Mon, 12th Oct 2015
Nursery - P7 Parent/Teacher Meetings 3.15 - 5.30pm
Wed, 14th Oct 2015
Wed, 28th Oct 2015
WHATS IT LIKE OUT?
Double First for Holy Family
Well done to all pupils and staff for securing our first Eco Friendly Award and Sustainable Travel Award. This was secured after excellent work by our Eco -committee, Mr Gavin Doherty, our WAU co-ordinator and Mrs Noreen Doherty, our Eco Co-ordinator.
The pupils' and staffs'work was recognised by the Minister for the Environment, Mark H. Durkan, MLA when he visited the school on 1st October to congratulate pupils and staff on their achievements.
Everyone at the school looks forward to carrying this important work forward in the upcoming year.
Well done to all involved.
New School Development Plan 2015 - 2018
Our new school development plan for the period 2015 - 2018 will be completed in the very near future and once completed it can be be accessed by clicking on the links on the school development plan section on the left.
Parent/Teacher Meetings (P7)
The first series of parent/teacher meetings of the new year take place at the following times and dates. These meetings are only for parents of P7 pupils.
28th Sept: 3.15 - 5.30pm
30th Sept: 3.15 - 5.30pm
5th Oct: 7.00 - 9.30pm
We look forward to a great turn out of parents to these very special meetings
School Improvements during summer 2015
Many improvements to the school environment and resources have taken place during the summer vacation. Reflooring of three shared areas has taken place and the installation of the state of the art clevertouch technology has been realised.
in addition, there has been a significant amount of repainting followed by the upgrading of the mathematics store. We trust that these adjustments will make the learning environment even better for our pupils and staff.
Evening classes for parents
A significant number of parents have expressed an interest in taking part in a number of evening classes which will be run at Holy Family PS by staff from the NWRC. Parents who wish to take part in these fun and enjoyable classes should drop into the school between 2.30pm and 3.30pm on Wednesday 16th September to register for the course.
We look forward to a big turn out of parents.
Holy Family secures dyslexic friendly award again
The staff at Holy Family Primary and Nursery School in Derry continue to be at the forefront of providing appropriate provision for pupils with dyslexia after being awarded the highly prestigious BDA Dyslexic Friendly School status for the second occasion.
The success of the school in securing this prestigious award is due in no small measure to the high levels of competence among the teaching and non- teaching staff which ensures the high quality learning experiences of all pupils generally and those pupils with dyslexia particularly.
"On behalf of Holy Family Primary and Nursery School, we are delighted to be awarded the BDA Dyslexic Friendly School Award for the second occasion. It recognises our positive approach to catering for all pupils consistently and effectively. We believe that all pupils can succeed in every aspect of learning if the provision is appropriately differentiated and the strategies used meet the learning styles of our pupils. The attainment of this award reassures us that we have got both our culture and approaches correct for our pupils. Furthermore, I would like to acknowledge the excellent work undertaken by our highly experienced, SEN co-ordinator, Delma Boggs and the staff in securing this prestigious award."
As a self - evaluating school, we are now determined to push on from this high standard to ensure that our pupils receive even higher levels of provision in the years to come."
Further details about this highly challenging award system are available from the British Dyslexia Association website, www.bdadyslexia.org.uk
Education Minister praises Holy Family
During his visit the Minister met with pupils, staff and representatives from the Board of Governors. He also visited the school's science and nurture centres and met the school choir who were recently named winners in the prestigious Barnardo's National Choir competition in London.
The Minister said: "It is a pleasure to be here in Holy Family Primary and Nursery School today and I would like to thank the Principal, Garry Matthewson for his invitation and warm welcome."
Congratulating the school choir on their recent success, he said: "As I visit schools across the north I am continually amazed by the talent displayed by our children and young people. That talent has been in evidence yet again here today at Holy Family and I was pleased to meet the 'award winning' school choir.
"I'm aware that the Barnardo's competition attracted over 200 entrants with 18 school choirs selected for the finals. To be named the overall winners of the competition is an absolutely fantastic achievement. I want to congratulate your teacher, Claire Doherty, the members of the choir and everyone who was involved in this great success.
