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November Newsletter

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St Patrick’s Primary School, Ballynahinch


November 2017


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 attached our School Development Plan for your information.

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.

Internet Safety Parent Workshop

Ballynahinch P.S. school has very kindly invited parents from our school to attend a parents’ information session on Internet Safety delivered by PSNI Community Policing Officers and a representative of the O2 network on Tuesday, 14th November 2017 from 7.00pm – 8.00pm in their school. The workshop will provide you with guidance, support and advice to help keep your child safe when on-line.

P1 Phonics workshop

Phonological Awareness is a fundamental part of early reading and writing and it is vital that it is reinforced at home. With this in mind, parents of P1 children are invited to a workshop on Thursday 16th November at 12.45pm. More details will be provided by letter to parents.

Eco-Schools Committee

We would like to wish all of the boys and girls who have put themselves forward to be part of the Eco-Committee good luck in the elections which take place on Thursday, 9th November.


Flu Vaccinations

The School Nurse will be visiting on Monday, 11th December to administer the Flu Vaccine. Please make every effort to ensure that your child is in school on this day.

GAA Draw

The Annual Down GAA Primary Schools draw has recently been launched. This has been very well supported in the past and we hope that this year will be no different. Tickets have just been circulated so please keep an eye out for them in the children’s school bags.

Please return tickets and money to the school by 17th November. Your support is greatly appreciated as the money raised will go towards the cost of coaches for our school.


Maths at School

Maths at School is an extremely useful website for supporting KS2 in their maths. The cost to access the on-line resource is £1 and so we would ask parents of P5, 6 and 7 children to contribute £1 to cover this cost. This website can also be accessed and used at home on Indeed, we would ask that you encourage your child to make the most of this fantastic maths resource.

Language classes

Our links with Assumption Grammar School continue to grow and we are delighted to have girls from their A-Level class visit our Year 2-4 children to teach Spanish and Irish.


Parents are reminded of school policy that only stud earrings can be worn in school. Earrings must be removed during PE. Taping over earrings is not acceptable.

Parent Support Group Christmas Craft Fair

The PSG have organised a Christmas Craft Fair on Saturday, 18th November in the School Hall from 12-3pm. We hope that everyone will take the time to support their fundraising efforts. Keep up to date with events on the PSG Facebookpage: .

Dropping-off children in the morning

Parents are reminded that children should not be left in the school playground before 8.45am!


Trip to the Opera House

A reminder that the children from St Patrick’s will be going to see the pantomime, Peter Pan, in the Opera House, Belfast, on Thursday, 14th December 2017. The cost per child for the trip is significantly reduced to £8. A £2 deposit should have been paid by 20th October but there are still quite a number outstanding.

In order to plan the trip, numbers attending need to be finalised.

To ensure no child misses out on this wonderful experience parents are asked to pay their deposit by Friday, 10th November. No payment will be accepted after this date.




Text Message Service

As Winter approaches parents are reminded to provide an up-to-date mobile phone number so that they can receive messages from the school text message service.

School closures information will also be posted on the school Facebook page should severe weather impact on the normal school routines.

Anti-bullying Week

National Anti-Bullying Week runs from 13th - 17th Nov. 2017 and this year’s theme is 'All different, all equal' with the following key aims:

  • empower children and young people to celebrate what makes them, and others, unique
  • help children and young people understand how important it is that every child feels valued and included in school, able to be themselves, without fear of bullying
  • encourage parents and carers to work with their school and talk to their children about bullying, difference and equality
  • enable teachers and other children’s workforce professionals to celebrate what makes us ‘all different, all equal’ and celebrate difference and equality. Encouraging them to take individual and collective action to prevent bullying, creating safe environments where children can be themselves.

Parents are asked to take time to talk to their son/daughter about what bullying is and what to do if he/she experiences this. Information on bullying can be found on


Emotional Intelligence

This month the children will focus on the virtue of Goodness. Why not take a little time to talk to your child about what they are learning? Miss Johnson’s P7 class will be performing their assembly on the Emotional Intelligence theme on Friday, 1st December 2017 at 9.30am. Parents of children in the P7 class are very welcome to come along. Tea and coffee will be served from 9am.

Halloween Fancy Dress

The children had a great day last Friday and the Halloween Fancy Dress was enjoyed by all. Sincere thanks to everyone who went to such an effort to get dressed up and congratulations to the School Council for organising such a fantastic event. In total, £133 (after expenses) was raised for School Council funds.

Book Fair

The book fair held in the school recently was very successful and thanks are extended to the children and parents for their support. As well as being an opportunity to promote reading we also received commission of £988.45 which will be used to increase the choice of easy reads for our pupils.

Attendance and Reporting Absence

Help us to help your child in their learning by ensuring that they have punctual and regular attendance. Please avoid taking holidays during school time as they impact greatly on the child’s learning and also on the rest of the class.

Parents are reminded that they should inform the school in writing of the reason for their child’s absence from school. Whilst a phone on the morning of the absence is appreciated it is important that we have a written note for our records.


Head lice

Remember, ‘Once a week, take a peek!’ - Regularly check your child’s head for head lice! For more information go to