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Bligh's Lane
Nursery School

Bligh's Lane
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May Newsletter

Bligh’s Lane Nursery School 




May Newsletter 2019

Monthly Theme                                                                   

The theme for this month will be Summer Gardens / Mini beasts.  The children will be learning about the parts of a flower (root, stem, petal and leaves) and about common mini beasts such as ladybirds, snails, butterflies, bees, worms, slugs etc. If you find any snails or worms in your garden please bring them in so that the children can see them.  There will be a ‘Camping theme going on with barbeques (not real ones!), tents and sleeping bags in the classrooms, and there will also be a Cafe role play area. All of these activities help to extend children’s language, creativity and understanding of the world around them.                                                      

Songs and Rhymes

Little Arabella Millar                         5 Little Monkeys

What do you suppose?                     Here is the Bee Hive

Wiggly Woo                                     Mini Beast Rhyme                 

Round and Round the Garden    I’m Taking Home a Baby Bumble Bee


Early Mathematical Experiences

We will be reinforcing the ‘Rectangle’ shape this month – children generally find this shape the hardest to learn, so you can help by pointing out rectangle shapes to your child whenever you see them.  We will also continue to look at patterns in the environment and the shapes of mini beasts and flowers.                   


Reading and Writing

The children are all very interested in reading story books and many of them can be seen in the classroom reading stories to each other in their own words.  This is the best kind of practice for ‘real reading’.  Continue to read to your child at home, borrow from our lending library and find time to visit the Library.  Many children are already writing their own names – this is not a necessity, as the Year One teachers prefer to teach the children the proper letter formation techniques themselves.  But we would never discourage a child who wants to write. Often adults show children how to write their names using capital letters – please do not do this – only use a capital letter at the start of your child’s name. Children who learn to write their name in capital letters only find it very difficult to ‘forget’ this and learn how to do it the correct way ie. Eimear not EIMEAR



Please remember to bring back your child’s homework pack every Monday as we need to check the contents and replace them. Please ensure that the LIBRARY BOOK and ACTIVITY PACK are both in the Library Bag!


Story Of The Month

Our story this month links closely to our theme. It’s the story of ‘The Very Greedy Bee’. The story covers the theme of friendship and sharing as well as mini-beasts.


Getting Ready to Learn

We will launch our fourth theme, Happy Healthy Kids during May. This theme aims to help parents understand the factors which will promote healthy lifestyles in their children. It will include tips on making your child more active, healthy eating for children and a demonstration fitness lesson by our football coach. We will run two sessions on the 13th May: The parents from Mrs Woods class are invited to attend the session at 12.15pm (children will still be in class) and parents from Mrs O’ Doherty’s class at 1.15pm (children will be at extended schools.)



We had an absolutely brilliant time visiting our Shared Education partners’ settings throughout the Spring term. We also enjoyed a visit from the Kidz Farm- a real ‘hands on’ farm experience!  We will be having a few more visits in the coming weeks:

3rd  May : We will visit Tropical World Letterkenny to kick-start our minibeast topic.

14th May: Visit to Lurgybrack Farm with our Shared Education Partners- this is the finale to our programme

17th May: Visit to Shooting Starz Gym in Camspie

We also plan to go to the beach for a day but we need the weather to play its part in organising this one!


Transition Programme

Over the next few weeks we will begin to get your child ready to transition to Primary school. This will include visits from their new teachers and visits to their new school. All of this will help your child to settle quickly into P1 as it is a huge step for all the children and needs to be managed really carefully. As the large majority of our children transfer to St John’s we work closely with them. They will be in contact with all parents with dates for meetings etc. If your child is not going to St John’s we will contact the Primary school in question and communicate with the P1 teachers there.


Parent Forum

All parents will be asked to fill out an ‘exit questionnaire’ which will allow you to tell us what you think about various aspects of school life over the past year. However, Mrs Woods would also like to meet with a small group of parents for a more in-depth chat and to hear some of your ideas about how we could improve our provision even further. This will involve a couple of short sessions (no more than an hour) in June. If this is something you could help with please speak to Mrs Woods.


Sports Day!