"I also want to wish you the best of luck for your upcoming performance in the Albert Hall in London. No doubt that will be an experience that will stay with you throughout your lives."
The Minister also commented on his tour of the school's nurture centre. He said: "Nurture units can play a key role in tackling under-achievement early in a child's life by providing targeted support where it is most needed. Nurture provision is a relatively new development in the north. However, I believe it has the ability to bring about real and positive changes for some of our youngest and most vulnerable children.
"Holy Family Primary School, and in particular, your principal, Garry Matthewson have been at the forefront in delivering and promoting nurture provision. Last year I was pleased to announce funding of £1.1million to ensure that nurture provision could continue at ten local schools, including Holy Family. I welcome this opportunity to see at first hand the work being done here and to meet with some of the children and staff who are involved in this exciting project."
In conclusion the Minister said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Holy Family today. I was very impressed by the dedication of the staff and the enthusiasm of the pupils. This school is delivering a high quality of education and pastoral care for all its pupils. I would like to commend the Board of Governors, Principal, teachers and all the staff for their continuing hard work."
School Opening Times 2015 - 16
Holy Family Primary and Nursery School opening times for the academic year 2015 - 2016 are as follows:
Nursery 9am - 1.30pm
P1 - P3 9am - 2.30pm
P4 - P7 9am - 3pm
A breakfast club operates from 8.30am until 8.55am in the canteen and all pupils/parents are welcome to utilise this facility.
In order to facilitate parents, pupils can be dropped off in the assembly hall where they will be supervised from 8.30am each day.
Following Mrs Donaghy's retirement this year, there have been changes to our safeguarding team. Accordingly, our team for this academic year are:
If any parent/guardian has any child protection concerns they should contact Mrs Parke.
Thank you to all the parents who responded to our Whole School Quality Audit. The information that you provided on the questionnaire is currently being collated and analysed. Once this work is completed, the outcomes will be communicated to all parents/guardians.
In addition, the actions to be taken will also be communicated. Many thanks once again for your assistance.
Thanks to our sponsors
In order to deliver the fantastic opportunity to our pupils in the school choir of going to London to perform in a presitigious competition, it was essential to seek funding from both the public and private sector. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those individuals and organisations who provided financial support to the school choir to enable their participation in the London competition. Many thanks to St Vincent De Paul, E & I Engineering, Diamond Corrugated, Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, the PTA and the Outer West Neighbourhood Partnership
World Peace Day
Well done to the school choir and Mrs Claire Doherty on their excellent performance at the World Peace Day event held in the Guildhall on Sunday 21st September in front of the Mayor of Derry, the Mayor of Belfast and our MP, Mark Durkan.
Keeping pupils safe
In order that our staff are best positioned to keep all our pupils safe, the following training event s will be taken place in school this week:
•1. Epilepsy Training
Epilepsy training will take place in the staff room at 1.30pm on Tuesday 23rd September. This training will be provided by the school nurse and will involve all the P1 teachers and CA's. In addition, Mrs Barr, senior supervisor, will be in attendance.
•2. Epipen Training
Epipen training will take place in the staff room at 2.30pm on Tuesday 23rd September . This training will be delivered by the school nurse and will involve the following staff: Mrs Higgins, Mr Gill, Mrs Claire Doherty and Mrs Mc Crory.
Congratulations to all the P5 pupils who took part in the Neil Carrigan Art competition which this year had the theme, "Autumn." All entrants can be seen this week on the dipslay board outside the principal's office.
The winning painting as judged by Mr Carrigan's daughter, Dearbhla, was created by Shania Coyle. Shania recieved her prize at the Neil Carrigan Exhibition in the Playhouse Gallery on Saturday night.
Thanks to all who took part and to Dearbhla for organising the event.
All at Holy Family wish our school choir every success at the City of Derry International Choral festival which will take place this week in St. Columb's Hall on Thursday 23rd October at 10am.
The choir will be performing in two competitions at this highly prestigious event.
