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News at St. Colmcille‟s St. Colmcille‟s Primary School, Ballymena Parents‟ Newsletter Publish Date: Summer Term 2010

Issue Number 9

Welcome to the ninth issue of News at St. Colmcille’s marking the end of another academic year. This newsletter gives a snap shot of school life during the third term. The summer term is traditionally a very busy one in schools and in St. Colmcille’s the children have immersed themselves in a varied programme of activities. Children in Years 4 and 7 received the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation. Not only were these days of great joy for the families of these children, but also days of great celebration for the parish community.

The children have been recognised for their achievements on many occasions

throughout the year. One of the highlights was the Creation Rock musical in which the children in Years 5-7 had opportunity to showcase their talents – and following two sell out shows the children have received many words of congratulations. I also congratulate the Year 7 children who have graduated from primary school and are looking forward to beginning their post-primary education. I wish them well and thank them for contributing so positively to the life of St. Colmcille’s. I trust you enjoy reading the newsletter and wish you all a restful summer holiday. Mr B McKenna (Principal)

As part of the school‟s commitment to providing an effective education for all, parent workshops are held to enable parents to support their children in their learning. On 19 th April a large number of parents attended a workshop that focused on providing practical mental maths activities that can be used at home. As a result of the positive parent evaluations it is hoped to continue to provide such events in the next academic year.

Earlier this year our school received “Book Time” book packs to give to every Year 1 pupil. “Book Time” is managed by the independent charity “Book Trust” and is inspired by “Book Start”, the national programme providing free books to babies and toddlers. Set up in 2006 in association with education and publishing company Pearson, “Book Time” encourages parents and carers to continue sharing books with their children at a stage in their learning and development. To launch this year‟s book pack Miss Cunningham lead a story telling session where the children played some interactive games from the book time website. Both parents and children found the event helpful in fostering a love of reading in our Year 1 children.

Well done to the Year 4 children who celebrated their First Communion in All Saints Church on the 16th May. The children successfully completed their preparation for this sacrament by participating in the “Do This in Memory” programme co-ordinated by Mary Waide and the parish core team, and also completing the programme outlined in Alive-O 4 in school under the direction of Mrs McMullan, Mrs Smith and Mrs McKenna. The children were all beautifully presented on the day and music was provided by the parish choir. The ceremony was a real celebration of how family, school and parish can cooperate together for the benefit of all our children.

The Year 7 children celebrated their Service of Light on April 28th and their Confirmation on May 18th, along with the children from the local parish schools. The confirmation ceremony was celebrated by Bishop McKeown. There was a great sense of reverence on the occasion and all of the children who took part were excellent ambassadors for St. Colmcille‟s. We are grateful to Fr Toland and Fr Aidan for their support during the preparation for Confirmation and to Bishop McKeown for ensuring that the children had the opportunity to get a photograph with him after the ceremony.

Congratulations to all the winning teams of the alternative sports!

Parade of the Athletes

Key Stage 2 Alternative Sports

A triumphant finish!

Aaron nervously awaits the results!

Let the games begin!

Pupils at St. Colmcille‟s Primary School had an extra special guest at their sports day on Tuesday 1st June as Paralympic skier Kelly Gallagher was on hand to give out medals, cheer the pupils on and even take part in some of the activities. Kelly‟s visit was to celebrate the school‟s participation in the Activ-8 initiative. Activ8 is a new initiative from Sport Northern Ireland promoting 8 steps for children to get active and stay healthy and has been awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark. Speaking about her visit to St. Colmcille‟s, Kelly said: “It was great fun to come to St. Colmcille‟s Primary School sports day and to find out about their involvement in Sport Northern Ireland‟s Activ8 programme.”

On the 22nd of April the Year 6 children attended the “Fun in Athletics” event at the Ballymena North Centre which was organised by Ballymena Northern Regional College. During the day the children had the opportunity to work in teams and develop a wide range of fundamental skills in athletics such as jumping, balancing, running and crawling but at the same time having great fun and working with a number of experienced coaches. A great day was had by all!

