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Bligh's Lane
Nursery School

Bligh's Lane
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Bligh’s Lane Nursery School




May Newsletter 2018

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 third 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. The parents from Mrs O’Doherty’s class are invited to attend the session on the 21st  May at 12.15pm (children will still be in class) and parents on 21st  May at 1.15pm (children will be at extended schools.)


We had an absolutely brilliant time at Lurgybrack Farm with our Shared Education partners. We also enjoyed our visit to Tropical World Letterkenny on the 1st May to kick-start our minibeast topic. We will be having a few more visits in the coming weeks:

15th May: Visit to (or from) one of our Shared Education Partner settings

18th 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 25th 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 28th and Tuesday 29th  May for the bank holiday.



Birthdays this Month

Kaydi McMullan Fisher   4th          Josh McShane    18th


Kian Millar         6th                      Maddie Coyle     27th


Danni O’Hagan   7th                                  


Lola Toland        12th                                                 







Monthly Theme                                                                     


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!



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!



Extended Schools 

Extended Schools will continue to run through the Summer Term.  Mrs Woods class will begin the session on the 16th and 17th April. Please refer to the timetable that was sent home before the Easter break for further dates.


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. Remember any offers of help on a Friday morning would be very gratefully received. 

-       Come Read with Me - a sign-up sheet is available in the hall you to come and read to your child in school. It is a very low-key activity which will only take around 15 minutes. Some parents have done it during a time when they can come in to help with Breakfast  Club. They simply read a story (or two) to their own child or a group of children in the book corner whilst the other children and staff get on with a normal nursery day. Some parents have brought their own favourites to read or you can borrow our books.

-       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 soon.


Shared Education

We will continue our ‘Sharing from the Start’ project throughout the Summer Term. This will begin with a trip to Lurgybrack Farm on Thursday 12th April. We will not get back from this trip until around 2.15pm when your child can be picked up when they get off the bus. I ask that your child wears their school uniform and a pair of wellies that have been labelled with their name.


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.




Å      We ask that you return bookbags on a Monday from now on. Remember your child will get a book and a language 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.

Å      Please write your child’s name on any items of clothing eg. Coats, hats as we have many coats that are very similar



Birthdays This Month


Lauren Hegarty                15th


Conor McKinney             16th                       






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 THursday 29th March  – 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 Friday 30th March – Friday 6th April for the Easter Holidays. We return to school on Monday 9th 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 bookbags on a Monday from now on. Remember your child will get a book and a language 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! We will put out a new Rota Sheet for the next few months – 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!

Thank you to the parents who have already come in but we would also love more parents to sign up for ‘Come Read  with Me’. It’s a very low-key activity and only takes 10-15 minutes but your child will absolutely love that you have read to them in school.



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 our first visit to meet our new friends on the 27th February and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Children are so good at mixing and making new friends without a second thought- we adults could learn a lot from them! We will have our second visit in the coming weeks- details will be available soon!



The extended schools budget for 2017-18 ends on the 31st of March. As yet we have not been told if more funding will be made available for extended schools. As a result of this we are unsure about what will happen after Easter. The board of governors hope to make a decision early next week and we will let you know as soon as possible after this.




Seán Óg Hamilton   16th      Niamh O’Hara-McGinley    21st


Rebecca Green       18th                           

Happy Easter!



Bligh’s Lane Nursery School


Newsletter February 2018  

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  


I have ten little fingers

Two little eyes




Polly put the kettle on

One little finger



When Goldilocks went to the house of the Bears 

Open, Shut them                               


Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes 


If you’re happy and you know it


Granny’s glasses   

Rock-a-bye baby

Fire Engine Rhyme

I look in the Mirror

Miss Polly had a Dolly

I wiggle my Fingers

Bend your body



     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 Woods and Mrs O’Doherty are completing the children’s mid-year Reports. You will have the opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher during the week of the 5th February. A signing up sheet is available for each teacher.

Fire Service Visit

As part of our theme we will be having a visit from the fire service on Monday 5th February. The fire-fighters will talk to the children about fire safety and read them a story which reinforces the important messages. The children will then have the opportunity to explore the fire-engine (weather permitting) or to dress up and find out about the fire-fighting equipment. It’s sure to be great fun!