A big thank you to all staff and governors who took part in our two day Investor in People assessment on Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th October. Thanks also to our assessor, Mr John Mulholland for his professionalism during the assessment.
We will not receive the official feedback from the assessment until November at the earliest but trust that it will assist us in our never ending school improvement journey.
Visitors to the Family
The staff and pupils of Holy Family were delighted to host researchers from Queen’s University, Belfast on Tuesday 4th November. The researchers, Dr Seaneen Sloan and Aideen Gildea visited the school to find out more about nurture education so that they can conduct their research in to the effectiveness of nurture education throughout N. Ireland.
We wish them well in their endeavours.
Well done to all pupils, parents, staff and governors of Holy Family in securing the Investor in People Gold standard for the second successive occasion. This highly challenging level is only awarded to 5% of Investor in People organisations.
The attainment of this standard is great recognition for the entire Holy Family community and the statements of the IIP assessor best sums up why the school attained this much sought after standard again, when he wrote "Holy Family is blessed with a hard working and committed staff who share experience, knowledge and resources." Furthermore, "Holy Family is very aptly named. Holy Family is a very strong pupil centred school with the key focus on helping pupils and staff to achieve their full potential."
Well done to all.
Another honour for Holy Family
Holy Family PS has been honoured again by having the school choir invited to perform at the switching on of the Christmas lights at the Irish parliament buildings ( Leinster House ), Dublin on Tuesday 2nd December.
This will complete a triple for the choir as last term they also visited the Houses of Parliament in London and Stormont Building in Belfast.
Good luck to all involved.
Holy Family Choir on UTV
Holy Family PS Choir will be performing on UTV Live at 6.20pm approximately on both Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd December 2014. We wish our award winning choir every success with their performances and thank them for their great work this term.
Many thanks to all our pupils and staff for providing such magical Christmas nativity performances during the month of December. Pupils from Nursery to P7 ensured that their parents and the wider Holy Family community were treated to top level productions.
Thanks to all parents and wider family for the huge turnout at all performances.
A big thank you to the massive number of grandparents who attended grandparents' day on Friday 30th January. The pupils and staff were delighted with the attendance and really enjoyed your presence in the school on the day.
Thank you once again.
The pupils and staff of Holy Family said hello and cead mile failte to our new Italian assistant, Giulia Carlone, who will be working in the school this term. Giulia now brings the number of italian graduates working in Holy Family to three with Simone and Giorgia currently working in Primary Three.
We hope that Giulia has a wonderful time in Holy Family and in Derry.
Best wishes to Fr Paddy
All pupils, staff and parents of Holy Family wish Father Paddy a quick and complete recovery from his injuries incurred as a result of an accident at the weekend. Fr Paddy can be assured of the thoughts and prayers of the entire Holy Family school community.
Speech and Language Programme
A parents' programme related to speech and language development in young children will commence in the school on Thursday 26th February at 7pm. This programme will be delivered by Caroline Cosgrove, speech and language therapist.
This Elklan programme is suitable for all parents but will be particularly beneficial of parents who have children in nursery, P1 or P2.
A large number of parents have already enrolled in the programme but if you would like to reserve a place please contact the school office ( tel: 02871267798)
Accelerated Reading Wizards
Well done to the scores of pupils who exchanged their AR points for prizes at our monthly AR prize giving assembly on Friday 13th February. This event saw lots of pupils from P3 - P7 being rewarded for the fantastic effort that they have been making this term with their AR activities.
Thanks go to Mr Mc Laughlin, Mrs O' Hagan and Miss Gallagher for all their work in ensuring that the AR programme operates so smoothly and our pupils make such advances in their reading.
I.I.P. Gold Again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Celebrations have commenced at Holy Family Primary and Nursery School, Derry with the announcement that they have secured, for the second time, the highly prestigious Investor in People Gold Award standard. This is the highest level possible in the Investor in People assessment system and is only secured by the top 5% of Investor in People organisations.
The world renowned, I.I.P. system, assesses organisations across 10 different strands with numerous evidence requirements. In fact, to secure the Gold standard, Holy Family had to meet 165 evidence requirements. However, the forward thinking Derry school surpassed even that and met no less than 179 evidence requirements to secure this most challenging award.
