The 5th week of the summer term has somehow passed with barely a glimpse of sunshine. However, we're hopeful that things may be feeling a bit more summery by the end of next week and, as ever, are extremely proud of the children for maintaining excellent standards of behaviour and enthusiasm despite frequent wet breaks and indoor lunch times.
Last week, year 4 managed to choose the one dry day for a lovely walk on Dartmoor, while year 5 weren't so lucky and had to postpone theirs. Our Friday celebration assembly had to move back to being virtual as rain lashed the playground, but it was lovely to see so many children awarded for kindness and effort as well as academic achievement.
Next week, will see year 6 temporarily relocating into the school hall whilst the year 6 classroom undergoes a rather necessary refurbishment that will see the installation of secondary glazing and a lowered ceiling to keep the room warmer in the winter months. We're delighted that the costs of this are covered by grants to improve energy efficiency. Thank you to all members of year 6 for this move.
In other news, earlier this week, we received some initial drawings for a proposed new building which will enable us to bring our preschool on to the school site. Obviously, there is still a long way to go with this in terms of both planning permissions and building works, but it will make a huge difference to the school experience of all children going forward when we are all together on one site.
Thank you PTA!
The photos above show the year 6 children becoming the first pupils to benefit from the very generous donation of 15 new Chromebooks. These will be used for computing lessons as well as in other lessons across the curriculum. 11 of these devices were donated by the PTA with the remaining 4 coming from very generous parental donations. We are delighted that we have another 3 on order which have also been donated by parents and grandparents. We would love to have eventually have enough for a whole class to use one each. The photos below show year 1 also enjoying their computing lesson this week.
Sponsored events this week.
This coming week, your children will be taking part in a sponsored event in school to help raise funds for our PTA. Each class has chosen their own event, details are below:
Year R: Laps around the field or playground
Year 1: Go Noodle'a'thon
Year 2: Circuits
Year 3: Spelling Bee
Year 4: French Skipping
Year 5: Sponsored Read
Year 6: Multi-Sports
All pupils should have brought home a sponsorship form with details of the event that they are taking part in. Please send in the sponsorship money by the end of this coming week, so we can tally it up and let you know how much has been raised. If you have lost the form, feel free to donate anyway in an envelope with your child's name and class on it please.
The idea is to have fun whilst raising money for the school. Thank you in advance for asking family and friends to sponsor your child for their events.
Thank you and kind regards,
Summer Reading Challenge
Libraries across Devon are re-opening and the Summer Reading Challenge is back!
The Summer Reading Challenge, presented by The Reading Agency and funded by Arts Council England, encourages children aged 4 to 11 to set themselves a reading challenge to help prevent the summer reading 'dip'.
Each year the Challenge, delivered with the support of public libraries, motivates over 700,000 children to keep reading to build their skills and conﬁdence. Visit the Summer Reading Challenge website.
How the Summer Reading Challenge works
Children can read whatever they like in their chosen format - fiction, fact books, poetry, joke books, picture books, graphic novels, audio books and eBooks can all be used to complete the Challenge.
Children receive special rewards each time they finish a book and there's a certificate for everyone who completes the Challenge.
The Summer Reading Challenge is open to all primary school aged children and is designed for all reading abilities. Children can sign up for free at a participating library during the summer holidays.
As the photos above show, despite the very wet weather, a lot of outdoor learning took place this week. Teepees were built, gingerbread men were made, team building games played and habitats created for a range of clay creatures. The rain didn't seem to dampen enthusiasm in the slightest. It's lovely to see cross curricula lessons taking place outside of the classrooms.
Please scroll down the documents below to view the lunch menu. We're still losing time each morning sorting out lunches for children who do not have a booking made through school gateway. Please help your children and the teachers by booking meals in advance. This can be several weeks in advance or in the morning before coming to school. If you are having an problems booking lunches online, please let us know.
