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Ballykeel Primary School & Nursery Unit

Year 1

Welcome to P1!

Our teachers are Mrs Carruthers and Miss McConnell.

Our classroom assistants are Mrs McQuillan, Miss Anderson, Mrs McKeown, Mrs McNeilly, Miss McKergan and Mrs Calderwood.

January- February

Happy New Year! We hope you all enjoyed your Christmas holidays and Santa came to the boys and girls!

Helping Hands:

Our theme until February half term is “Helping Hands”. We are going to be learning about people who help us. We will learn about the roles of a teacher, the school cook, a fire fighter, a doctor, dentist, nurse and the police. We will hopefully have some visitors in the classroom and we will act out the various roles at playtime.

Maybe you could point out some people who help in the community when you’re out and about with your child?

We Love Literacy:

Reading is going well! We are very encouraged by the children’s progress, thank you for helping with this at home!

Just keep practising at home each night. Make sure your child recognises the key words in each book e.g. and, a, the, is, it, had.

We will be continuing to learn the next set of Jolly Phonics sounds. Please keep going over the sounds we did before Christmas as well as the new sounds.  Please continue to use the sound bags to aid your child’s learning.


In Numeracy, we will be learning how to write the numbers 6 – 10. Again, we use the little rhymes to help the children remember the correct formation.

Keep practising these at home – we always say that practice makes perfect!

6 – down we go and make a loop, number 6 makes a hoop.

7 – across the sky and down from heaven, that’s the way we make a 7

8 – make a ‘s’ and do not wait, that’s the way we make an 8

9 – make a loop and then a line, that’s the way we make a 9

10 – first a one, then a zero, number 10 is our hero!

 Lending Library:

Your child will continue to get a Loving Literacy or Mighty Maths bag every Friday. Please make sure you return your child’s bag every Monday so that they can be checked for the next child.


November - December

We are really into the swing of things in P1 now! We can’t believe we will soon be starting the countdown to Christmas!

This will be a busy half term for your child as we commence Jolly Phonics and reading books…

Jolly Phonics

Please give your child as much support as possible with Jolly Phonics. Knowing the sound each letter makes and being able to write it correctly is so important. Without learning these skills, your child will struggle with learning to read and write. Please check the newsletter for ideas and don’t forget to do the homeworks each night!

Reading Books

The children feel so “grown up” now they’ve got their reading books. Don’t forget the importance of hearing your child read every night – but also read some bedtime stories for enjoyment!


We have been learning the numbers 1-5 and are ready to move on to 6-10. Please keep practising 1-5 at home. We have been thinking about 2D shapes – circle, triangle, square and rectangle. Why not have a look for these around your house?

Special Baby

Our new World Around Theme this half term in called "Special Baby". The children will be learning all about other boys and girls in our class as well as learning about the special baby called Jesus.

Christmas is coming!

It’s an exciting time of the year for the children! We will be planning some alternative Christmas fun for our children. Watch this space!

Why not write a letter to Santa at home – cutting toys out of catalogues is a great way of practising scissor skills!



Please carefully note the following dates and times:

From day one until Friday 10th September it is a 12.00pm finish and the children do NOT have lunch in school

From Monday 13th – Friday 24th September children stay in school to have lunch and they leave at 12.30pm

(Please ensure your child knows what they are taking.)

From Monday 27th September children will leave school at 1.50pm every day. 


September - October

Our focus for this half term is settling the children into their new school routines and laying the foundations for their learning.

It is important that your child comes to school well-prepared each day.

Please ensure your child has the following items with them every day:

- Break time snack  - One item only. (Healthy eating policy - no cereal bars or chocolate yogurts allowed)

- Coat

Remember to keep an eye on the information windows of our classroom, the website and the school app.


Please ensure your child has brought in:

  • a box of tissues
  • a bottle of pump anti-bacterial handgel (for use without water
  • P.E. shoes in a P.E. bag
  • Full change of clothes
  • Pritt Stick


We love Literacy!

We are learning to hold our pencils correctly – with froggy fingers!! Please ask us about this if you’re unsure. We have been practising writing our names, please make sure you practise this regularly at home!

As we prepare to start reading books after the Halloween Holidays, now is a perfect time to enjoy reading some stories together at home. Help your child develop a love of reading by taking time to talk about what’s happening, the characters and what might happen next…


Mad About Maths!

We are learning all of the colours to prepare us for sorting and pattern work.

Between now and half term, we will be learning the numbers 1-5. We should be able to recognise these numerals, count up to 5 objects and write the numbers. The following rhymes may help your child learn to form the numbers correctly…

1 – start at the top and down we run, that’s the way we make a 1

2 – round and back on a railway track, two, two, two

3 – round a tree and round a tree, that’s the way we make a 3

4 – down and over and down some more, that’s the way we make a 4

 5 – down and around and a flag on high, that’s the way we make a 5


A Time to Rhyme

In our theme we are learning familiar nursery rhymes. These will help us learn about many aspects of Literacy, life in the past and our world.

The nursery rhymes we will learn are:

- Baa Baa Black Sheep

- Hickory Dickory Dock

- Wee Willie Winkie

- Humpty Dumpty

- Incy Wincy Spider

- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

- Hey Diddle Diddle

Thank you for your ongoing support with your child's education.


Latest Photographs



21st Jan 2022
Parker has been working so hard in school with his jolly phonics sounds, as well...
21st Jan 2022
Tommy is our Role Model of the Week for his great start to blending sounds and for...
14th Jan 2022
Brianna is our Role Model of the Week for being such a hard working girl. She is...
14th Jan 2022
Olivia is our Role Model of the Week. Olivia has been singing and learning the actions...