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December Newsletter

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                 St Patrick’s Primary School, Ballynahinch


December 2015


Nick Sharratt Visits our school!

The famous illustrator, Nick Sharratt, will be visiting our school on Wednesday, 2nd December to talk to the children about his work.Nick has illustrated close to 250 books, ranging from board books for babies to novels for young teenagers and has worked with authors including Julia Donaldson, Jeremy Strong, Michael Rosen, Giles Andreae, Kaye Umansky, Kes Gray and most notably Dame Jacqueline Wilson. Find out more on

Books illustrated by Nick will be available to purchase and these can be personally signed by him. If your child has a book at home that he/she wants to get signed please bring it in on the day.

Cinderella Rockerfella


This year we are really looking forward to the Key Stage 2 performance of Cinderella Rockerfella. It is really great to see all of the children so keen to be involved and working so hard to prepare for their performance. There will be two showings, the matinee show which takes place on Tuesday, 15th December 2015 at 1.30pm and the evening show on Wednesday 16th December 2015 at 7.00pm.

To ensure that all parents get the opportunity to see their child perform they will have the option of initially purchasing two tickets between Wednesday, 1st December and Tuesday, 8th 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

P1-4 classes will provide the processions, hymns and readings for our Advent Mass, which takes place on Thursday 17th December 2015 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 P1-P3 classes will take place on Wednesday, 16th December. The school dinner for P4-P7 children on this day will be a packed lunch.

The P4-P7 classes will have their Christmas Dinner on Friday, 18th December 2015. Again, a packed lunch will be available for the P1-P3 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 2015.

Cross Community Carol Service

The P3 Choir will take part in the Cross Community Carol Service in Ballynahinch Community Centre at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 8th December 2015.

Christmas Outing to see Snow White

Already, lots of money has been sent in for the Opera House trip on 17th December. Please remember to have the subsidised cost of £7 per child paid by Tuesday, 15th December. The children will be leaving the school at 12.30pm to see the 1.30pm show and return back to the school at around 4.30pm. A text message and Facebook message will be sent after the show to give a more exact return time.

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.

 Reindeer Food

Reindeer Food can be purchased from the main office of the school at a cost of £1.00. Proceeds are in aid of the Children’s Hospice.

Magheradroll Nursery Open Day

The Nursery Open Day will be on 9th December 2015. Parents interested in enrolling their child in the nursery in September 2015 are welcome to drop in anytime between 2pm and 3pm. Nursery applications for places must be returned to the main school by 13th January 2016.

St Patrick’s Primary School Open Day

St Patrick’s Primary School will hold their Open Day on Thursday, 10th December 2015, beginning 2.00pm. All parents interested in enrolling their child into P1 in September 2015 are welcome to come along. Applications for P1 places must be returned to the school by 13th January 2016.

Applications can be obtained from the school secretary at the Open Days or by calling the main office after 7th December 2015.

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.

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, 18th December will be a non-uniform day. Children are asked for £1 donation on the day for School Funds.

Christmas Holidays

School will end at 11.00am on Wednesday, 23rd December 2015 and re-open again on Friday, 8th January 2016.

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



The Children and Staff

of St Patrick’s Primary School

Wish you


                Happy Christmas


              Peaceful New Year