Primary School

Delight in Effort, Acceptance and Achievement


It looks like there will be strike action by a number of Unions on Thursday 18th January 2024. If this goes ahead, school will be closed that day.


There are also rumours about other days from specific unions which will affect certain pupils / classes if that goes ahead but I will keep you as updated as possible as I get more information.




Mr Bell

The Education Authority have asked us to make parents aware that their children’s and young people’s branch (CYPSP) have put together a ‘Cost of Living Crisis Resource’ detailing services available that seek to provide support to individuals, families and communities. These include providing: a warm cup of tea; an evening meal; support with benefits; Parent Rooms; low-cost play ideas and so on. This is a live document and will be updated on a regular basis.

Please follow the link below to access the resource:


Parents- are you worried that your child won't be ready for school in September 2024?


Did you know:


You can delay your child starting Primary 1 if their birthday is between 1st April 2020 and 1st July 2020.


If your child is due to start Nursery but you feel they will not be ready for September 2024, you can also delay their start if their birthday is between 1st April 2021 and 1st July 2021!


Go to for further information!

Change to Nursery times!


From Wednesday 3rd January 2024 Nursery children may enter at 8:50am.


Nursery class will end at 1:20pm.

Dear Parents


Reminder – due to Industrial Action, no pupil can attend school until 12 noon tomorrow (Wednesday 29th November 2023).


As I have previously mentioned, the media seem to have Industrial Action announcements before the Education Authority communicate them to me. To that end, there will also be no P1 class on FRIDAY 1st December. There will also be an impact on some children who have additional help but either Mr Douglas or myself will speak to those parents involved individually. At this stage, I am unaware of any more Industrial Action before Christmas – but that’s no guarantee!


Mr Bell


Wednesday 15th November


Dear parents


The majority of you are respectful of the school and its standards in an effort to educate your children effectively. You are here at 8.50am and your child is prepared for school, with homeworks completed and you pick up your children promptly.

This ensures that the teachers in P1, 2 and 3 who take other classes at 2.05pm can be at those classes on time. Teachers involved with activities after school can be starting these at 3.05pm. Thank you. If you are one of those parents – and it is most of you - you genuinely don’t need to read any more.


There are an increasing number of parents who are not respecting the schools standards and hampering their child’s education by;

  • Sending their child in late – this has already been recorded but late chits will be issued by the office from Monday 20th November.
  • Not ensuring homeworks are done – teachers are keeping a record and I will be getting in touch with some parents.
  • Not being here on time to pick up your children – we appreciate there are emergencies and we will work with parents in these isolated events – but there are a few families who are late on a regular basis and this is incredibly disrespectful.


I would hope not to have to remind parents again of what is basically good manners and good practice.


Mr Bell


Due to ‘Storm Debbie’ if any parent is coming to collect;

  • Nursery children at 1.30pm
  • or P1, P2 or P3 children at 2pm

and has older siblings in the school, these pupils can be released early  if the parent goes to the office and requests this.

Notice on Thursday 9th November 2023




A number of Trade Unions will be striking on Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th November 2023. This is legitimate Industrial Action.


This will affect all or part of the school in the following ways:


  • Nursery class will ONLY be available from

9 – 10am (1 Hour) on Thursday 16th November. All children MUST be collected at 10am.


  • Primary One will only be available from 8.50 – 10.50am (2 hours) on BOTH Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th November. All children must be collected at 10.50am.


  • Primary Two will only be available from 8.50 – 10.50am (2 hours) on Thursday 16th November. All children must be collected at 10.50am.


  • Some children who have a 1:1 Assistant will have limited time in school and their parents will be spoken to by Mr Bell or Mr Douglas.


  • School will finish at lunchtime for ALL other children on Thursday 16th November which will be 12 noon for P3 and 12.30pm for P4, P5, P6 and P7.


There will be no Morning Club on Thursday 16th November.


Mr Bell


Botanic Primary School

Tuesday 7th November 2023


You will no doubt be aware from media reports that a number of Trade Unions will be striking on Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th November 2023. This is legitimate Industrial Action.


