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December Newsletter

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St Patrick’s Primary School, Ballynahinch


December 2017

Bethlehem-The Musical

This year we are really looking forward to the Key Stage 2 performance of Bethlehem – The Musical. It is great to see all of the children so keen to be involved and working so hard to prepare for their performance. The Matinee Performance takes place on Tuesday, 12th December 2017 at 1.30pm and Evening Performance takes place Wednesday, 13th December at 7pm.

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, 4th December and Wednesday, 6th 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

P1-3 classes will provide the processions, hymns and readings for our Advent Mass, which takes place on Wednesday, 20th December 2017 at 9.30am 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 Wednesday, 13th 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 Tuesday, 12th 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. 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 15th December 2017.

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, 12th December 2017. They will also be singing at Alzheimer’s NI dinner in the Millbrook Lodge on 4th December 2017.

The Little Mermaid

P5-7 children are invited to audition for a part in this year’s Shared Education performance, The Little Mermaid on 7th December from 3pm to 5pm. A letter has been sent home with the arrangements and a consent slip.

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.

Pantomime Trip – 14th December 2017

Already, lots of money has been sent in for the Opera House trip on 14th December. Please remember that all money must be paid in full by Wednesday, 13th 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.


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 and Facebook page.

Magheradroll Nursery Open Day

The Nursery Open Day will be on Thursday, 7th December 2017. Parents interested in enrolling their child in the nursery in September 2018 are welcome to drop in anytime between 2pm and 3pm. Nursery applications for places must be returned to the main school by 10th January 2018.

St Patrick’s Primary School Open Day

St Patrick’s Primary School will hold their Open Day on Tuesday, 6th December 2017, beginning 2.00pm. All parents interested in enrolling their child into P1 in September 2018 are welcome to come along. Applications for P1 places must be returned to the school by 10th January 2018.

Applications can now be obtained from the school secretary at the Open Days or by calling the main office or on the EA website:


Well done to our P6 Olympic Handball teams who participated in the first round of the SE league last week. They are well place for qualification for the finals after some great results.

Library Carols

Our choir will be visiting Ballynahinch Library on Thursday, 21st December at 11.30am to sing some Christmas carols. Parents are welcome to come along!

Finals Await!

Well done to our school Gaelic football team who took part in the Down GAA indoor competition in Downpatrick on 28th November and have now qualified for the County finals. They put in fantastic effort and their ‘never-say-die’ attitude was great to see. Good luck boys!!!

Charity Pyjama and Christmas Jumper Day

Our school council have organised a charity Pyjama and Christmas Jumper day for Friday, 15th December. Children are asked for a £1 donation on the day for the homeless charity, Welcome.

Christmas Decoration Competition!

Every year our Eco-committee have a competition to design a decoration for our Christmas tree using recycled materials. For the chance to get your decoration on display and to WIN A PRIZE please bring your home-made decoration to school by Thursday, 7th December!

Parent Support Group Christmas Disco

The Parent Support Group Christmas Disco will take place in the school hall on Thursday 21st December from 6.30pm to 8.00pm. Admission £1


Thank you Parent Support Group!

A big thank you to our Parent Support Group who provided new benches for parents to use whilst waiting for their child at the end of the school day and some new picnic tables for the Foundation Stage playground.

Important Dates:

School will end at 11.00am on Friday, 22nd December 2017 and re-open again on Tuesday, 9th January 2018.

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

Flu Vaccinations      -        11th December 2017

Service of Light       –        1st February 2018 at 7.00pmm in St Patrick’s Church

First Confession      -        22nd February 2018 at 7pm in St Patrick’s Church

First Communion      -        Sunday, 22nd April 2018 at 12.30pm in St Patrick’s


Confirmation           -        Saturday, 12th May 2018 at 11.00am in St Patrick’s


Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year