School principal, Garry Matthewson explained that it was vitally important for the staff and leadership of the school to continue to develop and reach the highest standards of provision possible so that they could continue to ensure that the pupils at the school make outstanding progress. Mr Matthewson proceeded to explain that this award system was particularly attractive to the school leadership as it was a holistic awards system that measured the school across areas such as:
•· Vision and values
•· Stakeholder engagement
•· Corporate social responsibility
•· Leadership and management
•· Rewards and recognition
•· Performance management
•· Continuous improvement
"The beauty of this award system is that it provides a detailed, independent and holistic evaluation of the school against criteria that are used by top performing organisations across the world. Accordingly, the evaluation outcomes that we receive are robust and evidenced based and give us great insight to what we need to do to remain at the forefront of educational provision."
An important feature of the assessment system is that it is holistic in nature and looks at the strengths of not only the school leadership but the various teams in the school. The assessor, John Mulholland, noted that "Holy Family is aptly named as there is a true sense of family with successes/highs celebrated and a sense of spirit d'corps during the lows. Staff at all levels look out for one another and there is a very strong sense of kinship."
Furthermore, the assessor noted that "the success of Holy Family pupils extends beyond examination performance and the many extra curricular achievements achieved against All Ireland/UK competition is testament to the commitment, hard work and dedication of staff. These successes clearly reflect the pride staff have in their work and the extent to which Holy Family is an excellent place to work."
The Elklan speech and language course commences for parents on Thursday 26th February 2015 at 7pm in the staff room of the school. The programme will run for 2 hours each Thursday evening for 6 weeks.
We look forward to a great turnout of parents. The course will be delivered by Mrs Caroline Cosgrove and is funded via the Community Education Initiative Programme.
Junior Warden Bus Tour
The junior warden bus tour for our P7 classes will take place during the week of Monday 9th March. The tour will take place as follows:
- Monday 9th: Mr Mc Laughlin's class
- Wednesday 11th: Mr Herron's class
- Thursday 12th: Mr Doherty's class
We are sure that the pupils and staff will have a very enjoyable and informative week.
Our P7 will be taking part in the second day of the STEM project with staff from the University of Ulster on Tuesday 10th March. During this event the pupils will have the opportunity to develop their computer animation skills with the assistance of experts.
Thanks to the University of Ulster for providing this valuable support.
Health Promotion Week
The pupils of Holy Family are participating in an action packed health promotion week during the week of 9th March. This series of events has been organised by WAU/HE co-ordinator, Mr Doherty.
The week comprises a large number of events for pupils to participate in and these include:
- The Big Shift- a daily walk/scoot/cycle to school event
- Yoga taster sessions
- Cross country challenge
- Boxing Club
- Indoor football blitz
- Muchbox challenge
- Healthy breaks
- IFA football coaching sessions
Thanks to Mr Doherty for organising the events and good luck to all participants.
Due to industrial action by both INTO and UNISON on Friday 13th March 2015, parents should NOT send their children to school on that day. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.
Easter Passion Play
All parents, guardians, grandparents and friends of Holy Family PS are warmly invited to our first Easter Passion Play which will take place in Holy Family Church on Tuesday 31st March at 8.15pm.
The performance will be delivered by our P7 pupils under the direction of Mrs Claire Doherty and supported by Mr Gill.
Thanks to Fr Paddy O' Kane for allowing us to deliver the Passion Play in Holy Family Church.
31st March 2015 8.30am Sustrans Active Travel Breakfast
As part of the ongoing development plans of the school, the following has taken place or will take place in the very near future:
Keeping fit at the Family
Many thanks to Mr Doherty for organising and implementing a very extensive and enjoyable health promotion week. During the week pupils had the opportunity to take part in a variety of events associated with fitness and diet. In addition, the P3 - P7 pupils took part in a Penalty King/Queen competition.
The winners in each year group were:
Congratulations to all our P4 actors and actresses who gained first place in the Feis Doire Cholmcille Action Song competition with a stunning performance of "" A Little Magic Goes A Wrong Way."
