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Bligh's Lane
Nursery School

Bligh's Lane
BT48 9PJ

028 7126 7603






Bligh’s Lane Nursery School


Newsletter February 2017  

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  

      Friends                                          I have ten little fingers               


      One Little Finger                              Polly put the kettle on    

      When I look in the Mirror                   I wiggle my fingers

      Miss Polly had a dolly                        Two little eyes

     When Goldilocks went to the house         Open Shut them

      of the bears

One Little Finger

Open Them, Shut Them

      Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes          

Fire Engine Rhyme                                          

      If you’re happy and you know it

I look in the mirror

      Granny’s glasses      

      Rock-a-bye baby

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 6th February. A signing up sheet is available for each teacher.


Dental Hygienist Visit

As part of our theme we will take the children to the Gas Yard to see “Jennifer” our dental hygienist in the surgery on Monday 13th February. The purpose of this visit is to allay any fears the children may have about going to the dentist as well as to learn about the importance of dental hygiene.  The children will not have their teeth examined.


Ambulance and Paramedics Visit

Paramedics from the ambulance service will bring a special ambulance to the school on 27th 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. 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.

 Building Works Update

Our building project is well underway and everything is running to schedule at the moment. The children are really enjoying seeing the progress everyday and are having a great time with the builders role-play inside the classes. We thank you for your patience as the works develop.

Banyan Theatre

Karen will return on the 10th 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 15th 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 16th, 17th and Monday 20th February


Birthdays this Month    

 Caoimhín Toner                6th   


 Abaigh McDevitt         25th  





Bligh’s Lane Nursery School


January Newsletter 2017


             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 (2017)

If you have a child (or know of a child) due to start Nursery in September 2017 (i.e. born between 2 July 2013 and 1 July 2014), 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 11th January 2017 at 12 noon.


Primary School Applications (2017)

Parents should have obtained an application form from their preferred Primary School for admission to Year 1 in September 2017. The closing date for Primary school applications forms is also 11th 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 9th January for their two week block. Mrs O’Doherty’s Class next session will be on Monday 23rd January. 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


School Meals

The cost of school meals has increased to £2.45 per day or £12.25 per week. This increase has been directed to us by the Education Authority.


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.


Birthdays This Month      


William Boyle       1st                                                      


Zara Mellon          21st     


Riley Doherty       24th                                          














Bligh’s Lane Nursery School


Christmas Newsletter 2016



The Theme for this month is Christmas.  There will be a Christmas table in each classroom, so please help your child to bring something ‘Christmas’ related into school. Please don’t send in anything that is breakable! Talk to your child about the Nativity story as we have suggested on your laminated sheet and help them to learn the songs that you know – especially the first verse of Away in a Manger, as it is very difficult for young children.




Nativity songs 

Christmas Songs 

  Here we go up to Bethlehem                         

  Jingle Bells                

  I was there on the night when Jesus came

  When Santa got stuck up the Chimney

  Away in a manger                                                       

  Santa Claus is coming to town

  Follow the Star                                                           

  Silly Santa Song     

  Angel Gabriel’s Song

  Christmas Star

  Shepherd’s Song

  Father Christmas




The children perform a very simple Nativity Play each year. We do two performances on each day to

 make the seating arrangements more comfortable. The performance dates and times are:


           THURSDAY 8th  DECEMBER: Mrs Woods’ Class       

9.30 am  Blue Group

10.15am  Red Group

           FRIDAY   9th    DECEMBER: Mrs O’ Doherty’s Class  

9.30 am Yellow Group

10.15am Green Group         


The Children will get opportunities to try out the different Nativity parts during the weeks leading up to Christmas, and we need parents to understand that every part in the play is important because every child is important.  Some children will have a few words to say and it is important to remember that some children are comfortable talking in front of others and some are not – we do not want to upset any child so each child must be happy with their own part. We hold the play early in the morning before the children become tired and it usually lasts about 15 or 20 minutes at most. 

Parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles etc. are very welcome to attend, but we do ask that other children

are not brought to the Nativity plays as this has proved to be very distracting for our small children in the past.  It is essential that the children are at school every day now unless they are very sick, as we will be learning the Nativity songs and talking about the play.  Cameras are allowed since all parents have signed their consent for photographs/videos to be taken of the Nativity Plays.


