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Ballykeel Primary School & Nursery Unit

Mrs. McGuckin

Hello everyone, and welcome to Ballykeel Nursery! The adults in our class this year are Mrs McGuckin (Teacher), Miss Cameron (Classroom Assistant), Mrs McNeilly (Classroom Assistant) and Miss Housten (Classroom Assistant)

May- June

We can’t believe it’s term three already and we are fast approaching the end of the nursery year! They do say that time flies when you’re having fun!  We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your continued support of the nursery and in your child’s experiences and development this year. It’s been a busy year, and the fun isn’t over just yet. This month we will continue to provide more enriching learning experiences and prepare the children for their transition to P.1!


Please remember that Nursery hours are 9am-1.30pm. Please drop your child off between 9:00-9:15am and pick them up between 1.15-1:30pm. We would ask that all children are collected no later than 1.30pm as teachers have commitments in the Primary School.

Breakfast Club is available for Nursery children - this costs 70p per day and is open from 8am. Please ask your class teacher for more information.


In May we will be paying particular focus to; mini-beasts, life cycles (frogs, butterflies and chickens), growing, road safety and the farm. If you have any items of interest (photographs or objects) which support our themes, please feel free to share these with us (SeeSaw or speak to your class teacher).

In June we will be focusing on; summer, holidays, sun safety, under the sea, and transitions. Hopefully we will be enjoying more sunny weather and will be able to explore further learning experiences in the outdoor environment! Please remember to put sun cream on your child before bringing them to nursery if the weather is likely to be warm. Staff cannot apply cream to your child in nursery so it is important for them to be protected before their day starts. If you are sending a sun hat to school with your child, please make sure it is clearly labelled with their name. We will do our best to ensure your child stays safe in the sun when in Nursery, as highlighted in our policy (policies are available on request).

A Few other reminders ....

Name It –Can you please ensure all items (uniform, coat, sun hat etc) have your child's name on them. It's a good idea to check these regularly as sometimes they can fade or come off in the wash.

Maths in a Bag- As part of our curriculum development, your child will bring home a ‘maths in a bag’ activity. Similar to the lending library in Term 1 and the busy bags in Term 2 this will be an activity to share with your child. The aim is to develop early mathematical skills through recognition of shapes, colours and numbers and to develop language. We thank you for your support and ask you to once again send us pictures of you child  enjoying their activity. We ask that the bags be returned by Tuesday of each week.

Nursery Newsletter - our newsletter will be posted on the school website, sent on Seesaw and displayed in the Foyer. Please read the information contained in this, and try to encourage your child by talking about the topics we are covering and perhaps even trying the songs and rhymes they will be using in Nursery.

Help your child at home!

With the better weather creeping in and the transition into primary school approaching, you can support your child to further develop their skills and abilities outside of nursery too.

Physical development:

You can encourage your child to look at their name and try to form some of the letters. Many children are showing an interest in letters in the nursery and some are already writing their names! Please try to use lower case letters when writing your child’s name (apart from the first letter which should be a capital). An easy way to start is to write your child’s name in pencil, with large letters and well spaced out, and let them draw over it in felt tip. You can also form their name in a dot-to-dot style and let them use the pencil or felt tip to connect the dots on each letter. If your child finds this easy let them copy their name under the example you have provided.

With the good weather arriving (and hopefully staying!) it’s the perfect opportunity to get your children outside and moving! Working and strengthening all the gross muscles in the body will not only help to keep them active and healthy but the strength filters down through to enhance other smaller abilities like; being able to sit up straight for longer periods of time (which aids concentration), allows them better strength to hold their writing tools in the correct way and mark make/write with better control, helps them with self-help skills such as dressing, pouring a drink, cutting their food using their knife and fork, etc. It also develops their awareness of their bodies and what they are able to do and what they need to practice and perfect.

The arts:

Our children are expressive by nature and they enjoy many different styles of creativity. Some take part in dancing, singing or just listen to music, some like to explore sounds and the various musical instruments, others enjoy role play in the home corner and dressing up or making models with the construction resources, playdough junk art or paint and draw at the craft table. These are all things which you can encourage and take part in at home. It doesn’t have to be planned – children are fantastic at finding a use for everything (they amaze us at the use of their imagination at times!). Pop on their favourite song and sing/dance along, let them draw or paint their favourite superhero or give them a cardboard box and some crayons and let them create their own pirate ship or fairy castle. Let them take the lead and be amazed at the ideas and interests which follow.

World around us:

Science, the environment, our community and living things all feature in our children’s everyday lives. Take time to talk to your child about what’s going on around them, even as you walk or drive to school, point out the leaves that are growing back on the trees, the need for their sunhat in the summer sun, where milk comes from or the ingredients in bread when you’re doing the shopping, etc. Teaching about the world around us is all about talking, answering the children’s questions and letting them observe, experience and experiment where they are (e.g. in nursery we take some heavy and light objects and a basin of water, we talk about sinking and floating and predicted which objects will do what. The children love testing their predictions and learn about these, first hand. The teacher aims to guide the discussion and activity so that everyone has a turn but makes sure that it is the children who have the opportunity to use their hands and their heads).

We hope your child continues to have a memorable year in Ballykeel Nursery Unit; please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns.

Mrs McGuckin and Miss Cameron

















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