Well done to all the pupils involved and thanks to Mrs Houston, Mrs Claire Doherty, Mrs Caroline Doherty and Trevor Burnside for all the work to deliver such a performance.
Holy Family World Champion
Congratulations to our P6 pupil, Caoimhe Devlin, who returned from Montreal, Canada recently as a world champion. The very talented Caoimhe added the world championship accolade to a host of Irish and Uk awards for her outstanding Irish dancing.
We wish Caoimhe continued success in her chosen field and look forward to her being rewarded for the tremendous effort and practice that she puts into her dancing.
Well done from all at Holy Family.
Elklan Level 4 course
The development of speech and language expertise among the six primary schools in the Outer West Neighbourhood Renewal area continued on Friday 17th April when senior staff from St. Anne's, St. Eithne's, Rosemount,The Model, Gaelscoil na daroige and Holy Family participated in further Elklan training.
We thank speech and language therapist, Caroline Cosgrove, for all her work this year with the staff and parents in the OWNRA.
Smartie Challenge Winners
Mrs Stephenson's P3 class were the winners in the Smartie Challenge competition organised by Holy Family Parent/Teacher Association and as a reward for their success the PTA have organised for the Goal for Youth organisation to come in to Holy Family on Friday 24th April and deliver a host of fun activities for the children.
We wish the pupils a very enjoyable day and congratulate them on their success. We would also like to thank the PTA for all their work in supporting the education of our pupils.
Caring for others
Well done to our P5 classes under the guidance of Mrs mc Laughlin and Miss Lynch for organising and implementing a range of fundraising events for Sr. Imelda and her pupils in Kenya. These events generated a fantastic total of £555 for the pupils in Kenya and we are sure that this will have a big impact on the children's daily experiences at school in Kenya.
Sr. Ann, a member of our Board of Governors, attended a special presentation of the cheque on behalf of Sr. Imelda and she thanked the children for their generosity and ingenuity.
Well done to all involved.
Congratulations to all our choir members and Mrs Claire Doherty, music director on securing first place in the highly presitgious Cork International Choral festival. The choir performed an enchanting rendition of the unaccompanied, unision version of " Dulaman" and then the contrasting fast - paced three - part "The Rythmn of Life."
Despite very stern competition from a number of Cork schools and the awarding winning Parteen school from County Clare, the Derry school deservedly gained the top mark. Well done to all involved.
Our annual Marian Procession to Holy Family chapel will take place on Friday 22nd May at 1.30pm. All parents and family members are welcome to join us in this special event. Pupils from Holy Family PS and St. Eithne's PS will parade to the chapel with the Legion of Mary and then take part in a prayer service led by Fr. Paddy.
Congratulations to our P7 pupils who performed their own opera creation in the Opera House in Belfast on Monday 18th May 2015. This was a wonderful experience for our pupils and they thoroughly enjoyed it.
Thanks go to the staff of NI Opera and Mrs Doherty for ensuring that the performance went off so well. Also many thanks to Mark Patterson, Radio Foyle, for highlighting the performance on his radio programme.
Many thanks to the University of Ulster and the computing department for providing a very enjoyable trip to the W5 centre in Belfast for our P7 pupils. This trip was a reward for the pupils endeavours during the WASP project delivered by the university staff during the last few months.
Thanks to our P7 staff and all the university staff for making the project possible.
Keep up the great work Eco Warriors
Well done to all the Eco warriors at Holy Family who have been working hard to ensure that we continue to improve as an eco friendly school. The boys and girls under the guidance of Mr Gavin Doherty and Miss Noreen Doherty, have been working non stop to ensure that we are a litter free school.
Keep up the great work as it is definitely improving our environment.
Holy Family will be performing our annual summer show on Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th June in the school assembly hall. As there are only two performances this year, all pupils and parents are strongly urged to get their tickets early when they go on sale on Monday 1st June.
Places are limited and the tickets are sold on a first come first served basis. In order to avoid disappointment please purchase your ticket immediately they go on sale.