Our annual Sports Day will be held on Friday 24th May this year, so you will receive a separate information sheet and Sponsor Form in the next few weeks  This is a very special family event, which helps to raise funds for the school.  It is essential that each child is accompanied by an adult on this day as the staff will be involved in organising the races and cannot be responsible for the safety of the children as well.  Parents also actively participate in the races – so start training now!!!!  The money raised last year was put into the school fund account and is being spent on your children this year for example: buying food for parties, cereal, bread, pancakes, yogurt, eggs etc  for breakfast and snack; the children’s present from Santa; Easter Eggs; Theatre visits; Birthday Cards and Cakes; Sweets for ‘Sweet Day’ (every Friday) etc. So the money you raise this year will be spent on next year’s children so please ask everyone you can to make a small contribution.  Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles are also very welcome! Sports Day will be held in the Long Tower Youth Centre (in the Derry City Football Grounds) from 9.50am – 12.00 noon approx.




Please remember that if you are buying new shoes for your child that they should have Velcro straps if your child is to wear them in school


The school will be closed on  Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th  May  and Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th  May  for the bank holidays.

Birthdays this Month


Dylan McLaughlin                              Kaylee McGivern       


Alec Walsh                                           Cohen Morton                              





Bligh’s Lane Nursery School


Easter Newsletter

Monthly Theme

The theme for this month is ‘Easter’. Please let your child bring something Easter related for the Easter Table.  We will focus on the ‘Oval’ shape and ‘Pattern Awareness’ (Stripes, zigzags and wavy lines) this month through discussion and art activities.                     


Songs and Rhymes       


Little Peter Rabbit            Humpty Dumpty

Little Rabbit Foo Foo              Chook, Chook, Chook

   Five Fat Sausages                Five Shiny Eggs           

   Hickety Pickety                     3 Sticky Lollipops

5 Little Rabbits                  Ride a Cock Horse

One Potato   5 Little Ducks                                                                                                       

GRtL- Education Works in Pre-School: Helping your child at home

Here are some more ways that you can help to reinforce our topic and also ways to encourage good behaviour at home:

  • Point out oval shapes or patterns at home or in town - if possible
  • Talk about what you are doing when you are dividing up cakes or sandwiches – use the words ‘divide’, ‘cut in half’ etc.
  • Name the shapes of the sandwiches – or ask your child what shape of sandwich / piece of bread they would like
  • Let your child help you set the table – tell them how many knives and forks you need and talk to them about Left and Right – they are already doing this in school
  • If you have time (maybe at the weekends) encourage your child to dress himself/herself – your child is at a stage where he/she wants to do things for him/herself.  This activity not only develops confidence, independence, and physical skills, but also logical thinking and sequencing skills.
  • Buy some stickers for encouraging good behaviour at home – they mean so much to your child and are a visible sign of your approval



The Easter Bunny will hide some Easter Eggs in the playground before Easter – usually during the last week before the Easter holidays. The children will then have and Easter Egg hunt (only one Egg each unfortunately!)


The children will visit Bananas in the Bowling Alley on Wednesday 17th April  – please make sure that your child is dressed appropriately – LONG SLEEVES MUST BE WORN (to prevent friction burns) AND NO BASEBALL BOOTS PLEASE   - all children should be wearing shoes with Velcro tapes.  This is our last day of school before the Easter holidays.  There will be no dinner on this day and children should be collected at the school at 11.30am



The school will be closed from Thursday 18th April – Monday 29th April (inclusive) for the Easter Holidays. We return to school on Tuesday 30th April. 



Please make sure your child is dropped off and picked up promptly. Doors open from 8.45am in the mornings and children can be collected from 1pm. In the interests of safety our external door will not open until 1 pm.



We ask that you return book bags on a Monday. Remember your child will get a book and a language/maths pack every week (unless they have the Book of the Month). Remember also that you are welcome to come and see a story or singing session on any day.



‘Thank you’ to all the Parents who have been able to come in and help the children with their breakfast – almost every parent in the school has helped – in some families both mum and dad have done it.  Thank you also to the parents who were able to come and have dinner with us – again some parents come more than once! There is also a rota for April – please sign up again and perhaps come in when your child is the Helper this time! It’s a great way to see how independent your child has become and the foods they eat here that they may ‘claim’ to dislike at home!



