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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.

Important dates for your diary

26th, 27th April, 3rd and 4th May   School Nurse in for P1’s

5th May                              School closed- Election

23rd May                           Coaching for Christ Fun Day

25th May                            Sponsored walk with St.Brigid’s

27th May                            Jubilee Celebrations

30th May- 3rd June                School Closed- Staff Training and Bank Holiday

16th and 17th June                P1 children finish early for the new P1s coming

30th June                            Last day- summer

May- June

It’s hard to believe that we’ve reached the Summer Term of Primary One! This term is always action-packed, so make sure you keep a look out for any seesaws or website updates informing you of upcoming events. It is going to be a very busy couple of months.

Our theme for this term is “Once Upon a Time”. We will be enjoying some much-loved fairytales with your child and having lots of fun with these! It will also be a very exciting time as we look forward to celebrating the Jubilee together in school. Our topic is perfect for this big celebration!

Once Upon a Time…

Our new theme is “Once Upon a Time”. We will be learning some of the traditional fairytales. Many important Literacy, Numeracy and World Around Us concepts can be taught through these. Of course, they are also lots of fun and very appealing for young children!

Enjoy the fairytales! Why not try out these fun ideas?

 - We’re sure your child would love to act out some of the fairytales – with a little imagination, you can quickly find some props and “costumes” – a lightweight scarf around the shoulders would make a simple Princess dress, and your child could decorate a cardboard crown. For the boys, they could make some chain mail from tinfoil and have a cardboard sword as they pretend to be a handsome Prince?

- Get Crafty! Could your child design and make a fairytale castle out of cardboard boxes? This could provide hours of playtime fun!

Our Friends in St. Brigid's PS:

We are happy to announce that we will be able to “meet” our friends from St Brigid’s online on Wednesday 4th May. We will then be meeting the boys and girls from St Brigid’s in a few weeks when we participate in a sponsored event with them.  

We are very excited that this opportunity will be possible and would ask you, as the first educators of your children, for your support in this initiative.

We will make sure to share photos with you!!!

We love Literacy!

We are really pleased with the progress the children have made with their reading throughout the year.

We will be looking at punctuation in the reading books over the next few weeks. Check your child understands the following symbols:

.  –      full stop

?   –      question mark

! –      exclamation mark

 Mad about Maths

We will be learning to tell the time – we need to make sure Cinderella leaves the ball by 12 o’clock midnight!!

We will only be focusing on o’clock times. You could help your child learn to tell the time by talking about what they do at various times during the day (e.g. school starts at 9 o’clock) and by pointing out o’clock times on the clock

And finally…

Your child has worked hard throughout the year in Primary One, we have enjoyed teaching them and getting to know you too.

Keep practising some reading, writing and number work over the Summer months to help them get off to a good start in Primary Two! Best wishes!

March- April

It’s hard to believe your child is now more than halfway through their year in Primary One!

We have really noticed how much the children have come along since they started school in September – their work is improving day by day. We’re sure you’re amazed at what they can do!

Thank you for all the effort you have put in at home and please continue to keep this up.

Old McDonald Had a Farm

Our theme until Easter is “Old McDonald had a farm”. We will be learning about the role of a farmer, baby animals and their mothers, where our food comes from and we will be looking out for signs of Spring!

Robert McConnell (a vet and a farmer) will be coming in to talk to us about the farm and about looking after animals! Ask your child about this visit. Don’t forget to send in any farm toys you have at home- the children love setting these out for display in our classrooms.

We Love Literacy!

We are working on Grammar in P1.

This is what the children will be learning – it is really just the “first steps” of good grammar.

Holding a book correctly

  • Holding a pencil correctly
  • Knowing to start reading and writing from the left hand side
  • Correct letter formation
  • Putting a space between each word
  • Ensure the sentence makes sense
  • Understand what a full stop, question mark and exclamation mark means.

Mad about Maths

In Numeracy we will be learning to count and write the numbers 10 – 15. Help your child count forwards and backwards – they love to pretend a rocket is blasting off after zero!

If you are baking at home, get your child to help weigh out the ingredients – we have been doing this in school recently, using the words heavier and lighter. We will also be doing this for Pancake day too.

We will be learning about money very soon. To give your child a head start, why not teach them to recognise each coin. However, we will only be using 1p coins to make our “purchases” in school.

** We would appreciate it if all parents could please send in ten 1p coins – watch out for the money bag to put these in. It is much more beneficial to use real coins when teaching money **

Have a lovely Easter Holiday!

Let’s hope the weather is good so the children can get outside and be active – too much screen time is not good for them!

Why not visit the park, fly a kite, go on a Spring walk and talk about what you see, wrap up warm and go on a trip to the beach, or get out the bicycles!

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



23rd Jun 2022
Tommy is our Role model of the week for working so hard this year and making so much...
23rd Jun 2022
Frankie is our role model of the week for the fantastic progress she has made during...
17th Jun 2022
Alexander is our Role Model of the week for always looking out for others in the...
17th Jun 2022
Our role model is Hollie. Both Mrs Carruthers and Mrs McGuckin are delighted with...