This will affect all or part of the school – but I am not in a position to determine the extent of this yet.


The main action seems to be taking place on Thursday 16th November.


The purpose of this communication is to make you aware that school may not be fully open for your child for these days – or perhaps part days.


I will keep you as informed as possible – as soon as possible – but regrettably I cannot be specific at this point in time.


To all Parents


We have received word today that the boiler in the kitchen needs a new part and will be worked on next week when the part is procured.


Until then it will be sandwiches for school meals – which will be delivered to the school.


Provisionally, hot meals will resume on Friday 20th October 2023.

We are collecting for a local food bank. Canned and dried food can be brought to the school office any day until Friday 13th October.

Friday 29th September: Macmillan coffee afternoon at 1.30pm in the school hall for all children and parents. 

Energy Drinks


Energy drinks are banned for pupils at Botanic Primary School. This includes Prime – which is being marketed as a hydration drink – but apparently advises that children under 18 do not use it. Therefore we believe this ban to be acting in the best interests of pupil welfare.


Mr Bell


Dear parents


School will be closed for ALL pupils on Wednesday 26thApril 2023 due to the Teachers’ Strike. This is for the whole day on this occasion.

Dear Parents / Guardians


It is extremely likely that Botanic Primary School will be closed to all pupils on Wednesday 26th April 2023. This will be for all pupils and NOT like the previous occasion when some pupils attended and the rest came at 12 noon.


I will provide more details over the course of the next few days – but these might only be final confirmation that the school will be definitely closed. I know you will want to be making other arrangements for your children that day.




Mr Bell

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Engagement Sessions for Parents and Carers.

Proposed Teachers’ Strike on Tuesday 21st February up to 12 noon.

Some of our P5 pupils are taking part in the 4 Corners Festival

Cash for Clobber 16th - 27th January Bags are available from school reception.

The SEND Transformation Programme Reference Group (PRG), made up of parent advocacy groups

and the wider education and health bodies, and community and voluntary organisations, will

facilitate the following engagement sessions:

Online information session 1: Thursday 24thNovember 2022: 8-9:30:

Online information session 2: Thursday 1stDecember, 2022: 7pm-8:30pm:

These upcoming information events provide an opportunity for parents and carers to learn more

about the programme and to meet PRG representatives. We want to make sure all voices are heard,

so that we can be sure we are taking the right steps to deliver the right support at the right time,

for all our children with special educational needs and disabilities.

The book fair will be running in school from 3rd - 10th October 2022.

Education Authority Filming - On Thursday 22nd or Friday 23rd September, the Education Authority (EATV) will be bringing a film crew into Botanic Primary School. They will be filming for a video being done on the work of Education Authority and this footage will be used both internally and externally including on social media. If you do NOT want your child to take part in this, please let your child’s teacher know. If you have any questions, please speak to Mr. Bell or Mrs Thompson.

Please see the information regarding the King and Queen Consort's visit to NI and the impact on transport in Belfast

From Mr Bell - Christmas Arrangements 2021

Congratulations to our Chair of Board of Governors, Mrs McHugh, as she received her MBE today at Windsor Castle.

⭐️⭐️ Belfast Warm and Well Project ⭐️⭐️


The Belfast Warm and Well Project is coordinated by National Energy Action (NEA) and is supported by Community Planning Partners from across Belfast.

The project is available to vulnerable people who are finding it difficult to keep their home warm. Vulnerable refers to a number of different groups including:

• People aged 65 years or older;
• People living with a disability or a long term physical or mental health condition;
• Pregnant women;
• Households with a young child/children (from new-born to school age); and
• People on a low income.

Signs that a person may be finding it difficult to keep their home warm could be, for example:

• The home is cold – you may have to keep your coat on when inside;
• There is condensation on the windows; or
• There are signs of damp on the walls or ceilings.

Belfast Warm and Well, will be coordinated by National Energy Action (NEA) who will work with local community and voluntary groups, to provide helpful independent and confidential advice and practical support.

If you or someone you know is vulnerable and finding it difficult to keep your home warm, contact NEA on 028 9023 9909 or to see if they can help.


