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Bligh's Lane
Nursery School

Bligh's Lane
BT48 9PJ

028 7126 7603





February Newsletter

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.  The colour table will be PINK this month, so again please help your child find something PINK to bring to school.

Songs and Rhymes


Barney Song (I love you)

When Goldilocks went to the house of the Bears

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

If you're happy and you know it

Granny's Glasses

I have ten little fingers

Two little eyes

One, two buckle my shoe

The Hokey Cokey

I look in the mirror

Miss Polly had a Dolly

Early Mathematical Experiences

We will be developing awareness of the 'Heart' shape this month and also the concept of Big, Medium and Small.  You can help to reinforce these concepts at home by for example, arranging cereal boxes or tins in order of size and then seeing if your child can do it.  There should also be lots of opportunity to point out 'heart shapes' in town!  The development of other aspects of maths can be seen on the Monthly Planning sheet on the Parents' Notice Board.

Science and Technology

The children will be experimenting with mixing 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!).  If you have any items for our Junk Art e.g. small empty boxes, kitchen roll (not toilet roll) holders, yoghurt tubs etc. please send them in to us.  Through this type of play children learn how to attach containers together using a variety of materials such as staplers, masking tape, PVA glue etc.  They also learn about the properties of materials such as cardboard, plastic, paper etc., as well as developing imagination and creativity.

Mid-Year Reports

Mrs O'Doherty and Mrs Sweeney are currently working on the children's Mid-Year Reports.  The teachers will try to arrange for some of these meetings to be first thing in the morning (8.45am) or from 1.15pm onwards as soon as the reports are ready.  The teachers will let you know the dates and you can choose your preferred date and time.

Ambulance and Paramedics Visit

Paramedics from the ambulance service will bring a special ambulance to the school this month.  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 arrange these visits, as the Paramedics do this for us on their days off.

Dental Hygienist Visit

We hope to arrange a visit from 'Jennifer' our dental hygienist and/or to visit her in her dental surgery.  The purpose of such visits 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.

Focusing on Language and Maths

The staff have been working especially hard this year with promoting language and maths in the school.  During our last parent/teacher meetings lots of parents have been asking how they can help their child, so we will be providing special language 'activity packs' which will go inside each child's Library Bag and also maths 'ruck sacks'.  These packs and ruck sacks aim to give you some ideas of how you can help to boost your child's language and mathematical development at home.  A little time spent helping your child with language or maths each week will help him/her to be ready for the demands of Primary School.

School Photographer

The school photographer will visit on Thursday 10th February.  Every child will have 3 different 'poses' taken as well as being part of a class group photograph.  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 and your child's teacher will give you more information nearer the time.  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 8.45am.

Mid-Term Break

The school will be closed on Monday 14th, Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th February for mid-term break.  (Wednesday is a staff training day).  Remember, if you pay for you child's dinner to only bring payment for the days the school is open.

Birthdays this Month

Amy Brattin                           9th

Ryan Brady                           9th

Daragh McLaughlin              20th

Zara Patton                         21st

Josh Cowan                        22nd

Maddie Nicholl                     27th



January Newsletter

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 (2011)

If you have a child (or know of a child) due to start Nursery in September 2011 (i.e. 3 years old on or before 2nd July) and you have not already given in his/her name, please do so immediately!  There are still application forms 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 this year is 12th January at 12 NOON.

Primary School Applications

You should now obtain an application form from your preferred Primary School for admission to Year 1 in September 2011 if you have not already done so.

Monthly Theme

The general theme for this month will be 'Winter'.  The Colour table will be White so we hope the children can find something white to bring into school.  The Key Words that the children will be learning this month are : Igloo; Eskimo; Polar Bear; Penguin; Ice Cubes; Ice Berg; Icicle; Freeze; Melt; Frost and Snowflake.

Songs and Rhymes

The Penguin Song

Funny Little Snowman

Five Little Snowmen Fat

A Chubby Little Snowman

The Snowball

Little Jackie Jack Frost

I'm a Little Snowman

Three Little Kittens

Adorable Penguin

Here's a Little Snowman

(Remember, copies of the above songs and rhymes are available in the porch)

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.

Environmental Science

We will focus on the 'Square' shape this month so you should see this reflected in the children's art activities.  You can reinforce this at home by talking about/pointing out square shapes to your child.

Extended Schools Programme: Reminder

Mrs Sweeney's Class will begin their two-week block on Monday 10th January.  Mrs O'Doherty's Class will then stay for their next two-week block beginning Monday 24th JanuaryPlease read the Poster on the Porch door each week so that you know which class is staying late, and keep your new timetable (given to you before Christmas) in a safe place.

