Mon, 15th Feb 2016
Mid Term Break & Staff Development Day

Tue, 8th Mar 2016
P4 First Confessions @ 6.15pm

Sun, 13th Mar 2016
Service of Light @ 7.15pm

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Current Conditions:
Partly Cloudy, 6 C

Door of Mercy

As part of the year of mercy, we are delighted to announce that we shall officially open our door of mercy during Grandparents' day on Friday 5th February. This door will hopefully reflect the presence and growth of mercy in our school during the course of the year.

Many thanks to all our pupils for their ideas about this development.

New Build at Holy Family

Holy Family is delighted to announce that funding has been secured form Sportni to establish a multi purpose boxing facility with teaching/coaching space at the school. This facility will be of outstanding benefit to the school, Springtown boxing club and hopefully the wider community.

Initial preparation work will take place in the next few weeks. Further updates will be provided in the near future.

AR Millionaire

Congratulations to Dearbhla Coyle on becoming our first millionaire this academic year. Dearbhla reached the fantastic total of 1,463,214 words read which led to the accumulation of 97.4 points.

In addition, well done to Mrs Doherty's  and Mrs Key's P3 classes who created another record this year by busting the Holy Family Luck Dip Bank for the first time ever by being so accurate in their reading and acquiring so many tokens that the Luck Dip Bank had to close down for three days to get re stocked.

Keep up the great work.

Parental Audit

As a self evaulating school, Holy Family, always seeks out the views of pupils, parents and others about the services that we provide for pupils and the wider community. This year the audit will take place during the month of February. 

Accordingly, we would encourage all parents to take part in the audit as your views are very important to the staff and the Governors and can lead directly to improvements in the school. Further details about the audit will be circulated in early February

Catholic Schools' Week

This year Catholic Schools' Week commences on 31st January 2016. The week will be packed with a variety of events including one of the most popular days in the school calendar - Grandparents' Day.

Given this year is a year of mercy, the school will be officially opening the Door of Mercy during Catholic Schools' Week.

We look forward to this special event and hope many families join us in the celebration of Catholic Education.

Parish Mission

The pupils and staff are really looking forward to the launch of our parish mission which will commence on 6th February 2016. The school will be heavily involved in the mission and there will be activities and events in the school for the full duration of the mission.

We trust that the mission will bring many blessings on the school and the parish. Further details to follow sooon.

Outstanding Inspection

Congratulations to all pupils, parents, staff, governors and wider Holy Family community on the achievement of an outstanding inspection report following our inspection by the Education and Training Inspectorate in November 2010.

An electronic version of the report can be accessed by clicking here or by visiting the Education and Training Inspectorate website at 

Well done once again.

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.

Child protection

Following Mrs Donaghy's retirement this year, there have been changes to our safeguarding team. Accordingly, our team for this academic year are:

  • Designated Child Protection Teacher: Mrs Linda Parke
  • Deputy Designated Child Protection Teacher: Mr Garry Matthewson
  • Deputy Designated Child Protection Teacher: Mrs Dara Cosgrove
  • Child Protection Governor: Mrs Roisin O'Hagan
  • Chairperson of the Board of Governors: Mrs Carmel Doherty

If any parent/guardian has any child protection concerns they should contact Mrs Parke.

Thank you

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.

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 award recognises the school's success in developing and implementing effective strategies to meet the needs of pupils with dyslexia across the curriculum. The Derry school has long pioneered highly effective teaching and learning approaches for all pupils and particularly for pupils with specific learning conditions.

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.

Principal, Garry Matthewson commented,

"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."

The SEN Co-ordinator, Delma Boggs, who was the driving force in ensuring that the school was prepared for the BDA Dyslexic Friendly School assessment, commented,

"I am delighted at the attainment of this award for the second time. It shows genuine recognition for the excellent SEN work that is taking place at Holy Family on a daily basis. Applying for the award really brought into sharp focus the detailed and pervasive work that we are doing each and every day to ensure that our dyslexic pupils make appropriate progress in their learning across the curriculum. The attainment of this award was a huge team effort and all the children and staff deserve credit for this achievement.

