Sadly, we will be saying goodbye to two of our teachers this summer. We'd like to offer congratulations to Mrs Peters who will be taking up a new teaching role in September in a school much closer to her home. Congratulations are also in order for Miss Pearce, who will be moving to Wales over the summer. Whilst we will miss them both greatly, we are confident that they are both making the right choices for their teaching careers and future happiness and will look forward to hearing all their news and staying in touch.
Yesterday, we held a very successful round of interviews and are delighted to announce that both Miss Rowe and Mrs Dennis will now be teaching full time. Many of you will also know Mrs Leslie, who has fulfilled two temporary contracts and many of our supply needs over the last 18 months. We are now thrilled to welcome her to our teaching staff as a permanent and full time member.
With the aim being for all pupils to return to school in September, I am excited and confident that we have a talented and dynamic staffing structure in place to ensure the best education and experience for all our pupils from the first day.
The staffing for next year is as follows:
YEAR R: Mrs CULVERHOUSE / Mrs SNELL Teaching assistants Mrs BOND and Mrs GLOVER
YEAR 1: Miss ROWE Teaching assistant Mrs BAZELEY
YEAR 2: Mrs DENNIS Teaching assistant Mrs HORSLEY
YEAR 3: Mrs DONOVAN Teaching assistant Mrs GLOVER
YEAR 4: Miss BENNETT / Miss CHALCRAFT Teaching assistant Mrs WHITE
YEAR 5: Mrs LESLIE Teaching assistant Mrs BONNETT
YEAR 6: Mrs EVERETT Teaching assistant Ms LAYBOURN
Very best wishes,
Many of our families at home are still embracing and enjoying home-learning, but we're getting reports that families and children are increasingly finding it hard to remain motivated and focused as the weeks go on. If your child isn't enjoying the home learning on offer, then you may like to look at the lessons offered by The Oak National Academy This site contains daily videoed lessons which may suit your children better.
As ever, if you are unhappy or struggling at home, please do get in touch and we will do our utmost to help and advise to make the situation easier for you and your children. With the social distancing being relaxed from 6th July, we may have the capacity to offer a few more children places at school. However, as we are currently running groups in all of our classrooms and all of our available staff are already in 'bubbles,' it is highly unlikely that we will be able to offer regular days for any more year groups. Once in a bubble, children and staff need to remain within it, so we are very limited in terms of opening more widely to other groups. Please be assured that we are still working hard to explore options for transition for all pupils to their new classes and teachers. More information on this will follow next week.
Online Singing lessons
Wren music have very kindly made three online singing sessions available to us. There are links to worksheets with the videos. We'd love you to have a go at these, to let us know how you get on and if you'd like some more. Good luck!
Roll the Old Chariot Along https://youtu.be/Qaju27G8xkY
Freedom Land https://youtu.be/PfhT4m3JPno
The Exmoor Ram https://youtu.be/w7-oHRPyCT4
Some highlights from the week
Click the links to find out more about what's been happening at school and at home this week:
More lovely online resources from the library service
Discovering Children's Books is a printable activity pack from the British Library. It includes cut-out-and-keep masks, fairy tale mashups, foldable boats, comic strips and imaginary maps and is aimed at children without access to screens. https://www.bl.uk/childrens-books/activities/activity-pack
Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar have teamed up to write a sequel to The Hug - this time with physical distancing! A simple animation of the book is available here. This is the link
The CLPE Power of pictures site has a wonderful selection of videos exploring the work of some popular contemporary picture books authors and illustrators: Benjii Davies, Alexis Deacon, Mini Grey, Chris Haughton, Tim Hopgood, Emily Hughes, David Lucas, Tom Mclaughlin, Viviane Schwarz, Joe Todd-Stanton and Ed Vere. This is the link
Pippa Goodhart reads her picture book Fair Shares, illustrated by Anna Doherty and published by Tiny Owl. This is the link There is a huge selection of other picture book titles available read by authors, teachers and librarians.