Road Safety Talk

The children had an 'interactive' talk about road and car safety on Monday 2nd December.  Pamela emphasised the importance of children sitting, belted in the BACK seat of cars, as well as talking about crossing the road safely.  The children listened well and learnt a great deal.  Please reinforce the importance of road safety and seat belts at home (using the small story book given to your child).

Birthdays This Month


Tiernan Sweeney                    8th

Callum Shields                       22nd



December Newsletter

Monthly Theme

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.  Talk to your child about the Nativity story 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.

Songs and Rhymes

Nativity Songs

Here we go up to Bethlehem

I was there on the night when Jesus came

Away in a Manger

Follow the Star

Christmas Songs

Jungle Bells

When Santa got stuck up the Chimney

Santa Claus is coming to town

5 Little Reindeers

(Don't forget to take a copy of Christmas Songs from the porch)

Nativity Plays

The children perform a very simple Nativity Play each year.  Class performances will be on the following dates:


Wednesday 15th December   9.30am        Mrs O'Doherty's Class

Thursday 16th December       9.30am        Mrs Sweeney's Class

The children will get the 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.  A few 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 and 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.

On the morning of your child's Play please dress your child as below:

  • Girls should wear white vests, pants and tights (or socks)
  • Boys should wear any type of dark-coloured top and bottoms

We have all the costumes required for each child.

Banyan Theatre

This is a lady who has visited the school before Halloween.  She uses puppets to tell a familiar story and it is all done through mime and music.  The children love it.  She will be here on Tuesday 7th December and the story is 'The Elves and the Shoemaker'.

Special Guests

The Primary One children and their teachers from St John's Primary School will be invited to attend the dress rehersals of the Nativity Plays.  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 22nd 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.  This is the last day of school before Christmas, we will have our Christmas party after Santa leaves, and all the children should be collected at 11.30am.  There will be no dinners that day, so parents who pay for meals should only bring TWO days dinner money that week.

Christmas Dinner

The children will have 'Christmas Dinner' in school with all the trimmings on Friday 10th December.

St Vincent De Paul Society Appeal

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, toileteries, small toys, books 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 this year will be no exception.  Bring what you can into school as soon as you can and before Friday 17th December (items can be left in the porch or given to your child's teacher).  We will take what has been collected to St Mary's Chapel on Monday 20th 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 1.00pm and then all children should be collected from the Chapel at 1.30pm.  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.

Extended School Programme

We has had a very postitive response with regard to this programme from children and parents.  All activities seem to be a great success!  The Extended Schools programme will now run on the week of 13th December for Mrs Sweeney's class (Mrs O'Doherty's children will do their second week on 6th, 7th and 8th December as they missed their second week on 29th, 30th November and 1st December due to the snowy weather conditions).  This means we will be back to normal again after Christmas with Mrs Sweeney's children doing their second week on 10th, 11th and 12th January.  Please refer to your timetables at home!  You will receive a new one in February.  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.

Library Visits

Both Classes visited Creggan Library towards the end of November, where the children were read to by the Librarian and sang songs and rhymes.  There were special Christmas stories included in the selection and the children enjoyed viewing the beautiful crib on display.

Christmas Holidays

The school will be closed to the children from Thursday 23rd December.  Children should return to school on Monday 10th January 2011.

Mrs O'Doherty, Mrs Sweeney and the staff would like to wish all the families in our school a very Merry Christmas!

Nursery and Primary Applications for September 2011

If you have (or know of) a child due to start Nursery in September 2011 i.e. 3 years old on or before 2nd July 2011, please inform a member of staff or telephone 71267603Parents should also contact their preferred Primary School in order to obtain an application form for Primary One - forms are usually sent out by schools in early January.  The closing date for application forms this year has been brought forward to 12th January 2011.

December Birthdays

Dara Concannon                         5th

Ellie Flood                                    8th

Conor McLemore                        16th



November Newsletter

Monthly Theme

The theme for this month is 'Autumn'.  Instead of a colour table we will have an Interest Table.  Please let your child bring in anything that is Autumn related e.g. leaves, berries, chestnuts, bare branches etc.

Songs and Rhymes

Autumn Leaves are falling down

Mr Wiggle and Mr Waggle

Five Little Leaves

Days of the Week Song

One, Two Buckle my Shoe

Diddle, Diddle Dumpling

Harry the Hedgehog

More Nursery Rhymes

Hallowe'en Party

Thank you all for making such an effort to dress the children for the party and thank you to the parents who brought some treats in for the children to share - we all had a lovely day and the children were excellent!