Ambulance and Paramedics Visit

Paramedics from the ambulance service will bring a special ambulance to the school on 7th 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.’

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

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. A huge thanks to the parents who have helped out. If you can spare a half hour on a Friday we still need help- sign up on the sheet on the notice board.

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 is available in the hallway.

 Sharing From the Start

We have been successful in a bid to take part in an Early Years specific Shared Education project. We are the only nursery school in Derry who have been accepted onto the project! We have formed a partnership with two settings- Cockhill Community Pre-School in Buncrana and Stepping Stones Playgroup in Raphoe. The aim of the project is for our children to interact and form friendships with children from different areas and backgrounds. We will enjoy 30 hours of shared experiences between now and the end of the year. This will include visits to each other’s schools, visits to outdoor and educational settings- basically we plan to have lots of fun together! Further information on the project and an outline of what we plan to do together will be available in the next few weeks.

Banyan Theatre

Karen will return on the 13th 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 Wednesday 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: Thursday and Friday 15th, 16th and Monday 19th February

Birthdays this Month    

 Leah McFeely               4th

 Sean McLaughlin         13th

 Eli Deery                      22nd


 Connor Fitzpatrick          6th

 AJ McKinney-Holden     14th

 Connor Harkin               26th




Bligh’s Lane Nursery School


January Newsletter 2018


             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 (2018)

If you have a child (or know of a child) due to start Nursery in September 2018 (i.e. born between 2 July 2014 and 1 July 2015), and you have not already applied for a nursery place, please do so as soon as possible.  The application forms are now available. 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. The closing date for application forms is Wednesday 10th January 2017 at 12 noon.


Primary School Applications (2018)

Parents should have obtained an application form from their preferred Primary School for admission to Year 1 in September 2018. The closing date for Primary school applications forms is also 10th January.


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 Woods’ 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 Woods’ Class will begin extended schools again on Monday 8th January for their two week block. Mrs O’Doherty’s Class next session will be on Monday 22nd January. A timetable of the extended schools programme is printed on the reverse of this newsletter. Please read the Poster on the porch door each week so that you know which class is staying late.



Mobile Phone Numbers

All parents should have received their class teacher’s mobile number. If you need to contact the school always ring the landline first. Mrs Woods and Mrs O’ Doherty will have their school mobile phones with them at all times so you can contact us if you need to in the evenings or at weekends. PLEASE make sure that you let us know if you change your mobile number:

Mrs Woods’ number is: 07564024879                                                           

Mrs O’ Doherty’s number is: 07564024308


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. If you can help please sign up on the sheet on the Getting Ready to Learn board outside Mrs Woods room.

-       Education Works in Pre-School Eimear Kelly from RISE NI will deliver an information session for parents at 9am on the 23rd January. Her session will cover and give tips on developing your child’s fine and gross motor skills; social and emotional development, including behaviour, as well and speech and communication. It will be a fantastic session and we would love to see as many of you there as possible.

-       Ages and stages- Mrs O’Doherty will run two sessions for parents 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. The sessions will run on Monday 5th March from 1.30pm-2.15pm for Mrs O’Doherty’s parents and on Monday 12th March from 1.30pm-2.15pm for Mrs Woods’ parents.


Speech and Language Therapy

We have spoken to some of you in the Autumn Term about referring your child to community Speech and Language therapy. Two speech therapists will come to our Nursery on Friday 12th January to carry out initial assessments on referred children.


Storytime reminder

Parents from both classes are welcome to come into Mrs. Woods’ 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. We raised almost £90 for the appeal through our non-uniform/Christmas jumper Day. We also raised £72 for the Children’s Cancer Unit Northern Ireland with the sale of the Christmas Tree decoration.


Birthdays This Month      


Demi McDermott       6th                   Zara Harkin-Gillespie       21st                     

Aodhan McDevitt       8th                  Noah McBrearty-O’Doherty  28th  


Ronan Grant              20th                                             













8,9 JAN





15,16 JAN





22,23 JAN





29,30 JAN





5,6 FEB





12,13 FEB





26 FEB, 27 FEB





5,6 MAR





12,13 MAR





26,27 MAR