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Whitehouse Primary School, 2 Doagh Rd, Newtownabbey

Preparing to move to Primary 1


We see nursery as a very important part of a child's education.  It is very much a valuable stage in its own right and not just a preparation for primary education.

As a school, however, we want to help our nursery pupils move into Primary 1/Year 1 as smoothly as possible.

Therefore, we have put in place some procedures and offer parents some advice as they consider their child's next step after the nursery year.

How does our nursery unit prepare our pupils to move into Primary 1?

Our nursery pupils from very early in their time in the school do 'school walks' and come up to the main school for fun activities as well as curricular events.

The nursery children are introduced to key members of staff in the primary school.

In the third term the Primary 1 staff come down to the nursery classes for play sessions to observe and to take sessions in the nursery unit.

The nursery pupils, once accepted into the main school, will also have induction sessions in the Primary 1 rooms.

The staff from the nursery pass on systematic records to the primary teachers and have comprehensive handover meetings.

Nursery profiles are passed to the new primary 1 teachers.

In the June after a nursery class has moved into our school the nursery teachers visits their previous class.  The purpose of this visit is to discuss their progress since moving into the school.

Around 90% of our nursery pupils move into our Primary 1 classes.  For a range of reasons some parents apply to other schools. We work closely with their new teachers to provide a smooth transition process. 

Important information for parents:

  • Even if your child has a place in our nursery unit you must apply for Primary 1 if you want your child to come to our school;
  • We welcome applications from parents whose children did not get accepted for nursery;
  • Primary 1 application forms are available from the school office and the Education Authority website;
  • The deadline for applications for Primary 1 are in early January of your child's nursery year.  Our advice would be to apply for your school prior to the Christmas break;
  • Late applications for Primary 1 will be considered but only after all those that have been submitted on time;
  • Our advice is to have your Primary 1 application form in on time;
  • If you apply for a popular school for a Primary 1 place does that impact your second or third choice?  NO!  The good news about applying for Primary 1 is that you do not have to worry about your order of preferences.  If your first choice school turns you down your second school must consider your application as if it had come to them first.  This process continues down your order of schools.  In summary, you can apply for the school of choice without a tactical approach based around the popularity of schools.