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,


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

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."

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.

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.

Well done

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.

Good Luck

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.

Thank you

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.

Magical nativities

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.

Thank you

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."

Elklan course

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.

STEM project

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.

Industrial Action

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.


Upcoming Events

31st March 2015 8.30am Sustrans Active Travel Breakfast
31st March 2015 8.15pm Easter Passion play in Holy Family Chapel
1st April 2015 12.30pm Start of Easter holidays
20th April 2015 9.00am Commencement of P7 Retreat Services
22nd April 2015 7.15pm P7 Service of Light

Premises developments

As part of the ongoing development plans of the school, the following has taken place or will take place in the very near future:

• Replacement of ceiling tiles in two classrooms
• Replacement of school gates
• Repainting of the canteen
• Repair of the school roof
• Narrowing of road exit at the school gate
• Installation of a cycle path on the upper part of the Aileach Road

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:
Highest Fundraiser       Queen                            King
P3 Caitlin McCloskey    Abigail Devine                  Gary O'Doherty
P4 Rebecca Hargan      Emma Murray                   Ben Morrison
P5 Holly Devine           Caitlin Callaghan-Ferry      Ryan Hasson
P6 Teigan McGonagle   Teigan McGonagle            Connor Gallagher
P7 Che Eoin Temple     Sionnan O'Hagan             Aaron Reid


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.

Cork Champions

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.

Marian Procession

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.

Operatic Stars

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.

W5 Wonders

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.

Summer Show

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.

Another Champion

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.

Scalp Conquerors

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.

Click the link to hear and view the exceptional ability of all involved.

New staff

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)


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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Curriculum Meetings for parents

Mr Matthewson will be holding curriculum meetings with parents from nursery to P3 over the next two weeks. These meetings will focus on what the pupils will be encountering and what the expectations are in the respective year groups. The dates and times for these meetings are:

Nursery – Monday 19th October 1 -1.30pm

P1 - Monday 19th October 2 -2.30pm

P2 – Thursday 22nd October 2 – 2.30pm

P3 – Monday 26th October 2 – 2.30pm

More sporting success

Well done to the Holy Family PS pupils who  competed recently at the Shori Judo Club Open event held at Bishop’s Field, Creggan.

The Holy Family pupils certainly showed their skills in this competitive event and the following were rewarded for their endeavours:

Riain Barr (P2) won the Gold medal in his category, while Oisin Barr (P5) and Darragh McCaul (P4) got the Gold and Silver in their category.

 Keep up the great work boys.

P3 - P7 Parent & Pupil Mass

The first P3 - P7 parent & pupil mass of the year will take place at Holy Family church at 10am on Friday 23rd October. All parents are most welcome to attend this mass.

Fancy Dress Day

Tuesday 27th October is a Fancy Dress day for all pupils. Pupils should attend school in costume. All pupils are encouraged to donate at least £1 on this day with all funds raised going to the Syrian refugee crisis.

Support Movember Appeal

During the month of November, male teachers at the school are taking part in the Movember challenge. Accordingly, please do not be shocked to witness some less than stylish facial hair displays.

However, please feel free to donate any funds to the appeal with all monies going to the Syrian refugee appeal.

Big shave off in the assembly hall at the end of November.

Erasmus visitors

Holy Family is currently preparing to receive our European visitors as part of the Erasmus programme. Our visitors from Finland, Poland, Spain and Holland will be arriving in Holy Family on Monday 23rd November to take part in the "Smart Moves" project and we hope that they have a wonderful time when they are here.