Remember to check out our facebook page by searching for Bligh’s Lane Nursery School or visit our website at You will find news and updates as well as newsletters, photos and other useful information.



We have had six shared sessions now and our seventh will be on 10th April. There will be one more final session after this on 14th May. Children are so good at mixing and making new friends without a second thought- we adults could learn a lot from them!



The extended schools budget for 2018-19 ends on the 31st of March. The Board of Governors have agreed that we can use our own budget to fund the months of April and May. Please see the new timetable attached to this letter.



Oh my goodness! How lucky have we been to have had Mrs Doherty teaching the children in Class 1 while Mrs Woods has been on maternity leave. Mrs Doherty has been amazingly dedicated and hardworking during her time with us and the children have loved her. She has stimulated each individual child and planned specific activities to cater for each child’s needs. She has been a wonderful asset to our staff team sharing her experience and many talents and ideas. We want to thank her so so much but we will not say “Good Bye” just yet. We hope that she will still come in “the odd day” to be with the children when Mrs Woods returns. We would like to extend a huge big “Welcome Back” to Mrs Woods, our Principal who returns to school on Wednesday 10th April. We look forward to having her back on the staff again.




Lexi Nicholson                  Daniel Morrow                         

Happy Easter!






Monthly Theme:   SPRING 


Winter is over – hopefully! So the theme for the month of April will be ‘Spring’.   As you will know by now we continue to encourage the children to notice and describe changes in their environment – they may have seen daffodils growing in their gardens at home or in green areas in the town.  Some children have noticed that Spring flowers are growing in our planters in the playground. The children will be doing observational paintings and drawings of Spring flowers, so if you have cherry blossoms, tulips, daffodils or branches with buds on them in your garden, please bring them in for the children to see, and encourage your child to notice changes in your garden or the environment as you travel to school.


Language Development

There will be lots of discussion about the parts of flowers; bulb, seed, shoot, stem, bud, petal, leaf and flower. We will also talk about farm animals, the names of their young, where young animals come from and how they change as they grow.  We will focus especially on the Life Cycle of the Frog. The children will learn about these things through stories, lotto games, factual dvds, internet and CD ROMs.  Why not go to the library and find some books connected to this topic to share with your child or search for them on the internet? Be sure to let us know what you find! Our special story of the month for March will be “Jack and the Beanstalk.”



Language and Maths Activity Packs

We will continue to provide activities for your child to take home that focus on language development and soon introduce some mathematical activities. This is another way in which you can really get involved with your child’s learning. The children who DON’T have the Special Story will get activities in their library bags for you to help them with. Don’t forget to read your Language Letter also so you can get the most out of the Special Story when your child gets it.




Songs and Rhymes

Spring is the time when the magic comes    Old MacDonald

Baa Baa Black Sheep                                 Five green Bottles

I went to visit a farm one day                    Five little Speckled frogs

Flowers grow like this                               Cows in the Kitchen

This little Piggy                                        To Market

If I had a Donkey                       Jack and the Beanstalk Rhyme



Environmental Science                          

Children need to ‘do’ and ‘see’ in order to understand therefore we will be planting Broad beans and Kidney beans so that the children can see the ‘roots’ growing clearly. We will also use factual books and stories to reinforce the concept of growth.  If you are doing any planting at home please let your child help – they learn so much from these activities and will be very sensible if you explain what you want them to do!




Getting Ready to Learn 

-       Big Bedtime Read – Thank you all for looking after our lending packs so well over the past 6 months. The packs are being taken home on a very regular basis and the children seem to be getting a lot from it. Thank you, Maegan’s Daddy for your help on a Friday morning!

-       Come Read with Me Thank you to the parents who came in to read with their children in February. The children loved this!

-       Ages and Stages – Mrs. O’Doherty will provide two sessions for parents this month, with ideas for ways to help your child at home. She will talk about Ages and Stages with regard to Language development and Physical development in particular. She will also talk about the areas of the Early Years Curriculum and what is expected at Nursery age. The dates will be 4th March 1.30-2.15 for Mrs O’Doherty’s parents and 11th March 1.30-2.15 for Mrs Doherty’s parents.