Travelling to school
The photo above gives an idea of how busy the cut through road between Sticklepath and South Zeal gets at the start and end of the school day. Please keep our families safe by avoiding this road and driving very slowly and carefully on all roads in and around the village.
I would also like to remind all families that the staff car park should not be used by parents/carers/grandparents for dropping off, picking up or turning their cars. Two classes use the carpark as pedestrian access to their classes and the bus also needs to turn here. It is simply not safe or practical to have parent cars in the area. Please park in the Kings' Arms or recreation ground carparks and walk your children to and from school.
Parent Governor elections
Please follow the link below to find out more about becoming a parent governor and having your voice heard on our Local Stakeholder Committee.
Free workshop for parents and carers
From the Social, Emotional and Mental Health Team
Do you ever feel you are about to explode? That your child might too?
We can help turn tantrums into calm connections
A free, informal workshop for parents and carers.
Held virtually on 30 June 2021, 10am – 11.30am
There are times when we all feel overwhelmed with our emotions. Children feel like this too. In this workshop, we will explore why your child behaves in the way that they do; how you can respond to help them calm and how to re-connect to strengthen your relationship with them. We will also offer some specific de-stressing techniques that both you and your child can start using straight away.
Join us to find out how you can help build a healthier relationship with your child and develop a sense of inner calm.
To book your free place: email@example.com
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From the Communication and Interaction Team and the Social, Emotional and Mental Health Team
Think behaviour, think language. I wonder if …
A free, informal workshop for parents and carers to consider the links between behaviour and speech, language and communication needs.
This event will be held virtually on Tuesday 15th June 2021, 10am – 12pm
Does your child have difficulty with:
To book your free place, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Family Activity Pack for Empathy Day
The Family Activities Pack for Empathy Day was launched today (11 May) . It has 10 simple activities for families to do together with an empathy focus. We really hope families will enjoy sharing them - they range from an Empathy Shoe Shop for book characters, through to Empathy Walks and an Empathy Exhibition and it would be great if you could promote them to families over the next few weeks and especially during half term as we prepare from Empathy Day on 10 June. Many of the activities focus on taking the perspective of others as this is a theme that will be reflected throughout Empathy Day. The pack is freely downloadable from Empathy Lab’s website
We also launched the Empathy Shorts today -12 specially written stories by some leading children’s authors https://www.empathylab.uk/empathy-shorts
ASCEL Information Consultant
The sun was shining and the clouds were just wispy pastel strikes across the sky on Friday morning when Marc from Wild Work delivered two bespoke benches and a storytelling throne to us here at South Tawton. He was received by a very enthusiastic year 4 class with their equally excited teacher, Peggy Chalcraft! The benches were funded by the sales of our incredible Lockdown Cookbook, which took our community by storm with baking recipes, original poems and art back in the Autumn term of 2020.
Marc spent time nattering with Peggy Chalcraft discussing what we wanted to achieve, and he created masterpieces from locally sourced Chestnut and Oak. Marc was quoted to have said it was the best reception to a job he has ever had and he was very touched by the compliments.
Please see the link to his website below:
A big thank you to the PTA, Peggy Chalcraft and Marc for making this possible. The benches have been installed in the KS1 and 2 playgrounds. If a child feels lonely, they can go to the bench as a signal that they need someone to play with. Another child will see them, go and talk to them and include them in their games. We look forward to seeing them in action.
The story telling thrones will be used for class story times as well as for the children to tell stories and read to each other.
Stars of the Week
On Friday, we were delighted to get together for a whole school assembly in person instead of virtually. We gathered on the playground for our weekly celebration assembly and look forward to warmer weather and being able to do this more often. The children pictured below received certificates for their attitude, behaviour and efforts over the past week. They became the first children to sit on one of the friendship benches. Year 6 were also praised for their mature attitude through the week. Unfortunately, year 4 couldn't join us as they had some very special tortoise visitors to link in with the work they have been doing in English.
