Year 2 Wear something on your head for morning registration challenge!
Week four has been fantastic in terms of everyone seeming to be settled into a good routine, with excellent attendance at online lessons and a good quality of work being submitted. Well done to everyone learning at home and in school - your efforts and support are greatly appreciated.
Mrs Underwood has written a Three Hares Update which can be found on the Three Hares blog page or by clicking here.
Many thanks to all those of you who have registered your consent for additional google services. If you have not yet done so, please log into your children's school gateway accounts and tick the consent box in the payments section. If you have any problems with this or would like any further information, please let me know.
All families will have received an email on Friday with a link to our remote learning survey. Thank you to everyone who has already completed this for your lovely messages of support and thanks (alongside some constructive feedback and ideas for improvement.) I will be looking more carefully at results over the next week and will share some common threads with you in the next newsletter. If you have not yet filled in the survey, it can be accessed by clicking here. The survey closes at midnight tonight (Sunday 31st January).
One item of feedback which we have heard several times is that families would like children to have some time to work collaboratively with their siblings and spend time away from their screens. In response to this, some classes initiated Screen Free Friday time last week. From the looks of the photos sent in, many families used this time to cook together with some stunning results.
Google classroom is working well for staff and pupils in KS2. One item which staff have asked me to mention is that they don't get notifications for comments and questions from parents or children. These comments can only be seen when the teacher opens the piece of work to mark and give feedback. When work is submitted late, any questions or comments may be missed - please be aware that they are not being ignored but work containing comments will need to be submitted on time to ensure that comments are seen.
The Department for Education and DMAT are increasingly making additional devices such as tablets and Chromebooks available for pupils working at home. If you are having any difficulties juggling devices between siblings or your own work, please do let me know. email@example.com
The next meeting of our Ethos Group will be on Wednesday 10th February at 11:30am. I will email out a TEAMs link invite to everyone in the week before. Please do join the group and help shape the future ethos of our lovely school.
A Message from SCARF (our Personal, Social, Health Education programme)
Keeping Happy and Healthy During Lockdown
1st- 5th of Feb is Share your Scarf week – supporting Children’s Mental Health Week.
We're giving your child's school extra SCARF at Home resources to promote children’s mental health by celebrating the SCARF values:
SAFETY, CARING, ACHIEVEMENT, RESILIENCE and FRIENDSHIP.
The theme for Children's Mental Health Week is Express Yourself! Being creative in any way - art, music, cooking, gardening - anything at all, really - boosts our mental health.
Our current, restricted lives, often overloaded as we juggle work, home-schooling and the every-day tasks of caring for others, can affect our mental health, whatever our age.
Finding a few minutes each day - or even each week - to do something creative, is as important as daily exercise.
Here are some simple, creative activities that don't need a lot of equipment, just an imagination! Children and do these alone, or together with you!
We'd love you to share your child's finished poster of the day on our Facebook page - or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org - to inspire others, sharing happiness - sharing your scarf!
Click on each day to go to the activities.
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Information for parents and carers before you start using the SCARF at Home activities
Your child's school is sharing some activities with you to help keep children happy and healthy while they're at home. The activities support children's PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) education and have been provided by the UK's largest children's charity specialising in children's health and wellbeing, Coram Life Education and SCARF.
Coram Life Education and SCARF help schools to teach children valuable life skills needed to keep them happy, healthy and safe.
SAINTS SW February Challenge
World Book Day Competition
Can you help our local Beaver Scouts group?
Whether you have a love of adventure and the outdoors, creating or crafting, or even just masses of enthusiasm and time to offer our energetic Beaver group, we would love to hear from you.
Like everyone else, the Beavers can't wait to get back to doing fun things together and thinking ahead to the spring, are hopeful of being able to meet face-to-face again. However, the 1st South Zeal Beaver Scouts (boys and girls age 6-8 years old) are looking for a new Adult Assistant Leader to assist their current Beaver Leader. They normally meet every Tuesday night during term time and meetings take place in the Scout Hut in South Tawton.
Please spread the word and help us to find a new volunteer (or feel free to share the role and volunteer with a friend) so that we can make it possible for them. Contact Nicki Glanville (GSL) email@example.com if you think you can help.