Sacramental preparation

In order that parents are able to attend the various sacramental preparation events this year please note the following dates and events:

P4 Mass of Enrolment: Sunday 29.11.15

P7 Confirmation Meeting: 13.01.16

P7 Service of Commitment: 17.01.16

P4 First Communion Meeting: 27.01.16

P4 First Confessions: 08.03.16

P7 Service of Light: 13.03.16

P7 Confirmation: 16.04.16

P4 First Communion: 04.06.16

Choir performing at the Oireachtas

Holy Family choir are delighted to accept the invitation of the Ceann Comhairle, Sean Barrett TD, to perform at the switch on of the Christmas Lights at Lenister House on Tuesday 8th December.

This is a great honour for our our choir and all choir members are looking forward to travelling to Dublin to perform at this special occasion.

Anti - Bullying Week

Next week (16 - 20 November) marks anti-bulying week. This is a very important week in the life of the school as it gives all staff the opportunity to highlight the importance of being safe and happy. At Holy Family we implement a range of strategies to ensure that our pupils are kept safe and secure.

However, there is always room for improvement and next week, the focus will be on highlighting how to keep safe both in person and online.

We request that parents/guardians support us in this work by always ensuring that they are aware of what activities their children are engaged in when operating online.


School prospectus 2016 - 17

Prospective parents can find out more about our school by clicking the link below or going to the parents section of this website to see our school prospectus for 2016 - 17.

School prospectus 2016 - 17

Nursery and P1 applications

Please note that application forms for pupils due to commence nursery or primary one in September 2016 will be available from the school office on Friday 27th November 2015. The critiera associated with the application process to nursery and primary one are available from the office, in the school prospectus and on the school website within the school prospectus.

Prospective parents are strongly urged to review the relevant critieria prior to completing the application form. Please contact the school if you are unsure about any aspect of the admission process.

The closing date for application forms to be returned is 12 noon on Wednesday 13th January 2016.

School Open Day

Holy Family will be holding a school Open Day on Friday 4th December 2015 from 10am until 12 noon. All prospective and current parents are invited to this special event when parents can sample the atmosphere and the learning experiences always on offer at our school.

If prospective parents are unable to attend on this occasion, an alternative appointment can be made by contacting the school office on 02871267798.


Congratulations to two Holy Family pupils who medalled at the North West Open held in Foyle Arena, Derry recently.

The boys, Oisin Barr (P5) and Darragh McCaul (P4), both achieved Bronze medals in the Boys U35 kilos category, representing their Konarakai Judo club.

Well done and keep up the great work.

PTA Rickety Wheel and Fair

All friends of Holy Family Primary and Nursery school are invited to our annual Rickety Wheel and Fair which will take place in the school assembly hall on Wednesday 9th December 2015 at 7pm.

There are lots of fantastic prizes and a great night is guaranteed for all.

Thanks to our highly active PTA and all our sponsors who made this event possible.


Well done

Congratulations to all our pupils in our nursery, P1, P2 and P4 - P7 classes on their excellent nativity performances played out in front of packed audiences. Many thanks to all staff involved in the productions and to parents and grandparents for their assistance.

The Parish carol service will take place on Sunday 13th December at 6pm in the church and our choir will be performing at it.

The P3 nativity will take place at 10am on Tuesday 15th December and everyone is welcome. 

Accelerated Reading Assembly

All P3 - P7 pupils will take part in an Accelerated Reading assembly on Tuesday 15th December. The pupils in all year groups have had an opportunity recently to exchange their AR points for prizes and they will now recieve the chosen rewards.

Well done to all pupils involved and many thanks to Mr Mc Laughlin and the assistants for organising all the prizes.


Welcome back

Holy Family Primary and Nursery School opens for all pupils on Wednesday 6th January 2016 at 8.50am after the Christams break.

We wish all our pupils and families a very happy and successful 2016.

P4 First Communion Meeting

All pupils and parents are invited to attend the First Communion Meeting in the school assembly hall at 7.30pm on Wednesday 27th January 2016. This is a very important meeting and we look forward to an excellent turn out.

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