These 8 boys travelled to Randalstown to represent St Colmcille‟s in the South West Hurling 7-a side competition on the 22nd April. The boys were a credit to St. Colmcille‟s, showing great commitment, skill and above all sportsmanship. We were narrowly beaten by a very strong Creggan team.

On the 12th of May the boys participated in the Large School League at the All Saints‟ GAA ground. All the boys were given the chance to showcase the skills that we have worked on all year after school each Thursday. It was a very enjoyable day. The St. Colmcille‟s students showed great enthusiasm and were great ambassadors for our school.

During May one of the Ballymena Hockey Club coaches came to St. Colmcille‟s to introduce the Year 7 children to the world of hockey. The children looked forward to their Monday afternoon session where they learnt how to hold the stick, strike the ball and work together as a team. Simon was very impressed with the children‟s skills and hopes to see some of this talent at the club in the future. Simon will return to St. Colmcille‟s next year to develop our link with the club even further!

The St. Colmcille‟s soccer team were successful in the 6-A- Side Football Festival/ Safety Awareness Day Tournament held at the Ballymena Show-grounds on 11th May 2010. The Year 7 boys played 4 group games, winning 3 and drawing one. The goal scorers throughout the four games were Brendan McDonnell, Josh King, Ciaran Neeson and Conor Doherty each with two goals. The boys played really well as a team and have kept up their winning streak. Special thanks go to Constable Billy O‟Flaherty for organising the competition and inviting our school to take part. Congratulations boys on representing our school so well.

The St. Colmcille‟s Soccer team ended the year with a very successful showing at Dunclug Primary School in May, having progressed to the 7-A-Side Soccer Final. They won the semifinal after a brilliant high scoring victory. They played Harryville Primary School in the final and after playing out a scoreless match and extra-time, the final went to penalties. The boys competed really well but unfortunately were beaten on penalties. The team must be commended for their performance and more importantly, for the level of sportsmanship shown in this competition and also throughout the year in all competitions. Well done boys! Team: Ryan McKenna, Ryan Magill, Tarlach Tennant, Brendan McDonnell, Conor Doherty, Josh King, Michael Carberry, Ciaran Neeson, Eoin Mc Corkindale, Conor Cosgrove.

St. Colmcilleâ€&#x;s was delighted to host Appalachian Roots by MTSU theatre company - an inspirational and entertaining story of courage and survival in early nineteenth century America. Here is a synopsis of the story: A one room school house in an East Tennessee coal mining

town has become a second home to the children who attend. Aunt Julie, the school teacher, has filled their days with more than reading and writing. She has given them a love for the music and stories of their Appalachian heritage. Early one school day they hear the sirens announcing trouble at the mine. They are told to stay at the school while they await news of their fathers, brothers, uncles and others. To maintain their courage the children bring to life their beloved stories and songs.

The Year 4-7 children were enthralled throughout the show and in return a few of our children performed some of our own dance and music for the company! The school would like to thank the renowned local story teller Liz Weir for organising the event.

The Teaching Awards ceremonies represent an annual opportunity to shine a spotlight on the work that takes place every day in schools across Northern Ireland and the UK. The ceremony provides a valuable showcase of the talent, creativity and commitment found in local schools. This year St. Colmcille‟s was invited to play and sing at the event in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast on the 8th June hosted by BBC‟s Donna Traynor. The children sang beautifully and skillfully played their instruments to the enthralled audience. Once again St. Colmcille‟s can be proud of the talents of the children.

This year the NEELB road safety team carried out a workshop with the pupils of St. Louis Grammar school and St. Colmcille‟s P.S. The drama at the event showcased the need for children to be safe on the roads by telling a poignant story of three friends who‟s friend was killed in a car accident. Both teachers and children alike were moved by the story and it certainly left an impression with all those that watched the events of the story unfold.

Congratulations to our Year 5-7 pupils who gave a brilliant performance of Creation Rock; a fantastic rendition of music, drama and dance retelling the story of Creation, Noahâ€&#x;s Ark and the Battle of Jericho, coordinated by Mrs McDonald. The children thoroughly enjoyed the show and once again had the opportunity to showcase their talents to two sell out performances. A big thank you to all those who worked so tirelessly in the weeks leading up to the show!