-       Happy Healthy Kids- We will begin our final theme during the Summer Term. It looks at things we can do to keep our children fit and healthy. The dates for these session will be available in May.


Shared Education

We will continue our ‘Sharing from the Start’ project throughout this month. There will be a shared session (session 5) on Friday 1st March, featuring “Jo Jingles” and another shared session (session 6) on Friday 29th March. On the 1st March, Yellow group will go to St Johnston and Blue group will go to Cockhill. Red group and Green group will stay in school. On 29th March, Green group will go to St Johnston and Red group will go to Cockhill. Yellow group and Blue group will stay in school on that day.  

 Come Dine with Me

Remember you can still join your child for breakfast or lunch on any day. They absolutely love having a parent in to see how well they eat and their super table manners! A sign-up sheet is available in the hall.


St.Patrick’s Day Celebrations

We will be celebrating St. Patrick’s day in school on Thursday 14th March. Your child can wear something green that day and we will have Irish Dancers performing from 12.45pm until 1.15pm, which parents are welcome to come and see! The children will be off school on Friday 15th March and Monday 18th March. We will return to school on Tuesday 19th March.


Banyan Theatre

Karen will be coming again on Friday 22nd March to perform the story of “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” using her wonderful puppets and creative props. If you would like to watch this with your child, please let staff know.



Birthdays This Month


Naomi Dillon

Sean Og Hamilton

K.B. McCormick-Nicell

Kyrah McLaughlin







Bligh’s Lane Nursery School


Newsletter February 2019  

Monthly Theme    

The theme for this month is ‘Myself and My Family’.  The children will be involved in discussions about themselves, the people they love and people who help us.  We will be talking about our bodies, how they work and the importance of healthy foods and exercise.  If you have anything ‘Love’ related e.g. Heart shapes, please bring them into school.   

  Songs and Rhymes  



 Polly put the kettle on

I have ten little fingers


 When Goldilocks went to the House of the bears                        

Two Little Eyes        



 Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes 


 If you’re happy and you know it


 Granny’s glasses        

 Rock-a-bye baby

One Little Finger

Open Shut them

I look in the mirror

Miss Polly had a dolly

I wiggle my fingers




     Early Mathematical Experiences   

We will be developing awareness of the Heart shape this month and also reinforcing ‘In Front / Behind, First and  Last’. There should also be lots of opportunity to point out ‘heart shapes’ in town this month! The development of other aspects of maths can be seen on the Monthly Planning sheet on the Parents’ Notice Board. 

Early Science  

The children will be experimenting with mixing colours to make new colours using paint and crepe paper.  Other aspects of science will be explored during discussions about the body and functions of major organs (in simple terms).   

Mid-Year Reports

Mrs O’Doherty and Mrs Doherty are completing the children’s mid-year Reports. You will have the opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher before half term  A signing up sheet is available for each teacher.

Dental Hygienist Visit

As part of our topic this month, we will be learning about “People who help us”. We will visit “Jennifer”, our Dental Hygienist at the Gasyard on Monday 11th February. The children will learn about the importance of looking after their teeth and healthy eating and drinking. They will learn about what a dentist does and will all get a turn sitting up in the chair! This helps to allay any fears which children may have about the dentist!


Ambulance and Paramedics Visit

Paramedics from the ambulance service will bring a special ambulance to the school on 6th February. They bring their stretcher and medical equipment into the classrooms, and talk to the children about what happens after an accident. They let them see (and ‘try on’) some of their equipment! Afterwards, the children go outside to see the inside of the ambulance. We are very lucky to be able to arrange these visits, as the Paramedics do this for us on their days off.