We have all the costumes required for each child. However, we ask for parents to dress their children in either plain white or dark clothing dependent on their part. We will let you know soon what colour your child should wear.








The Primary One children and their teachers from St John’s Primary School will be invited to attend the dress rehearsals of the Nativity Plays if they don’t clash with their own performances. It will be lovely for us to see last year’s children again and it will be good for our children to have an ‘audience’ before the ‘big day’!


Santa Claus will visit the school on Wednesday 21st December during class times and each child will receive a gift.   Both classes sit together in the hall for Santa’s visit and the children go up to see him one by one (If you think your child will be afraid of Santa, let us know so that we can seat him/her further away – if a child doesn’t want to go up to Santa, he hands the child his/her present from a safe distance!). We will take a photograph of every child with Santa.



The children will have ‘Christmas Dinner’ in school with all the trimmings on Wednesday 14th December.



During the Christmas season we help the children to understand the importance of giving rather than receiving.  There has been a tradition in the school each year that the parents bring items of groceries, toiletries, small toys, books or clothes etc. to donate to needy families on behalf of the families in the school.  Parents have been very generous in the past and we know that this year will be no exception.  Bring what you can into school as soon as you can and before Friday 16th  December. We will take what has been collected to St Mary’s Chapel on Monday 19th December.  The staff will walk up to the Chapel with the children. A priest from the parish and a representative from the St Vincent De Paul Society welcome the children, each child then leaves a small ‘gift’ (i.e. something that you have brought in) in front of the crib and we all sing our Nativity songs.  Parents / grandparents are welcome to attend this little ceremony, which will begin at 12.50pm, and then all children should be collected from the Chapel at 1.15pm.

The staff would like to thank parents in advance for their generosity on behalf of the St Vincent de Paul Society, who will ensure that your donations are distributed to those in need this Christmas.



Santa has sent an Elf to each room in Bligh’s Lane Nursery. The Elf will be watching the children and reporting back to Santa every day. The Elf hides in different places each day, they could be in the class, cloakroom, carpark- the children need to be on their best behaviour EVERYWHERE!





Search for Bligh’s Lane Nursery School on Facebook. You will find updates about things that  

are going on, photos and reminders. Like and share our page with parents who have young

children who will be of pre-school age in the coming years.                                                                                  




Mrs Meehan has now left for her maternity leave. We will be waiting to hear her exciting news over Christmas or New Year. Miss Henry has taken over her role in Mrs Woods’ Class.  








The children will visit Creggan Library to hear some Christmas stories on the following dates:


    -Mrs Woods’ Class: Tuesday 13th December


    -Mrs O’ Doherty’s Class: Wednesday 14th December



We have had a very positive response with regard to this programme from children and parents. The Extended Schools programme will not run on the week of 7th or   14th  December, as we will be very busy with Christmas preparation.

Extended Schools will resume after Christmas on the 9th January for Mrs Woods’ Class. There will always be a poster on the door on the way out of the school that will tell you which class stays for Extended Schools each week.



We have had a very successful start to our Big Bedtime Read initiative with the large majority of families borrowing reading packs regularly. We will continue to lend the packs during December but ask for all packs to be returned on the 16th December. We will resume lending on the 6th January 2017 and we would really appreciate help during this month. A sign-up sheet is available in the hall.



Wednesday 21st  December will be the last day of term. The children should be collected at 11.30 am.

The school will be closed to the children on Thursday 22nd December and we will see you all again on Wednesday 4th January 2017 .



The staff would like to thank all our parents for their support to date and to wish you all very Merry Christmas! We have had a lovely term with all of the children and we have seen so much progress already.




If you have (or know of) a child due to start Nursery in September 2017 i.e. 3 years old on or before 2nd July 2017, please inform a member of staff or telephone 71267603. Parents should also contact their preferred Primary School in order to obtain an application form for Primary One – forms are available NOW!