Good luck to our Primary 4 pupils
Everyone at Holy Family wishes all our P4 pupils every best wish and blessing for their First Holy Commuion which will take in Holy Family Church on Saturday 30th May at 11am. The service will be led by Fr. Paddy and we would like to thank Fr. Paddy, Mrs Doherty, Mrs Houston and Miss Kate for all their work in preparing our pupils for this sacrament.
Musical Pathways Performance
The pupils and staff of Primary 5 invite all parents of P5 pupils to attend the Musical Pathways performance in the school at 2pm on Friday 29th May in the assembly hall. Our P5 pupils have been working hard during their musical pathway lessons this year and Friday's performance is an opportunity for the pupils to truly reveal what they can do.
Thanks to Miss Gormley, Miss Lynch and Mrs Mc Laughlin for all their work this year.
Holy Family Public Speaking
Congratulations to all our P7 pupils who took part in our annual public speaking competition on Thursday 28th May. This was a very enjoyable and competitive event that was expertly adjudicated by local author, Mr Charlie Herron.
The range of topics covered varied from racism to animal welfare and highlighted once again the high level of capability among our pupils.
Following adjudication the top three positions were allocated as follows:
1. Naosie Henry
2. Leia Devine
3. Caomhin Doherty
Well done to all involved and thanks to the P7 teachers for organising such an enjoyable event and to Mr Herron for adjudicating such a close contest.
Swimming Success for Holy Family
The boys and girls of Holy Family experienced great success at the North West Schools' Gala tonight in the packed William Street pool tonight. Under the expert guidance of Leanne Mallett, ably assisted by Mr Doherty, the Holy Family boys and girls put in sparkling performances to emerge with the following awards:
Mark Mallet - individual gold
Ellen Mallet - individual gold
Caoimhin Doherty - individual silver
P6 boys relay- team silver
However, the star of the night must surely go to Eve Mallett (P2) who competed in the P6 relay event.
Well done to everyone involved.
Following on from the success of our Irish dancers and Karate experts, another Holy Family pupil gained national recognition recently. Oisin Barr (P4) performed brilliantly at the Ulster Judo championships to return home with a highly commendable bronze medal.
Well done to Oisin and his coaches.
Well done to all 23 Primary Seven pupils who took part in the Scalp mountain challenge as part of the Star Award programme. All 23 endured the 2.5 mile climb to the peak of Scalp mountain in County Donegal on Sunday 14th June.
This challenging climb was made even more difficult by the very warm conditions but all of the Holy Family pupils rose to the challenge and completed the climb.
Thanks to all the staff who took part and to the Concern staff for hosting the event.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Good luck to all our Primary seven pupils who will be performing the famous "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" as their summer show on Wednesday and Thursday night at 7.30pm. This promises to be a great occasion played out in front of a capacity audience both nights.
Thanks to all the staff who made this production possible especially Mr Herron, Mr Doherty, Mr Mc Laughlin, Mrs Claire Doherty and Mr John Ferry.
Well done yet again
Congratulations to the the choirs of Holy Family PS and Lisnagelvin PS as well as harpist, Caitlin Caldwell from St. Colum's PS, Portstewart on their wonderful performances at the launch of the Garden of Reflection, Holywell Trust, Derry.
We welcome a number of new teachers to Holy Family this year and we wish them every success and happiness at our school:
Miss Mc Caughey (P2)
Mrs Keys (P3)
Mr Lagan (P5)
Beginning of the year mass
Thank you to Fr Paddy for hosting the beginning of the year mass for all pupils, staff and parents on Friday 11th September in Holy Family chapel. It was great to see such a good turn out of parents for this special mass and Fr. Paddy cetainly gave us great inspiration for the year ahead.
God bless and good luck for the incoming year.
Holy Family Book Fair
Our ever popular book fair will return to the school on Friday 18th September and run until Friday 25th September. The fair will be held in the Apple room and all classes will have the opportunity to visit the fair and purchase books or other educational items.
Parents will also have the opportunity to visit the fair at specific times which will be communicated to parents. Many thanks to our literacy co-ordinator, Mr Mc Laughlin, for organising the event.