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Newsletter October 2016

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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.


Shared Education Link with Ballynahinch Primary School

Last year we very successfully introduced the Shared Education Programme to our school, working together with Ballynahinch Primary School to provide opportunities for children to come together and take part in joint learning opportunities.

Our vision for the programme is to enhance the learning of all pupils in an environment where there is equal opportunity, good relations and mutual respect, whilst acknowledging and celebrating similarities and differences.

This year we are extending the opportunities for joint learning opportunities to more children with our Year 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 pupils involved in the Shared Education Programme. As part of the programme the children will visit each other’s school for joint lessons and take part in educational visits based around their learning focus. Resource, transport and funding requirements will be met by the Shared Education Programme.

Sponsored Bounce

Our Sponsored Bounce takes place on Thursday, 6th October with all proceeds going towards the purchase of ICT equipment for the school. All support is greatly appreciated.

School Photographer

The school photographer will be in school on Monday, 24th October. The P1 and P7 classes only will have an individual photograph taken. A separate letter will be issued to parents and the attached reply slip should be completed should they wish to have an individual photo taken of their child in P2-6 or have a group photo taken of all family members attending St Patrick’s.

Like last year, there will be a family photo session arranged for later in the term. This will consist of an evening where families can pre-book a slot to have their session with the photographer. It would be appreciated if parents could use this opportunity rather than the 24th October for family photos.

Book Fair

Our Annual Book Fair this year runs from 10th -14th October. Why not come along and treat your child to a book and also help raise much needed funds for our school.


Playground Buddies

Our P1 buddies have done a fantastic job of helping the new P1 children settle into school. The feedback from parents has been wonderful and it lovely to see the way the older boys and girls have been so caring in the mornings. Everyone is so proud of them. Well done boys and girls!!!


Head lice

Parents are reminded of the ‘Once a week, take a peek!’ approach which encourages them to regularly check their child for head lice. It is not the school’s policy to collectively notify parents should head lice be observed so please help us to keep the occurrence of head lice in school to a minimum by checking regularly. To obtain more information on head lice go to

Is your child reading regularly?

Reading regularly is vital to the development of word recognition strategies, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. Every child is given reading homework so please encourage him/her to take time to read this and other materials of their choice.   We are keen to give the children an element of free choice in their reading and so are arranging to have regular visits to the local library by each class. Why not make use of this excellent facility too and take your child there outside of school?

Water bottles

Water bottles are for use by the children throughout the school day so please don’t pack them in your child’s lunch box.

Help us to encourage your child to avoid sugared drinks and drink healthily. Please don't put flavoured water into children's water bottles. You might fool the class teacher but think of the damage you are doing to your child's teeth if they are constantly being coated with sugary, flavoured water!

Book Bags

It’s great to see so many parents purchasing the book bags. They work best when they are used only for books so please avoid putting fruit or other food into the book bag.

Altar Servers

As a catholic school we feel it is important that our pupils play an active role in parish life. Please contact Fr Brown should your child wish to volunteer as an altar server.


Emotional Intelligence

This month’s Emotional Intelligence focus is on ‘Prayerfulness’ Why not take a little time to talk to your child about what they are learning about this important value.

The P4/5class will be performing their assembly on Friday 28th October. Parents of P4/5 children are very welcome to come along to see their child.


Languages Day

We wish to extend our thanks to Assumption Grammar School for inviting our P6 and 7 children to their recent European Languages Day. The boys and girls really enjoyed sampling the different languages on offer and the fun activities that they took part in.

Violin Tuition

It is great to see the continued enthusiasm of the boys and girls from our school who access the weekly violin tuition from Mrs Corr our tutor from the school of music. Remember to practice as much as possible!

Important Dates

7th October 2016                                  -           P3/4 Assembly @ 9.30am

24th October 2016                                -           School Photographer for P1 and P7


10th – 14th October 2016                       -           Book Fair

31st Oct – 4th November 2016                -           School Closed for Mid-Term Break









Top 10 tips for Homework


By now your child should be settled into the routine of homework for his/her new class. Children are more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their homework — it shows them that what they do is important.

Of course, helping with homework shouldn't mean spending hours hunched over a desk. Parents can be supportive by demonstrating study and organization skills, explaining a tricky problem, or just encouraging kids to take a break. And who knows? Parents might even learn a thing or two!

Here are some tips to guide the way:

1. Know the teachers — and what they're looking for. Attend school events, such as parent-teacher conferences, to meet your child's teachers. Ask about their homework policies and how you should be involved.

2. Set up a homework-friendly area. Make sure kids have a well-lit place to complete homework. Keep supplies — paper, pencils, glue, scissors — within reach.

3. Schedule a regular study time. Some kids work best in the afternoon, following a snack and play period; others may prefer to wait until after dinner.

4. Help them make a plan. On heavy homework nights or when there's an especially hefty assignment to tackle, encourage your child break up the work into manageable chunks. Create a work schedule for the night if necessary — and take time for a 15-minute break every hour, if possible.

5. Keep distractions to a minimum. This means no TV, loud music, or phone calls. (Occasionally, though, a phone call to a classmate about an assignment can be helpful.)

6. Make sure kids do their own work. They won't learn if they don't think for themselves and make their own mistakes. Parents can make suggestions and help with directions. But it's a kid's job to do the learning.

7. Be a motivator and monitor. Ask about assignments, quizzes, and tests. Give encouragement, check completed homework, and make yourself available for questions and concerns.

8. Set a good example. Do your kids ever see you diligently balancing your budget or reading a book? Kids are more likely to follow their parents' examples than their advice.

9. Praise their work and efforts. Post an aced test or art project on the refrigerator. Mention academic achievements to relatives.

10. If there are continuing problems with homework, get help. Talk about it with your child's teacher.