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Abbots Cross Primary School, Newtownabbey

Good News! Good News! November 2020

24th Nov 2020

Good News! Good News! In these days, when so much of the news on television and social media is rather depressing, I am glad to say we have lots of good news in Abbots Cross Primary.

We have been granted a fully funded Nurture Unit by the Department of Education. This means we will have a full time Nurture teacher and a full time Nurture assistant. They will work in a specially resourced classroom. This facility will be available to all the pupils in Abbots Cross Primary when they need it. The focus of the work here is to build confidence and self-esteem and to reduce anxiety especially related to attachment issues and independence. All pupils attending our Nurture Room will also follow the usual curriculum for their class.

We are also delighted at the progress our pupils have made since returning to school in September. Reading ages are improving rapidly. For example, one pupil returned to school reading at Level 3 and by October half term had moved to Level 9. Our P7 pupils continue to prepare for AQE Transfer by attending our Transfer Tutoring session after school. We are trying to make this both useful and fun for them as they prepare for the tests in January 2021.

The Department of Education have also provided funding at Abbots Cross PS for the Engage Project. This project aims to direct extra teaching support to help pupils catch up with work missed during lockdown. Mrs Smyth and Mrs Stewart are working with individual and small groups in P3 and P4 to boost confidence and wellbeing alongside literacy and numeracy skills.

We are looking forward to the installation of our Trim Trail in the safe surface area at the back of the school. This will be an important addition for our younger children and is specially designed to give opportunity for the development of motor skills, such as climbing, hopping, balancing and stretching.

You may have noticed our play stage at the front of the school. This was designed and built by Mr Tom Armstrong, one of our school governors. Our Key Stage 2 children are already enjoying imaginative play using the stage and who knows..... there may even be a short Nativity performance before Christmas. We will make sure all this is shared with you virtually if we cannot have parents here in person.

We have been thinking of new ways to celebrate Christmas and how best to share our Christmas fun with parents. Teachers have made plans for a virtual Advent calendar. Starting on 1st December, every class will appear in a “window” by video and bring a Christmas performance to you. We will share further details of this on our Facebook page and Seesaw app.

This is a very unusual Christmas season for us all. Please remember that the staff in Abbots Cross PS are here to help you and your child in any way we can. We are happy to communicate by phone or Seesaw message.

Wishing you a safe and peaceful Christmas and New Year,

J Griffith