The Little Angel Theatre Company have made another of their fantastic puppet plays based on Chris Haughton’s picture book Don’t Worry, Little Crab. This is the link
Publishers Nosy Crow are offering a free picture book of the day to see and read along to e.g. Axel Scheffler’s Pip and Posy: The Super Scooter. This is the link
The Rainbow fish by Marcus Pfister is read by actor Ernest Borgnine with simple animations, music and the text on screen. This is just one of the stories available on Storyline Online put together by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. This is the link
And if you are needing inspiration for a wish list The English Association have announced the shortlist for their 4 – 11 picture book award This is the link
Need a reason to keep writing? Try this competition:
Win an Apple iPad Mini! The International Agatha Christie Festival invites children and young people between 8 and 18 years of age who live or go to school or college in Devon, to enter a competition to find the county’s most promising young writers. https://www.iacf-uk.org/home/iacf-2020-mystery-short-story-competition/
Well done to all our pupils and parents at home who've navigated another week of home learning. There's some beautiful work being done and great activities completed which can be seen on the class blog pages. However, I'm aware that, for some of you, it is becoming more difficult to motivate yourselves to get the homelearning done and the situation is beginning to take its toll. Please remember that we are still here for you all, not just the children who are attending school. Please feel free to ring us for a chat and to share any concerns. The well-being blog (https://www.southtawton.co.uk/well-being) is also a great source of information and support.
Life at School
Meanwhile, at school, we continue to accommodate reduced numbers of pre-school, reception, years 1 and 6 and critical workers' children. We are very nearly at capacity with social distancing measures in place. Each child is a member of a bubble or group, with some groups already being completely full. If your child is already attending school, please use your school gateway accounts to book all the days you require them to attend. This will enable us to offer any available spaces to those children who would now like to return.
Many of the groups at school this week took part in an online well-being assembly lead by the Duchess of Cambridge. You can find out more information, see some pictures and watch the assembly yourself by clicking the link below.
I'm receiving frequent enquiries from parents about whether it is possible to change reading books. I'm afraid that, due to the risk of cross contamination, we are not currently able to do this. However, we are revisiting our procedures and considering a system for quarantining returned books. In the meantime, many sites have made their ebooks freely available during school closures. There are many available lists of where to find free ebooks such as this site: https://www.sla.org.uk/school-closure-resources-books-and-reading
In the weekly newsletters, I also give details of resources gathered by the school library service.
Hollie Year 5
As part of her home-learning, Hollie has written this amazing poem about Coronavirus that really sums up how many of you must be feeling.
Hollie has also written a letter to the NHS and received a lovely reply.
Well done, Hollie.
Letter to parents from Dawn Stabb
Dawn Stabb who is the Head of Education and Learning at Devon County Council has asked me to share this letter with all families.
Click here for letter.
Please click here for this week's collection of free resources gathered by the library service.
It's been lovely to welcome preschool, reception, year 1 and year 6 back into school this week. Everyone has adapted very quickly to the new furniture arrangements and are doing their best to maintain social distancing. If your child is attending school, please ensure that you book them in through the clubs section of school gateway as we use this to register children in each day. Whilst we're delighted to have some year groups back, we are very conscious that there are still so many children working at home and are working hard to improve the offer for these pupils. After sending out several photos last week of empty classrooms and playgrounds, we thought you'd like to see how it looks now that more children are back. As you will see from the last photo, Hugo the puppy has been visiting school too!
Message from Mrs Underwood
12th June 2020
We are pleased to have welcomed back more children into our Three Hares primary schools this week. As you know, children of foundation stage, Y1 and Y6 have returned into new bubbles following a great deal of preparation to ensure that strict social distancing and hygiene guidelines are adhered to. Our staff have been brilliant as always, and I am delighted that the first week has gone smoothly. Numbers of critical workers’ children are steadily growing and as of today, we are seeing the highest numbers of children in school since lockdown began. The process of reintegration and building on home-learning which has taken place has begun for these children, whilst continuing remote learning for others.
We were disappointed to hear that government plans to bring back remaining children in Y2,3,4, and 5 changed this week. However, in discussion with the Trust, we are now thinking creatively at a local level, to develop plans for some face-to-face contact with those children before the summer holidays. Plans might look different at each school depending on staff availability and building capacity.
We are also working on a transition strategy for children joining reception classes in September as well as for our Y6 children, moving on to secondary school. Information will be issued to families over the coming weeks.
Thank you for the continued support you are giving the staff of our schools during these unusual times.
With my very best wishes
Class Of 2020
Our year 6 pupils have been very excited to receive their Leavers' Hoodies this week. Please click the link to their class blog to see them modelling them.
Black Lives Matter
Recent news has been focusing on the important ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign. If children were in school, our teachers would be discussing this with them and raising their awareness of the important issue of racism. I would encourage you to have a conversation with your child about equality, racism and fairness for all.