This has been another very successful year for our reading partners programme. St Colmcille‟s can welcome Mrs Hayes to the team alongside Mrs Clarke and Mrs Beattie as trained qualified reading partners as she qualified during the term having successfully completed her training. The initiative is a ten week reading programme targeted at Year 3 and 4 pupils providing opportunity for pupils to have one-to-one intensive support during reading, helping to develop their skills and foster that much needed love for reading. Well done to all the boys and girls who received certificates this week for completing the programme and a big thank you to the reading partner leaders for all their hard work throughout the year.

Pictured are the prizewinners in the Primary School competitions organised by the Ballymena Credit Union as part of their „Gr8 Savers Week‟. Helen, Aoibhin, Neil, Caoimhe, Lara and Sarah were winners in the colouring competition for Years 1 – 3. Nicole won the essay competition. The children received their prizes from Julie Ferguson, Youth Officer from the local Credit Union. Well done everyone!

The Eco Council have been busy this term learning how to grow vegetables. A selection of vegetables has been planted and some are reaching the point where they will soon be ready to pick and eat. The Year 5s had the busy task of planting the vegetables and making suitable beds for them . . .

Preparing grow bags for potatoes and carrots.

Building frames to support the peas . .

Transplanting the beans from their pots into a bigger tub . . .


Organising the Carrots…….

Making compost . . .

Some of the strawberries have started to appear

Look how much the spinach has grown!... The potatoes are growing well…….

The children are getting reading to harvest their first year‟s crops! Well done to the Eco Council for all of the work that they have been involved in throughout the year helping our school be conscious of its place in the community and helping our pupils to ensure that we are being kind to the environment in every thing we do. We are looking forward to see what plans the Eco Council have in store for 2010-11!

The summer term just wouldn‟t be the same without a school trip. With that in mind every class throughout the school planned their own adventure including visits to The People’s Park in Ballymena, Springvale Farm, Belfast Zoo, Dunluce Centre in Portrush, the Causeway School and the Ulster Museum. A great time was had by all and many treasured memories were made. Here are some photos from the various trips.

Year 1 having fun at the People’s Park

Year 2 Trip to Streamvale Farm

Year 4 visit the Causeway school

Year 5 at the Ulster Museum

Year 7 at NICCY

Year 5 have been practicing their Science skills this term by taking part in a number of scientific investigations. Have a look and see what they were up to . . .

Using balloons to investigate how aeroplanes travel . . .

Investigating the different colours in ink . . .

Making colour spinners to investigate Colour and Light....

Film producers of the future! Investigating moving images to find out how cartoons are made.

The Year 5s took part in a Technology Challenge. After exploring how boats float and travel, the children were given the challenge of designing a boat which could carry a load. Some of our Year 7s acted as mentors for the teams for the challenge!

There is a strong tradition of music in St. Colmcille‟s. Children have opportunities to receive instrumental tuition from the NEELB‟s peripatetic music staff. The children play a range of string, brass and woodwind instruments. During the year selected children successfully completed the Associated Board Graded Music Examinations at the Antrim Board Centre. Listed are the pupils who completed the examinations. GRADE 1 VIOLIN Rory Corr Niamh Donaldson Callum Faith Caoimhe Kelly Erin Kelly Ryan McGarry Ellen Mulvenna Euan Mulvenna Julia Stuart GRADE 1 CELLO

Maria McCrystal


Ellen Dougan

Eimear Smyth


Sophie Donnelly


Rachel McCormick Rachel Reid

Maeve Goldring

Eoin McGuigan

The Year 7 children have been studying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. As part of the theme the children visited the Northern Ireland Commission for Children and Young People in Belfast and had a tour of the city hall. They also studied Amnesty International and entered a writing competition online writing about the abuses of children‟s rights across the world. We were absolutely thrilled to find out that Conor won the Northern Ireland heat in the competition and came second overall in the UK category. Well done Conor!