School Games Skipping Challenge
The #DevonVirtualGames has an exciting opportunity for all the family to get involved in a skipping challenge.
If you don’t have a skipping rope at home, don’t worry we want to offer you an incentive to join the challenge. Click on the link below to receive a maximum of 2 free skipping ropes per family delivered direct to your door Skipping Challenge Rope Incentive Form.
There will be a choice of a Gold, Silver or Bronze challenge that consist of different elements like Single Bounce, Double Bounce, Run, Slalom skip and Speed Skipping to complete in sequence. If you are not sure what these are, head over to #DevonVirtualGames Skipping Tutorials with Dan the skipping man. He makes it simple and super easy to follow.
The challenge opens on Monday 1st February when you will then receive an email with the full challenge details and how to record your results on our quick and easy survey monkey link.
The overview for all events and the Terms and Conditions can be found on this link below, this is also where all the documents will be held.
#DevonVirtulaGames Overview and Terms Conditions HERE
Please join the conversations here on our Devon School Games Facebook group
GOOD LUCK 😊
Another huge well done and thank you to all our home learners and their parents! The work that is coming back into school reflects the fantastic job that you are all doing in juggling working and home lives while still doing a brilliant job of supporting your children with their learning and submitting it back to teachers. Everyone should feel very proud of themselves. As we enter our fourth week with many children not attending school, please look after your mental and physical health and well-being. If you need to get out for a walk as a family, or if siblings wish to engage in a joint art project, please do so. We are offering as full a curriculum as we can in all classes. If it feels too much, then just do what you can. As ever, we are always willing to talk or offer support; please do get in touch if you need to.
Year R Super-hero Day
The school may be closed to most children, but that wasn't enough to stop the annual celebration that always ends Year R's unit of work on Superheroes. Those at home and at school dressed up and joined for a special live lesson where they shared their outfits and told each other all about their superhero and special powers .
A message from Sustrans
We wanted to let you know we're relaunching Sustrans Outside In, a free resource to help parents who are looking after their children at home.
Sustrans Outside In provides fun ideas and inspiration for parents to bring education, health and wellbeing activities into their home.
Parents can access resources by registering for our free parent newsletter. Over four weeks, they’ll receive weekly videos, themed activities, games and challenges designed by our experienced school officers.
It will run for 10 days between 19 and 30 April 2021 and is open to all primary and secondary schools in the UK, including SEN schools.
Children will be able to take part whether they are travelling to school or learning remotely.
As well as active journeys to school, 30 minutes of physical activity and exercise taken from home will count as one journey in the challenge this year.
We will email you when the registration site opens, watch out and save the date!
An update from Devon County Council
Click here for Devon CC update
Lockdown 3 - the story so far.
With Week 2 of Lockdown 3 successfully navigated, I'm overwhelmingly proud of and impressed by everything which our pupils are achieving. Engagement with remote learning is very high and the quality of work that is being produced is excellent. THANK YOU to everyone who is logging in to remote lessons and submitting work and photos back to teachers. You are all doing a brilliant job!
We recognise that juggling home learning and your own jobs can be a real challenge as can coordinating the work and live lessons for siblings. I have received some questions about why lessons are being scheduled and are not available for downloading the night before. This is because we are trying to help the pupils to keep a good routine that mimics life at school as much as possible. Often, teachers wish to explain a piece of work or teach new concepts before the children complete it, so the work is scheduled to become available after these live lessons. Teachers are supporting children at home and critical worker children in school and live lessons involve both these groups and allow the class to come together to ask and answer questions.
If you are struggling because you do not have enough devices at home for your children, please do get in touch. We have had some devices very kindly donated by members of the community; these are available for loan to children working at home.
Finally, please do not let the home learning cause you or your family undue stress. We are providing the 3-5 hours learning for primary school children as required by Ofsted; if this seems like an impossible amount to get through, please do get in touch and talk to us – we are here to support you.
