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Cairnshill Primary School
6A Cairnshill Drive, Ballylenaghan, BT8 6RT, UK Belfast
+44 (0)2890 705122


Letter from the Principal

Dear Parents

The purpose of this Prospectus is to give you some general information about the school and some advice that you may find useful in preparing your child for the “first day”.

We hope that when you have read this booklet you will have a better understanding of our aims and objectives and how we hope to achieve them.

Basically we are aiming to achieve:

  • Skills of communication to help children use their own language effectively in reading, writing and speech;
  • To ensure that the children acquire the necessary skills to be able to think and solve problems Mathematically using the appropriate basic concepts;
  • To help children develop lively, inquiring minds which can cope with the problems of living in a rapidly changing world;
  • To help children acquire the habit of learning;
  • To instil self respect and respect for others, toleration of other ways of living and understanding of the world.

To achieve these objectives we aim to inculcate basic skills, general knowledge, a degree of conceptual understanding, initiative, resourcefulness, powers of concentration and reasoning and a breadth of cultural interests. Mathematics, Reading, and Writing will not on their own achieve these aims and that is why the school offers so much more than the traditional “three R’s”.

The curriculum includes subjects and activities in which every child can participate and parents are asked to play their full part in all school functions for the mutual benefit of parent, teacher and child.

Yours sincerely,


Curriculum and Assessment

The Common Curriculum for Northern Ireland has been introduced progressively in the school since 1990 when the Programmes of Study for English, Mathematics and Science were implemented. Initially these only applied to the first and fifth years but have applied progressively to other classes in subsequent years. In September 1991 Programmes of Study for History, Geography and Physical Education were introduced at year one. The remaining compulsory subjects, Technology, Art and Design, Music and Religious Education were phased in after CCEA (Council for the Curriculum Examinations and Assessment) had carried out a major review of all aspects of the primary curriculum.

The assessment arrangements for the Northern Ireland Curriculum are presented through orders. In addition, the requirements for the reporting of assessment outcomes are set out in regulations in accordance with the Education Reform (NI) Order 1989.

The assessment of pupils’ progress through Cairnshill will be made using -
  1. Continuous monitoring by the teacher.
  2. External assessment resources.
  3. Common assessment instruments.
It should be noted that the school year 1996-97 was the first statutory year for assessment of pupils in Year 4 and Year 7. Assessment outcomes for Key Stage 2 will not be used for transfer purposes in the foreseeable future.

ENGLISH 100% 93%

ENGLISH 92% 71%


Each teacher provides a full programme of work for all children in their class, whatever their ability. Pupils with Special Needs and Specific Learning Difficulties are quickly identified and catered for using the expertise within the school (including two part-time teachers) and/or by utilising the advice and support of the Board’s Educational Psychology Service. The regular monitoring of pupils’ progress and parental consultation ensure that school and home co-operate closely in helping each pupil reach his potential.


The school adopts a positive approach to discipline, expecting all pupils to behave in a responsible manner by always showing consideration, courtesy and respect for other people. The co-operation of parents is sought about maintaining high standards of pupil attendance, punctuality, personal appearance, the wearing of school uniform, having the proper equipment for learning and the supervision of homework. If problems do arise we like to involve parents at an early stage rather than leave it until later. We hope you as parents will do the same with us. An upset at home can cause your child to behave differently at school just as worry over school work can cause you problems at home. A copy of the school’s Discipline Policy can be inspected by arrangement with the principal.


Admissions Criteria

The school’s policy is to enrol only those pupils who have reached compulsory school age. If the school is over-subscribed, children will be admitted according to the following criteria, applied in the order set down.

  1. Preference will be given to children with a brother or sister currently in attendance at the school.
  2. Preference will be given to the children of permanent members of the school staff.
  3. Preference will be given to children on the basis of the proximity of their home to the school.
    Year Applications Enrolled
    1998-99 84 82
    1999-00 84 83
    2000-01 75 75
    2001-02 83 83
    2002-2003: Admissions Number - 88 Enrolment Number - 640
Drug Education Policy

As in all matters it is the school’s policy to promote healthy, positive attitudes. Health is perceived, not so much in terms of illness and disease, but as a more positive state of well-being. Drugs education forms part of a comprehensive health education programme which contributes to equipping pupils with the skills to manage their lives effectively and make responsible health decisions. The school’s Drugs Education Policy is available on application to the Principal.

The School Day

Morning school begins at 9.00 a.m. All children are expected to be in the building or school playground by 8.50 a.m.

LUNCH ........................................ 12.30 - 1.15 p.m.

Classes are dismissed as follows:-
  • P1, P2, P3 ............. 2.15 p.m.
  • P4, P5, P6, P7 ..... 3.15 p.m. (P4 at 2.15 p.m. on Friday)
School Meals

School meals, cooked on the premises, are of the highest standard and cost Ł1.45. The money for the week, or days in the week on which meals are required, should be brought on MONDAY mornings. Details of arrangements for parents in receipt of limited income are available from the Principal. A menu is sent home for each month. A cash cafeteria system is also in operation. Children bringing lunches to school will be allocated a room where they can eat their lunch under supervision. Drinks should not be brought to school in glass containers. Only children going home for lunch will be allowed to leave the school grounds.
School Uniform

It is school policy to encourage the wearing of school uniform. All our pupils now do so and we are often complimented on their smart appearance.

BOYS: Grey shirt, school tie, grey pullover and socks, grey shorts/trousers.

GIRLS: Grey or white shirt, tie and grey pullover/cardigan or red/white polo neck sweater under grey pinafore/skirt. Red tights or white or grey socks.

The uniform may be obtained from - Fashion Sport 81 Newton Park We also produce a sweatshirt and a fleece jacket which can be ordered through school in June and October. Details are circulated to parents.

We believe that “homework” should involve the parent working with the child. Whether or not work of a formal nature is set you should always make time to assist with spellings, with oral table work and with reading. Even at Primary 1 level language work should always take place.
Physical Education

All classes have Physical Education and in addition the P5, P6 and P7 classes have an hour a week devoted to games’ training. All children are expected to participate in a sporting activity unless they are unable to do so on medical grounds. Children must change for games and girls should have shorts. Your child will be told the days of his games and P.E. lessons and suitable clothing should be brought to school. School games include football, netball, hockey, mini-rugby and athletics.
School Library

We are extremely fortunate to have our own central library which augments the class libraries and is widely used by all the children of the school. Books have been supplied by the Board and the PTA. The success of the library is due to the co-operation between the teacher-in- charge and the parents who give their time voluntarily as librarians. We are equally fortunate in having a Resource Room, still a rarity in primary schools. It contains our collection of “hardware” (projectors, overhead projectors, CD Rom, cassette recorders, maths and science equipment etc.). It is planned to turn this area into an Information Technology suite during 2001-02.

Apart from money supplied by the Board for equipment, books and stationery, etc. the school has no money of its own and is dependent for funds on the Parent Teacher Association. You will notice during the course of the year that all activities are run under the auspices of the PTA and all monies collected belong to that Association. The Committee then makes money available for use in the school for such things as extra games and classroom equipment, subsides for school visits, prizes and gratuities, etc. The main money raising activities include film shows, discos and the Christmas Fair.

Parent's Page

Below are some some helpful pages for our parents.

Let's Stop Bullying: Advice for Parents and Families
Anti-Bullying: A Guide for Pupils

School Behaviour and Discipline
Playground Behaviour and Discipline Guidelines

Advice on Starting School
Preparing for School
How can you help your child?


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