Observing The Immediate Environment

As our theme centres around Autumn, the children will have an opportunity to explore the grounds of the school to heighten awareness of the change of season - noticing changes to the trees and perhaps making some 'observational drawings'.  They will also be learning about the environments of owls, hedgehogs, squirrels and the changing shape of the moon.  You can help us reinforce our theme by talking to your child about changes in the environment as you drive/walk to school.  Show your child the bare trees, the leaves falling, the colours of the different leaves and the moon at night.  Encourage them to pick up some leaves to bring into school.  Talk about how the leaves are the 'same' or 'different'.

Early Mathematical Experiences

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.  We will also highlight 'Autumn' colours with the children: purple, brown, orange, yellow and red.

First Environmental Visit

Our first visit will be to St Columb's Park for an Autumn Walk, perhaps week beginning 8th November (weather permitting - we may go sooner if the weather is good, so send your children in prepared).  Normal class times will apply.  Please ensure that your child is dressed warmly, has a coat with a hood and suitable shoes for the weather.  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!

Coats Every Day!

Please ensure that your child has a coat to school every day now as we go outside each day.  The weather is getting much colder and if your child does not have a coat we will  not be able to let him/her out - this can be very upsetting for some children.

'All About Me' Forms

If you still have not brought back this form, please do so as soon as possible.

Extended School

The Extended School programme begins on Monday 8th November with Mrs Sweeney's class.  Remember, the Extended Hours are offered three days per week, are flexible and children can be collected any time before 2.45 pm.  If you are also collecting a child from St John's Primary School, please come for your nursery child first.


We have noticed that some of you have taken our advice about visiting the library - the children have been telling us about their visits.  We hope to take the children to Creggan Library this month for storytelling sessions with our friendly librarian, Patricia!

Annual Parents Report

You will soon be receiving a document entitled the 'Annual Parents Report'.  By law the Governors have to provide parents with information regarding the management of the school in the previous year.  If you have any questions once you have read the report, please do not hesitate to approach Mrs O'Doherty.

 Birthdays This Month

Ellie Fisher-Gallagher                            1st

Amy Doherty                                         4th

Troy Nixon                                             6th

Ava Devine                                           13th

Beth McCourt                                        16th

Eoin O'Hara                                          21st

Sophie Quigley                                     22nd


Halloween Newsletter

Monthly Theme

The theme for the rest of the month of October is 'Halloween' - beginning Monday 11th 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

The Witches of Halloween

I am a Pumpkin

Pumpkin Song

Five Currant Buns

The Wheels on the Bus

1,2,3 Little Witches

More Nursery Rhymes

 (Remember, words to the above songs and rhymes are available in the porch)

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 are the table at home at meal times and uses his/her special knife and fork.  They are not expected to be able to cut food, but they can learn with our help.  You have all been given a menu, which rotates over 4 weeks.  Two children from each class help the staff to serve out the dinner each day - these are the 'Helpers' - a very important and much 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 witches 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 shildren 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!  The staff paint some of the windows with Halloween pictures to reinforce the new vocabulary - take time to talk about these paintings with your child.  Some of the stories that we will be reading will be about 'Meg' (the witch) and 'Mog' (her cat).


Many parents are sending their children to school with 'hooded tops' instead of proper coats!  Every child needs a coat with a hood in school each day.  We go outside every day, but we cannot take children out who are not dressed properly for outdoor play.

Puppet Show

A lady called Karen will visit the school on Tuesday 19th October to present a puppet show called 'The Three Bears'.  Karen comes to us a few times every year and her shows are always very good.

Halloween Party

There will be a Fancy Dress Party for each class on Friday 22nd 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 and your child's teacher will arrange a day and time for this meeting very soon.  (Please remember that you can arrange to talk to your child's teacher at any time during the year should the need arise).

Halloween Holidays

The school will be closed for a week this year from Monday 25th October and will re-open on Tuesday 2nd November.

Hall Displays

There will be photographs displayed in the hall during the year, which attempt to show what, and how, the children are learning during their time in the nursery.  Please take time to look at the photographs and read the captions on the display board between the two classrooms.  All the photographs will be on the school website (since all parents have consented to this) for the rest of the family to see.  You will also find other important information related to the school and links to educational websites for yourself and your child.

Extended School Programme

The Extended School programme will start on Monday 8th November.  Mrs O'Doherty and Mrs Sweeney 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 important thing is that the children are happy from        9.00 am - 1.30 pm, and parents should accept the advice of the class teacher on this issue.

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.


Noah Doherty                         4th

Cliodhna Robinson                 5th

Diarmuid Meehan                   7th

Kayleigh Carlin                       7th

Caiden Murphy-McCallion      16th

Emma McAnenny                   22nd

Caelee Villa                           28th