👻🎃 Wishing everyone a fun filled and safe half term holiday! 🎃👻


We start back on Monday 1st November......


Nursery - See Seesaw for updates

P1 8.55am - 1.30pm (P1 door)

P2 9am - 2.05pm (Assembly hall door)

P3 8.55am - 2.10pm (Assembly hall door)

P4 8.50am - 2.15pm (Assembly hall door)

P5 9am - 2.10pm (Door normally used by P1 - in gate to left)

P6 8.55am - 2.15pm (Photocopier door - in gate, turn right)

P7 8.50am - 2.15pm (Door normally used by P1 - in gate to letf)

🎃 Halloween Fancy Dress Day! 🎃


👻 Wednesday 20th October 👻


🎆 Please bring £1 donation for our PTA 🎆 

⭐️⭐️  Important information from Mr Bell ⭐️⭐️

⭐️⭐️ PTA AGM - 19th October at 3pm ⭐️⭐️


We would be delighted if you could join us via Zoom for our PTA AMG.


Please email your name, child's name and class to to obtain the link to this meeting.

Free School Meals and Uniform Grants

Important Information from Mr Bell

Free School Meals and Uniform Grant Information

Seesaw Family 


In the coming days teachers will be providing ways for parents and guardians to access Seesaw Family. Seesaw is a journal documenting your child's experiences and learning in class. 
With the family app you can see what your child has been getting up to in school. It is also one of the main ways that teachers and administrators will communicate important information to parents and guardians. It is crucial that you are connected with your child’s Seesaw Learning Journal.
Below is a link to a video. It takes you through step by step how to join the app, how to access your child’s journal, where to find messages from school and where to add another child to your account.
As always, staff can be available to help you if you are really struggling. Please phone and make an appointment to see one of the ICT team.

Back to School Information

Warning - Cannibis Oil Disguised as Sweets!

Save the Date! 


P7 Leavers' Assembly is Tuesday 22nd June at 10am in the school playground. We will be delighted to welcome 2 guests per child, but unfortunately we cannot allow any more than this. 


AND There will be a short assembly for last year's leavers on Tuesday 22nd June at 3.30pm. We can't wait to welcome back last year's P7s to give them the send off they missed last June. Again, we will be delighted to welcome 2 guests per child. 

Belfast Friendship Club


New to Belfast? Belfast Friendship Club can offer friendship, support and advice. Click on the link below for further information. 

Communicating with your Child 


Click here for some top tips for improving communication with your child from Parenting NI. 

EU Settlement Scheme


Are you aware of the EU Settlement Scheme?

Did you know…?

  • The deadline to apply is Wednesday 30th June 2021
  • All family members must apply, including your children
  • Failure to apply can prevent access to education, health and benefits such as Free School Meals and Uniform allowance. You may also be subject to removal from the UK
  • You can get advice and help to complete your application from STEP and Advice NI:

STEP Tel: 028 8775 0211 or via Email:

Advice NI Tel: 0800 915 4604 or via Email:


EU Settlement Scheme - click here for more information


Vegpower and the Foodbank.


This week the pupils are raising money for the PTA by taking part in laps of Botanic Park. Thank you for all the money you are raising for our PTA – who help us with aspects of school life, and channel ALL this money back into school for the benefit of our children. As you are aware, this is in preparation for ‘Vegpower – eat them to defeat them 2021,’ which you will hear a lot more about next week through the media.


Over the coming weeks, pupils will be looking at a particular vegetable in different class groups. The first one is the carrot during the week beginning Monday 17th May. I know P7 will be doing some things connected with carrots next week – but here’s something that everyone can be involved in. Our Charity this year continues to be the Foodbank – and when we think foodbank, we often just think tins etc. As a school we have been in contact with them and they were already been thinking of trying to offer some fresh vegetables and fruit. This needs to be in packaging, as they still have quite strong covid-19 protocols in place – but they have agreed to take any carrots that are contributed next week. SO………………..can you send carrots into school in packaging please – quite how we manage this in school remains to be discussed but just some advance warning that this is what we intend to do.