    James Harkin   10th   

    Mia Carlin                   16th  

    Aodhan Doherty         24th  

    David McKinney        31st

    John McKinney 31st























                           ST MARY’S CHAPEL: MONDAY 19TH  


            SANTA: WEDNESDAY 21ST       



          (Children to be collected AT 11.30 AM)










Bligh’s Lane Nursery School


November Newsletter




The theme for this month is ‘Autumn’.  Please let your child bring in anything that is Autumn related e.g., leaves, berries, chestnuts bare branches etc.



- Autumn Leaves are falling down       - Little Owl, Little Owl

- Mr Bear, Mr Bear                              - Goldilocks Rhyme

- Five Little Leaves                             - Harry the Hedgehog

- Flutter, Flutter Little Bat                   - More Nursery Rhymes


Your Songs and Rhymes sheet will be in your child’s Library Bag at the start of each month – please remember to practice them every night!




Thank you all for making such an effort to dress the children for the party – we all had a lovely day and the children were excellent!



Our theme is all about Autumn this month. We will encourage the children to notice changes to the trees and they will also learn about the environments and habits of Owls, Hedgehogs and Squirrels. Children learn so much from their environment so be sure to talk to them about the trees and leaves on your way to school.




As you will have already noticed on the ‘monthly planner’ on the Parents’ Notice Board, we will focus on ‘leaf’ and ‘circle’ shapes this month.  The children will gather and sort leaves according to shape and size.  You should see this reflected in art activities that are prepared for the children. You will find some more ideas to help with maths on your new Language sheet.



The Extended Schools programme will begin on Monday 7th November. You have all been given timetables so please keep them handy. Miss Patricia Fullerton will continue to run the breakfast club and Miss Stephanie Cooke and Miss Patricia Fullerton will run the Extended day. Remember, the extended hours are offered two days per week, are flexible and children can be collected any time before 2.15 p.m.  If you are also collecting a child from St John’s Primary School, please come for your Nursery child first. The Extended day will be ‘action-packed’ so it is really important that your child is in bed early so he/she is well rested for the next school day.



Children should NOT be brought to school if they are sick, on antibiotics or have been up all night coughing or vomiting. By bringing your child into school you will be passing on ‘bugs’ to the other children and the staff. 




Please make sure your Meg and Mog sheet has been returned as we need them for next year. You will find a new sheet in your child’s library bag each month. This month’s story is ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears.’ Remember all parents are invited to observe our story and song sessions daily from 1.00 pm.



It was lovely to get a chance to talk to all our parents and to get such positive comments from you all. I hope you found this positive experience also, and remember you can talk to us at any time if you have any worries or concerns.



Our first visit will be to St Columb’s Park for an Autumn Walk  on Friday 4th November. Normal class times will apply.   There is always great excitement about going in the bus! The children will explore the park and then have a chance to play on the swings and slides.  We will be back in time for dinner – tired and hungry!



As the teachers have explained at the Parent/Teacher meetings, the children will now be able to enjoy outdoor play no matter what the weather is like!  Outdoor play is essential for a child’s development and part of the Nursery Curriculum. The children are learning to put on the all-in-one coats but please remember – SHOES WITH VELCRO TAPES OR BOOTS for school every day.



Please ensure your child is brought to school on time, 8.45 am. Children do not like

being late and it often leads them to be unsettled. If you have children who attend

St. John’s please drop your nursery child first as our day begins earlier.                                                                                      



We are launching our ‘Big Bedtime Read’ Project this month and we really want all parents to be part of it. Mrs Woods’ parents are invited to join us on 7th November at 1.30pm and Mrs O’Doherty’s parents are invited on the 21st at 1.30pm. Your children will be taking part in their first extended schools session during the meeting. We will be explaining how the free lending packs will work so we really need everyone to be present. If you cannot make it please speak to a member of staff beforehand. Look out for your special invite!




   Cathán McConnell  5th       Aaron Carlin  8th  


Aoibh Stevenson  8th           Neala Sheerin 10th     


Álínn Francis  20th              Anton Gbadamosi 28th     






Halloween Newsletter


Monthly Theme

The theme for the rest of the month of October is ‘Halloween’ – beginning Wednesday 12th October.  We will have a Halloween Table in each classroom, so please help your child to bring something Halloween related in from home.  (All items will be returned at the end of the month)


Please note – There will be a lot of art activities using black paint this month, and the dough and water will also be black – so please be aware of this when choosing your child’s clothes for school. Black paint will stain clothes and although aprons are always provided, accidents can happen.