Welcome to Dan Morrow
Excellent resources gathered by the School Library Service
A fantastic overview of resources available has been collated by the School Library Association
School Closure Resources - books and reading (sla.org.uk)
The National Literacy Trust offer support throughout lockdown with their parent-facing platform
Words for Life | National Literacy Trust | Words for Life
Book Ideas Hub
Book ideas hub – brilliant stay-at-home ideas & free resources - World Book Day
Fun activity sheets from Walkers Books
Picture Book Party: Fun Activities
Tiny Owl have posted lots of stories and book related activities
Access library of resources for home learning – Tiny Owl
Michael Rosen’s YouTube channel
Kids’ Poems and Stories With Michael Rosen - YouTube
Free story books and games from The Book Trust
Stories for kids online and fun games to play | BookTrust
Free audiobooks whilst schools are closed
Audible Stories: Free Audiobooks for Kids | Audible.com
Advice from the BBC: Lockdown Mental Health - Tips for helping your child
An update message from Devon County Council can be viewed here.
The new year has continued to offer lots of challenges. Unfortunately, the latest restrictions mean that it will be difficult to hold PTA events this term. However, we are discussing with the school ways to spend some of the money you helped raise last term and will keep you posted.
We hope to hold an auction of promises and raffle at some point in the spring or summer terms. Therefore, if you have any unwanted Christmas gifts it would be hugely helpful if you could hold on to them for these events at a later date.
Also, as most shops are currently closed, many of us are doing more shopping online. It's really easy to install the Easyfundraising link on your PC, tablets and phones and it's a simple way to raise funds and completely free to you! Here's how you do it...
There are just 3 easy steps:
1. Open the following link: You shop. South Tawton Primary School PTA gets money. For free. And click the button 'Support this cause'. Create an account/login or download the app.
You shop. South Tawton Primary School PTA gets money. For free.Help us when you shop with 4,000 shops & sites. Join now.
2. Use the website or app to choose the retailer you'd like to buy from - there are over 4000 including Amazon, ebay, Sainsburys, John Lewis, Argos, etc.
3. Just shop as normal and when you check out, the retailer gives your cause a donation.
Lovely Ideas from the Change 4 Life Team
A message from The Oak National Academy Virtual Library
About our the Virtual School Library
Every week a popular children's author or illustrator will provide you with free books, exclusive videos and their top three recommended reads.
Having access to a school library is really important for children. School libraries nurture a love of reading that can enrich children’s literacy skills, academic achievements and mental wellbeing. Our Virtual School Library will complement existing school libraries and will ensure that children have access to the magical world of stories all year round, whether they are learning at school or at home.
We’ve worked with brilliant publishers and inspiring authors and illustrators to ensure that the books and activities in our Virtual School Library will support children’s wellbeing through reading.
The Virtual Library can be found here.
Thak you all so much for your great work at home! We're getting a few queries from parents about how to turn in work and upload photos to google classroom.
The following link takes you to the google help pages for this query, which will hopefully answer your questions. Please note that there are options you can select depending on if you're working on a computer, ipad or android device.
Please do ask for help if you are still struggling.
Primary School (Reception class) application deadline: 15th January 2021
We have some places available in our Reception class for September 2021. If you have a child born between 1st September 2016 and 31st August 2017, then do not delay in making an application to South Tawton Primary School. Please pass on this message to parents you know.
You can apply online at www.devon.gov.uk/admissiononline or if you have any access issues, please call the Education Helpline on 0345 1551019 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The photos above say it all and this really isn't how we hoped to start the new school term!
Thank you to all of you who are doing such an excellent job of home-schooling and particular thanks to everyone who has taken the time to get in touch and express your gratitude and satisfaction with the work that is being provided to complete at home.
As many of you will remember, the home learning offer last spring gave limited opportunities for live lessons and for the children to interact, albeit remotely, with their teachers and class mates. We are working hard to improve this offer and most classes are having several opportunities a day to receive live teaching. Unfortunately, this can create scheduling clashes between classes, which can be a problem for siblings who may be trying to access live lessons at the same time. With seven classes in the school, it is impossible to offer several slots a day without them clashing occasionally. Please do your best to help your children to attend as many as you can and explain to your class teachers when attendance isn’t possible because a sibling has a lesson.
The other improvement we are determined to make this time around is to increase the opportunities for children to submit their work back to teachers for feedback. To this end, we now have years 6, 5 and 4 working on the Google Classroom platform, which enables them to turn in all their work for feedback and teacher comment. This week, we will be sending out details to enable year 3 pupils to also be accessing and completing their work on this platform. In years R and 1, we are using the Evidence Me app and Year 2 are hoping to begin using an app called Seesaw.