When we see if this is something we can manage, and equally something that is useful to and manageable for the Foodbank, we may ask for other vegetables over subsequent weeks. Watch this space.

School of Sanctuary


We have recently begun working towards School of Sanctuary status.  A school of sanctuary is a welcoming space for everyone, including those whose lives may be in danger in their own country, who have troubles at home or are just looking for a space where they can feel safe.  It helps pupils, students, staff and the wider community to understand how to keep safe and where to seek help.  It provides opportunities for pupils to gain insights into other cultures and to develop skills such as tolerance, respect for others and empathy.

Staff and pupils are currently putting forward their ideas about what they think we currently do well and what we could introduce or develop further.  We would also welcome the input of parents and the wider school community.  If you have any ideas, please let us know by replying to this post or emailing info

You can find out more about the Schools of Sanctuary initiative via

May Marathon

Bank Holiday Monday 


School is closed for the bank holiday on Monday 3rd May. We will return on Tuesday 4th. See you then! 

Free School Meals Survey


Return to School P4-7


Dear parent,


As you will be aware from the media today, all Primary pupils will be back to school from Monday 22nd March. This is good news which teachers welcome. The way it has been announced and the timing are not as good! Arrangements will be the same as before Christmas for all classes except for P5 who will be at school a little bit longer. A formal letter will be issued on Thursday afternoon confirming all the arrangements. School will finish for all at 12 noon on Friday 26th March. Have a safe and enjoyable break tomorrow. 


Mr Bell

Reminder to parents of P7 pupils

Tuesday 16 March at 4pm is the deadline for submitting an online application for a post primary school place for your child.  If you have not yet applied please do so now.


Your child may be limited in the choice of schools available if you do not apply by this deadline.


If you are having difficulty making your application please contact the Admissions Helpdesk on 028 95985595 which is open until 8pm on Monday 15 March or email

Return to School - Letter to Parents from Department of Education

Return to School - Latest Info

School Reopening Update

Dear parent


As I have mentioned before, I am getting a lot of my news from the BBC.


Having received a letter from the Department of Education yesterday, eventually confirming that school would re-open for 2 weeks for Nursery, P1, P2 and P3 on 8th March – the following article is on the BBC News website today…..


As you can see, there are a couple of interesting points made, chiefly:

The executive is also likely to discuss the planned return of schools, after the DUP said it wanted to "revisit" agreement on a phased approach.

Education Minister Peter Weir has said there was a "strong case" for all pupils to return on 8 March, adding that he believed health officials at Stormont were "over-cautious" in recommending a phased return.

So, for me as well as you, the whole picture is still unclear. My best GUESS is that we will have school only re-opened for 2 weeks for Nursery, P1, P2 and P3 on 8th March for 2 weeks – with a return to remote learning for everyone for the final week of March prior to the 2 week Easter break.


I am very conscious that it is pretty pathetic to be giving you my best guess of what will happen on 8th March with just over 1 week to go – but I do this in order to be as helpful as I can in these frustrating times.


Please stay safe and I will try to get you definite information on Tuesday 2nd March when we hear what the Executive announce on Monday.


Mr Bell

School Reopening


Dear Parent


You will be aware that we issued a short message on Thursday evening last, following the announcement on schools reopening for P1-3 via the media. I had promised to update you in the early part of this current week – but only an hour ago, the same media outlet has released the following:

Arlene Foster wants the NI Executive to discuss the re-opening date for schools in Northern Ireland again. The first minister was speaking after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his roadmap ...



Therefore, until we have some clarity from the Department of Education (DE), it is pointless to speculate regarding what might or might not happen. I am sure you find this equally frustrating as ourselves, but we will be back in touch as soon as I have something official from DE.


In the meantime, keep up the good work on Seesaw. Lots of excellent responses coming in.


I’ll chat to all the pupils on Friday at virtual Assembly.




Mr Bell

Half Term


Just a reminder that school is closed on Thursday 18th, Friday 19th and Monday 22nd February. There will be no online learning. Have a happy and safe Half Term and we will return to online learning on Tuesday 23rd.