the Down GAA indoor competition in Downpatrick on 23rd November. They put in fantastic effort and their ‘never-say-die’ attitude was great to see.

Non-Uniform Day

Friday, 16h December will be a Christmas Jumper day.  Children are asked for £1 donation on the day for Save the Children.

Christmas Decoration Competition!

For the chance to get your decoration on display and to WIN A PRIZE please bring your home-made decoration to school by Monday 5th December!

Christmas Holidays

School will end at 11.00am on Friday, 23rd December 2016 and re-open again on Monday, 9th January 2017.

Reminder – the School and Nursery are closed on Thursday, 8th December as it is a Holy Day of Obligation, The Feast of the Immaculate Conception.


The Children and Staff


St Patrick’s Primary School

Wish you


Happy Christmas


Peaceful New Year

Annual Report of the Board of Governors 2015/16

The Board of Governors Report for 2015-2016 is now available.

November Newsletter


St Patrick’s Primary School, Ballynahinch


November 2016



School Development

It is important that parents are kept informed of our plans for development in the school and we value their involvement in Development Planning. Please see  our School Development Plan in the Information Section of the website.

Parents’ views and opinions on the development of our school are greatly valued. Should further information be required on the areas outlined or should a parent wish to make a suggestion on future areas of development please contact Mr Coulter.

Eco-Schools Committee

It is great to see how keen the children of St Patrick’s are to look after the environment. The children entrusted with promoting Eco-Schools this year are Jack Noade, Freddie Miskelly, Ollie McAllister, Sean McGowan, Leah Dornan, Orlaith Mulholland, Leo Madine, Grace Crawford, Harry Miskelly, Oliwia Sokolek. We wish them good luck as they begin their work to ensure that we retian our Green Flag.


Flu Vaccinations

Parents are reminded that the School Nurse will be visiting on Monday, 21st November to administer the Flu Vaccine. Please make every effort to ensure that your child is in school on this day.


Newsletter October 2016


St Patrick’s Primary School, Ballynahinch


October 2016


Crossing Patrol

We are sorry to learn that Mr Smyth, one of our Crossing Patrol staff is unwell and wish him a speedy recovery. Ms Lowery will continue to provide the crossing patrol and we would urge everyone to be extra vigilant as we approach the darker mornings and evenings.

Schools Council

Good luck to our council members, Edward McKay, Ella Mahon, Shea Quinn, Niall Flanagan, Jessica Hawkins, Patrycja Sokolek, Ethan Sloan, Eoin McMullan, Bobbi-Jo Forker, Rachel Adams, Laura Wiesiolek Aaron Lavery, and Caoimhe McKibben.

We wish to thank Mrs Monica Sloan for helping on Election Day.  She did a great job of checking each voter’s ID and counting the votes.

Thanks also to Miss McEvoy who is leading the development of the Schools Council and to all of the teachers for their work in providing Democracy Day etc.