Focusing on Developing Your Child’s Language Skills

The staff have been working especially hard this year with promoting the development of language skills. During our last parent/teacher meetings lots of parents asked how they can help their child, so in addition to the weekly book and ‘Book of the Month’ we have provided special language ‘activity packs’ which will go inside each child’s Library bag each week, beginning after the half-term.  The activities in these packs aim to give you some idea of how you can help to boost your child’s language development at home. A little time spent helping your child with language each week will help him/her to be ready for the demands of Primary school.  You will also find a ‘Parents’ Comments’ book which can be used to let us know how your child responds to the activities. *Your child will not get a language pack on the week they have the ‘Book of the Month.’ We may also introduce maths packs as well on a fortnightly basis so that your child may receive a language pack for two weeks and then a maths pack for two weeks and so on.

To help us get the children’s books ready every week we ask that you return book-bags on Monday.

Getting Ready to Learn- Come Read with Me

Thank you to you all for your commitment to borrowing and reading books to your children from our lending library. . If you can spare a half hour on a Friday we would be grateful for any help with signing the orange sacks in and out.

We are launching our ‘Come Read with Me’ sessions in February. Parents can sign up to come in for 15-20 minutes at the beginning of the day to read a story/stories to your child and other children in our book corner. You could even bring your own favourite book to share.  It is a ‘low-key’ activity that your child will love and we strongly encourage you to take part. A sign up sheet will soon be available in the hallway.

 Sharing From the Start

Our fourth “Shared Session” with our new friends from “Stepping Stones” (St Johnston) and from Cockhill will take place on February 13th. Green group will be going to Stepping Stones and Red group will be going to Cockhill. Yellow group and Blue group will remain at Bligh’s Lane Nursery on that day to welcome friends from the other two schools.

Banyan Theatre

Karen will return on the 8th February with the story of ‘Red Riding Hood’. If any of you would like to see the show with the children you are very welcome to attend.

School Photographer

The school photographer will visit on Thursday 14th February.  Every child will have 3 different ‘poses’ taken.  You will receive a small sample of each of the poses and examples of the various sizes available, and you can then decide if you want to buy any of them. Photographs will be taken during class times. There will be no water, paint, dough or anything messy available because of this – so ‘good’ clothes can be worn!   You may also bring other members of the family if you wish – photographs of family members will be taken as soon as the photographer is set up, usually from 8.30am, so come early if you want photos of your other child / children taken.

Snack Money Reminder

Please remember to pay your weekly snack money. As well as buying the foods and drinks for snack it also pays for our trips out and for any extra activities within school such as Banyan Theatre.

Mid-Term Break 

The school will be closed to the children on the following dates:  Friday 15th, Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th February

Birthdays this Month    

 Noah Donaghey

  Jordan Rodgers

 Parker Breslin


 Natalie Moran

  Calum Gurney Wright

 Daire Clifford Doherty




Bligh’s Lane Nursery School


January Newsletter 2019


             Happy New Year!

We hope you all had a peaceful Christmas and the staff would like to wish all the children and their parents a very Happy New Year.  Welcome back to your second term in Bligh’s Lane Nursery School! Thank you for all your support to date – especially to all those who attended the Nativity plays – this meant a lot to the children. 

Nursery School Applications (2019)

If you have a child (or know of a child) due to start Nursery in September 2019 (i.e. born between 2 July 2015 and 1 July 2016), and you have not already applied for a nursery place, please do so as soon as possible.  This year, parents have to apply online. You can apply for their place online from Wednesday 2nd January 2019. The closing date and time for applications will be 12.00 midnight on Thursday 31st January 2019. Further information is available on the EA website under the Admissions section at-  Children DO NOT have to live in Creggan in order to apply to our school, but they DO have to be resident in the North. If you need help please contact us. We have parent information leaflets in school and  tri-fold guidance leaflets for you. For further assistance, telephone the Admissions Helpdesk 028 9598 5595 Please remember to bring your child’s birth certificate and verifying information (i.e. 2 proofs of address) to us as well. There is a separate benefit verification form for Socially Disadvantaged children. This can be downloaded or alternatively, a copy can be obtained from school.

Primary School Applications (2019)

The application procedure for your child starting Primary One is exactly the same as for Nursery Applications: THEY HAVE TO BE DONE ONLINE THIS YEAR. The same EA website address as above will allow you to access the application form.