Songs and Rhymes


Halloween is Coming                                           Five Currant Buns


The Witches of Halloween                                    The Wheels on the Bus


Pumpkin Song                                                     Little Miss Muffet


Spooky Rhyme                                                    More Nursery Rhymes


(Remember, words to the above songs and rhymes will be in your child’s library for you to practice every night)

Dinner Routine

The majority of the children are coping well with the dinner routine and are willing to try food that they may not have had before. You can help by ensuring that your child sits at the table at home at meal times and uses a fork to feed him/herself. They are not expected to be able to cut food, but they can learn with our help.  Two children help the staff to serve out the dinner each day – these are the ‘Helpers’ – a very important and sought-after job! The names of the Helpers will be displayed on the classroom windows so that you will know when it is your child’s turn.  Please point your child’s name out in the morning – this is another way that children learn to recognise their own names and the names of their friends.



Language Development

The Halloween Theme will provide an opportunity for the staff to extend the children’s language – for example, the Water Tray becomes ‘a witch’s cauldron’ and we talk about all the types of creatures that a witch would put into it.  This is all done in a fun way so that children will not be frightened.  Some of the Key words that the children will be learning are: Witch; wizard; cauldron; spooky; pumpkin; skeleton; ghost; bat; spider; web; cloak; fireworks; black cat; broomstick; spell; crescent moon and abracadabra! Take Time to talk about our Halloween decorations and the children’s art work. As you will have noticed from the display in the porch the Story of the Month is ‘Meg and Mog’.  Each child will have a turn to receive the story book – again read this story to your child every night. You will also get a laminated newsletter with ideas to help to get more out of the story.

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.


Getting Ready to Learn

The school has been very fortunate to receive money from the Department of Education to fund some parent engagement projects. Our first theme will be launched in early November and is called ‘The Big Bedtime Read.’ The aim of the project is to support parents in sharing books with their children at home which has been proven to improve reading outcomes for children in their futures. We will run parent information sessions, demonstrations and provide you with packs of books you can borrow to read to your child. Over the next six months we will also cover the themes around Child Development, Healthy Children and Helping Your Child Learn at home. I really look forward to your participation and making the sessions as enjoyable and beneficial as possible.



If your child cannot put on his/her own coat yet please practice this at home.

The weather is getting colder so make sure your child has a coat everyday – we only use the school coats when it’s really wet.


Halloween Party 

There will be a Fancy Dress Party for each class on Wednesday 26th   October.  Usual Class times will apply. All the children should come to school in fancy dress and the staff will dress up too.  Some children don’t like dressing up – if this happens you should bring the child’s costume with you – when they see everyone else dressed up they might put the costume on.







Parent / Teacher Meetings

There will be two opportunities for you to meet with your child’s teacher this year – October and February. You will also receive a report in June before your child’s transition to Primary school.  The October meeting will inform you of how your child is settling in and will give you an opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have.  We aim to see every parent before Halloween.  Mrs Woods and Mrs O’ Doherty will arrange the times of these meetings with their parents.  (Please remember that you can arrange to talk to your child’s teacher at any time during the year should the need arise.)



Principals’ Meetings

Mrs Woods may have to attend various meetings during the year, but there will be a teacher employed to cover for her.  The children will always be told when this will happen.


Halloween Holidays

The school will be closed to the children on Thursday 27th October and will re-open on Wednesday 2nd November.



Extended School

The Extended school programme will start on Monday 7th November. Mrs Woods and Mrs O’ Doherty will explain how this will work to all parents at the parent/teacher meetings. This programme has been running successfully in the school for quite a few years now. Parents must remember that it may not suit all children to stay longer in school. The most important thing is that the children are happy from 8.45am - 1.15pm, and parents should accept the advice of the class teacher on this issue. You will find the programme on the back of this Newsletter.


October Birthdays

Birthday photographs will be displayed in the hall and the photo given to the child’s parents at the end of each month.




                             Amelia Harkin               4th


                             Abigail McClafferty     6th