I’m sure that you wish to join me in thanking all staff for their immediate response to the school closure and ensuring that children are able to keep learning effectively at home. Staff are currently doing two jobs as they are also teaching critical worker children in their classes alongside the remote offer. It would be an understatement to say that I am proud of their excellent work in these very difficult conditions.
Critical Worker Clubs
Thank you to all parents who have responded to our second survey this weekend. All parents who have been asked to reduce provision have been contacted. Your children's bookings for the coming weeks will be as seen in your school gateway accounts. Please help us by following the DFE advice to only send your children into school on the days on which you cannot safely care for them at home.
Starting next week - remote PE lessons
Class teachers will be sending out invitations to join weekly live PE lessons with our SAINTs Southwest PE coaches. Please see example lesson plan and disclaimer below:
Free resources from the Field Studies Council
Government Help with Data
This scheme temporarily increases data allowances for mobile phone users on certain networks. This is so that children and young people can access remote education if their face-to-face education is disrupted.
We hope you are well and adjusting to the new routines following yesterday’s announcements about the third national lockdown. Our staff are working hard to ensure that upper KS2 children receive their logins for Google Classroom as quickly as possible, so that children can access their learning remotely and interactively. Our Trust is also being proactive in issuing devices for children in families eligible for Pupil Premium in order to support remote learning. Eligible children in Years 5 and 6 have already been issued with Chromebooks, with additional devices for those pupils in YR-Y4 being followed up today.
We are still awaiting the delivery of a class set of Chromebooks which will be used by children working in school to support their learning and access to Google Classroom. Unfortunately, due to the sudden lockdown announcement, the recent delivery intended for this purpose have had to be reallocated for children eligible for Pupil Premium. The Trust has placed a new order for our class set of Chromebooks.
As you are aware, our school is still open to vulnerable children and Critical Workers’ children, as defined by the information you received yesterday. Thank you to those of you who quickly processed the survey in order for us to assess the number of eligible children we need to teach within school. If it proves necessary, we may need to ask for simple evidence that the parent in question is a critical worker, such as their work ID badge or pay slip.
Schools are still required to monitor attendance. As such, we need to set up our registers to monitor the safe arrival of pupils expected in school day by day. All families with vulnerable children, parents who are critical workers should let school know without delay if their child will not be attending. When a notification of an absence is reported, the school will grant a leave of absence given the exceptional circumstances. All pupils who are not expected to be in school will be marked as Code X. They are not attending because they are following public health advice.
We would be grateful if you would indicate via School Gateway, which days you require your child(ren) to be in school, in line with the days you are working as a critical worker and have no other childcare at home.
Additionally, we have had several enquiries about nursery provision remaining open. As a primary school which offers pre-school provision for children from age 2, we are applying the same lockdown rules throughout the school i.e. If you or your partner is a key worker, or if your child is classed as vulnerable, then the school and pre-school will remain open, otherwise, children are expected to remain at home, following public health guidance.
Thank you for your continued support during these challenging times.
With kind regards
Elizabeth Underwood and Sarah Marvin
Executive Headteacher Head of School
Apologies for the extreme lateness of this news. We have made the decision as a multi-academy trust to move to blended learning for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week to allow us additional time to ensure our risk assessments and health and safety measures are comprehensive and up-to-date, in line with all of the latest guidance from Public Health England and the Department for Education.
More information can be found in the attached letter.
The school will remain open for vulnerable children and the children of parents classed as critical workers. Please see the letter for further details on these classifications.
If you believe that your child should be classed as vulnerable and attend school, please email me at email@example.com
If you believe that you child should attend school as you are a critical worker, please fill in the survey using the link below. Please complete the survey as soon as possible and by 7pm at the latest. You only need to complete the survey if you consider yourself to be a critical worker.
Class teachers will be in touch via email and school blog pages with details of home learning for your children to complete. Please help your children to maintain their learning by ensuring that they complete all home-learning tasks.
Click here for the letter from the Dartmoor Multi-Academy Trust