Monthly Theme

The general theme for this month will be ‘Winter’.  As the children will be learning about Arctic animals, if you have any penguins or Polar bears please bring them in for the Interest Tables.  The Key Words that the children will be learning this month are: Igloo; Inuit (formally ‘Eskimo’); Polar Bear; Penguin; Ice Cubes; Ice Berg; Icicle; Freeze; Melt; Frost and Snowflake.


Environmental Science

During this month the children will be learning about Arctic Animals, icebergs, the effects of snow and frost, and about the process of melting and freezing.

Songs and Rhymes 


Funny Little Snowman                         Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake

The Penguin Song                                           Georgie Porgie

5 Little Snowmen Fat                                      The Muffin Man

The Snowball                                                   Incy Wincy Spider (Winter Version)

The Winter Song                                             Three Little Kittens




How you can help to reinforce our Winter Theme


Children learn much, much more if their parents take an interest in what they are learning at school. Why not search the Internet for information or videos about Inuit, igloos, penguins and other Arctic and Antarctic animals etc. and if you find a good site let us know so we can share it with all the children. If you don’t have access to the internet at home you can use the computers in the Creggan Library – they will also have lots of books for you to share with your child


Breakfast Rota

Our Breakfast Rota starts this month and will continue until the end of the year. Each class would need one parent each day to help children with breakfast and clear it away.  The children do most of this themselves now but they LOVE having mammy or daddy in school. The time commitment would be 8.45 -10.00am approximately – but parents can stay as long as they like. Grandparents are welcome too! If you are interested ask your child’s teacher to explain how it all works or sign up on the calendar outside of each room. Last year’s parents really enjoyed the opportunity to see what goes on in the nursery on a normal day.


Come Dine with Us”

Mammy and /or daddy can now come and join us for dinner. You will be able to see how the dinner routine works and how well the children can sit and eat. You can sit beside your own child and eat with us – just speak to your child’s teacher to arrange a day that suits you. Mrs Doherty’s class start dinner at 11.45am and Mrs O’Doherty’s class start about 10 minutes afterwards. Dinner usually lasts about 30 minutes. We are really looking forward to you all joining us as last years’ parents really enjoyed this opportunity.



Some Reminders:


Dress Warmly!

-Please remember to dress your child for the weather conditions – they need warm coats, hats, scarves and MITTENS (if possible- better and easier than gloves) every day. We only put on the school coats if it’s very wet or snowing. Also, begin to teach your child how to zip up his/her coat – this helps children to get ready for outdoor play more quickly. Also, ‘thank you’ for remembering not to send children into school wearing shoes with laces last term!!!



We urgently need donations of boxes of tissue for the nursery. If each family provides one box it should see us through the ‘runny nose’ season. Thank you.

Extended Schools Programme

Mrs Doherty’s Class will begin extended schools again on Monday 7th January for their two week block. Mrs O’Doherty’s Class next session will be on Monday 21st January. Please read the Poster on the porch door each week so that you know which class is staying late. 



Getting Ready to Learn

-       Big Bedtime Read – We will continue to borrow the orange book packs on Fridays. We would appreciate some parents helpers to facilitate the signing out/in. This should only take 15 minutes on a Friday at dropping off and picking up time.


-       Ages and stages- Mrs O’Doherty will run two sessions for parents, probably in March, which will help you recognise the developmental milestones for children of nursery age. She will give ideas of activities to help your child achieve their milestones and offer advice if you are worried about your child’s development. Further details about the dates and times of these sessions will be available next month.


Storytime reminder

Parents from both classes are welcome to come into Mrs. Doherty’s class at 1.00pm each day to watch a ‘Storytime’. You may also visit Mrs. O’Doherty’s class to see a song and rhyme session. We ask that you observe quietly and do not try to catch your child’s attention.

St. Vincent de Paul

Thank you all so much for the gifts you brought for the St. Vincent de Paul Appeal, you were exceptionally generous this year, and we hope you enjoyed the little ceremony at the chapel.


Birthdays This Month      


Conor Meenan      Andrew Shiels                                                


Logan McCourt     Thomas Carlin                               


Abaigh Deery        Luke Doherty