School dinners. The menu can be found here. Please note that, although every week is labelled as Week 02 on School Gateway, this is because every week the options for main, vegetarian and packed remain the same. If you are choosing meals for next week, please use the three week rolling menu. Next week is week one .
Parent Governor Vacancies
We have vacancies for two new parents governors for our Three Hares hub. More information will follow next week.
Once more, a heartfelt plea to all parents to drive slowly in the village and around the lanes.
Congratulations to all pupils whose art work has been published in The Moorlander magazine.
Heroes Stamp Design Competition
Many children will have bought home a sheet on which to design a stamp for the Royal Mail Stamp competition. Please could these be completed and returned to school.
Further details can be found here.
Please click here to read the latest update from Devon County Council.
Have your say on the Okehampton Hospital Community Space!
Healthwatch Devon has been asked to assist North Dartmoor Primary Care Network (PCN) Advisory Group, to find out from the local community about their health and wellbeing needs, together with ideas for how to use the community space at Okehampton Hospital.
Healthwatch Devon is an independent consumer champion for Health and Social Care service in Devon, ensuring the voice of the community is used to influence and improve services for local people.
North Dartmoor Primary Care network consists of Black Torrington, Chagford, Moretonhampstead and Okehampton GP Practices. PCNs build on existing primary care services and enable greater provision of proactive, personalised, coordinated and more integrated health and social care for people close to home. North Dartmoor PCN Advisory Group comprises of these GP practices working closely together, along with local healthcare partners and community, voluntary and statutory services to provide joined up, patients centred, primary and community-based care, in line with the NHS Long Term Plan.
How can you have your say?
It is important that the views of the community are collected to ensure the space in the hospital is best utilised to suit the needs of the community. Healthwatch would like to work with key community groups in the area to ensure everyone is given a chance to share their feedback.
To have your say and share your views, please complete this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NorthDartmoorPCN.
If you would like to speak to us directly contact Healthwatch Devon Office, Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm on freephone 0800 520 0640 and someone can help you to complete the survey over the phone.
We will be holding a digital drop in session on:
Thursday 13th May 17:00-18:00
I look forward to hearing from you, please let me know if you would like further information, or to simply say you do not wish to be involved. If I have received no response from your group by next week I will follow up with a phone call to ensure you have received the information above and been given a chance to share your feedback.
Engagement Officer, Healthwatch Devon
A message from Okehampton Library
Classes for next year
Although there is still nearly a term of this academic year to go, we thought you might like to know what our plans are for classes next year. Obviously circumstances can change and the structures won't be finalised until the end of the term, but at the moment the staffing plans are as follows:
Year R - Mrs Culverhouse and Mrs Bond
Year 1 - Miss Rowe and Mrs Bazeley
Year 2 - Mrs Dennis and Mrs Horsley
Year 3 - Mrs Everett and Mrs Glover
Year 4 - Miss Chalcraft and Mrs White
Year 5 - Mrs Leslie and Mrs Bonnett
Year 6 - Mrs Donovan and Ms Laybourn.
Miss Bennett will continue in her role of SENDCo across the Three Hares Schools.
Mrs Snell and Mrs Dunn will cover each teacher for PPA.
Safety of children on the roads around school
I have had two near misses reported to me this week. The first was a parent and child who had a lucky escape at the top of the hill near the crossroad. A passing car failed to slow down for them and put them in danger.
The second was a car driving down the pavement on the road outside the church rather than waiting for an oncoming vehicle to pass. If one of our pupils had been running ahead after school and run around the corner, they may well have been hit.
Please take great care as both drivers and pedestrians and try not to use the cut through to drive between South Zeal and Sticklepath at the start and end of the school day.
With the help of some Year 1 pupils, Mrs Marvin has carried out April's 100 Club draw at school and the following people/numbers won:-
1st 68 Stephen Corcoran
2nd 78 Wendy Meardon
3rd 27 Jill Lock
I will distribute prizes to the winners over the next day or so.