As part of the extensive after-school clubs, children in Year 7 have the opportunity to complete a cycling proficiency scheme. They had to competently carry out a number of skills on their bicycles under the watchful eyes of Miss Stewart and Mr Kearney. All the children successfully completed the course and were awarded certificates at the annual prize-day in school. Many of the children also registered for the cycle to school two weeks initiative by the Ballymena Borough Council and were awarded high visibility jackets, wrist bands and cycle repair kits sponsored by Halfords.

Year 5 completed this yearâ€&#x;s swimming programme for St. Colmcilleâ€&#x;s P.S. and received their certificates in recognition for their achievement. All of the Key Stage 2 classes have enjoyed improving their skills over the year with many making great improvements.

Maths Award English Award Best Effort Award Social Spirit Award

Mrs Smith

Mrs McMullan

Miss Stewart

Mr Kearney

Ben McMullan

Ciara Fraser

Paudie McKee

Eoghan Daly

Caitlin Martin

Leah Barker

Roseanne Roche

Eva Gartland

Jack Agnew

Mollie O‟Brien

Nicole Reid Wiktoria Babuszewska

Sinead McGarry

Brenda McGuigan

Clodagh Healy

Ellie Barry

Mrs Kane

Niamh Maths Award Donaldson English Award Best Effort Award Social Spirit Award

Alana McDonnell

Mrs Kelly Cup

Beth Doherty

Rebecca Getty

ECO Award

James Logan Aislinn McAleer

Darius Hanna Patrycja Wieczorek

Mrs McAleer

Eoin Maths Award McCorkindale Conor English McCrory Award Best Effort Award Social Spirit Award

Mr Murray

Mr Rodgers

Rachel Reid Michael Carberry

Cait Bird

Sean O‟Rawe

Daire Wilson

Josh King

Year 4

Year 5

Shealyn Caulfield Michael McDonald

OVERALL AWARDS Best Girl Athlete Best Boy Athlete Musician of the Year Cyclist of the Year

Oonagh O‟Neill Ciaran Neeson Ellen Mulvenna

Top Girl Award

Ryan Magill Rachel McCormick

Top Boy Award

Conor Doherty

Year 6

Year 7

Top girl and boy Athlete

Ciaran & Oonagh

Special Achievement Cyclist, Musician & Eco award

Shealyn, Ryan, Ellen & Michael

Attendance Awards

Mrs. McAleer’s Class

Mr. Rodgers’ Class This has been a truly adventure packed year for Year 7 and it is with sadness that St. Colmcille‟s bids farewell to both classes. The Year 7 children finished their time at St. Colmcille‟s by celebrating a thanksgiving Mass with Fr. Toland. The ceremony was beautiful but tinged with sadness as Rachel and Conor giving speeches about their time at primary school. However, with the talents all of the children have displayed throughout the year we are certain that they will have a bright future ahead of them, and we wish them well through their journey in life!

Star of the Month Congratulations to all our Stars this term: Year Group




Emma Clarke

Rys Haveron

Alicia Jaimon

Eva Casey


Megan Reid

Eimear Crawford


Hugh Totten


Georgia Meeke


Ciara Fraser

Dylan Loughran

Rebecca McDonald

Ben McMullan

Emma Flannagan

Garrion Hanna

Katie Mc Connell

Ellie Barry

Rory Corr

Rebecca Getty

Patrycja Wieczorek

Eoin McGuigan

Conor McCormick

Michael Carberry

Shealyn Caulfield

Weronika Bocian

4 5 6 7

Sophie Doherty

Our Golden Rules In creating an ordered and caring environment the staff and pupils have adopted six Golden Rules that permeate all aspects of school life. All of the Golden Rules have been introduced to the children through assemblies each Friday morning. They are clearly displayed in classrooms, the corridors and out side in the playground to remind the children of positive behaviour that is expected. Next year teachers will be developing this further by using circle time as a tool to encourage positive behaviour in and outside the Classroom.

School closes on Wednesday 30th June at 12.00noon 2010/2011 Academic Year Term 1 starts

1st September 2010


1st – 5th November 2010


8th December 2010


24th December 2010 7th January 2011 (inclusive)

The Governors, Principal and Staff wish you all a safe and fun filled summer.

St CC Newletter 2009-10 Term 3  

St CC Newletter 2009-10 Term 3

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