Here is a link to watch a Newsround report: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/52978346
and another quick video entitled ‘we need everybody to speak out to make change’ https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/52978346
Year 1 have talked about equality and what it means to them - one had heard on the news what had been happening in the world, the others were happy to discuss it. We talked about everyone being the same, whatever the hairstyle, skin tone, eye colour. Just be kind to each other.
We drew around our hands and coloured in the fingers in people colours. We then drew faces around it - embracing all skin colours, hair styles and eye colours.
No matter who you are, what job you do - Be Kind and be respectful.
Many children, particularly teens, will have spent more time that usual considering the events in the news whilst confined to home. Here are some articles for your own information and some book resources to direct pupils and parents to.
‘No reader is too young to start’: anti-racist books for all children and teens. “Use these books to start conversations, hold yourself accountable and educate a new generation. Reading isn’t the only answer but it’s the start” https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/jun/04/no-reader-is-too-young-to-start-anti-racist-books-for-all-children-and-teens
NLT have brought together a series of book lists for children and young people of all ages to share black stories and promote black voices. https://literacytrust.org.uk/resources/black-lives-matter-book-lists-ages-0-16/?mc_cid=8ea2999360&mc_eid=ef95477a38
A selection of lovely free resources gathered by the library service:
NLT have joined forces with Premier League Primary Stars and children’s author Dan Freedman to bring children a week-long series of free football-themed activities and challenges to inspire them to get reading and writing at home.
Actress Juliet Stevenson reads Smriti Halls and Ella Okstad’s picture book Elephant in My Kitchen to raise funds for Save the children. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNIZ6b3Yhuw
Attack of the Heebie Jeebies author and illustrator Tom Percival is reading a chapter of his new book each night on YouTube. The story deals with anger and jealousy. This is the link
The Humble Mayor of Grumble by Hilary Robinson and Steven Johnson is an illustrated poster story that is a fable for our time. This is the link
Chicken in the kitchen by Nnedi Okorafor & illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini. Winner of Children's Africana Best Book Award 2018 this is brilliantly read by Lucian Msamati. This is the link
Just one of a selection of stories read on Tata storytime YouTube channel with authors from African, Caribbean & African American heritage. This is the link
Take a look at Petr Horacek’s latest blog on how to draw an elephant, along with a reading of his latest picture book, The Best Place in the World. http://www.petrhoracek.co.uk/blog/
Actress Alexandra Shipp reads Eileen Browne’s Handa’s Surprise for Save the Children to help raise funds for their coronavirus appeal. You can watch here:
Jane Porter reads her delightful story The Boy Who Loved Everyone. @TheJanePorter's Instagram
Mama G reads Tooth Fairy in Training on her Facebook page. The video is available to watch here: https://www.facebook.com/MamaGStories/videos/535574900471528/
The Runaway Pea, written by Kjartan Poskitt and illustrated by Alex Willmore has been chosen as the BookTrust Time To Read campaign. https://www.booktrust.org.uk/news-and-features/news/news-2020/booktrust-selects-the-runaway-pea-for-2020-time-to-read-campaign/
Not Now Bernard by David McKee celebrating its 40th anniversary. https://www.booktrust.org.uk/news-and-features/features/2020/june/not-now-bernard-is-40-celebrate-with-this-lovely-storytime-video/
Summer Reading Challenge
Please click here for more information on the Summer Reading Challenge
Please click here to access a useful document giving advice and support on digital safety.
Supporting Children's Well-being through play.
Have you visited our Well-being blog yet. Please take a look to find many activities aimed at supporting you and your children.
I particularly like this recent one: https://www.southtawton.co.uk/well-being/supporting-childrens-wellbeing-through-play
The topic for the next week focuses on boats and pirates.
Click here for a PowerPoint presentation on building a model sailing boat.
Recent news has been focusing on the important ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign. If children were in school our teachers would be discussing this with them and raising their awareness to the important issue of racism. I would encourage you to have a conversation with your child about equality, racism and fairness for all.
Here is a link to watch a Newsround report
and another quick video entitled ‘we need everybody to speak out to make a change’ https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/52978346
Perhaps your child might want to make a poster or banner to display in your window at home.
The first week of the second half of the summer term has been unlike any other. As you can see from the photos, the school has been set up so that we can observe social distancing measures in all areas. School feels very quiet and we're looking forward to welcoming in more children from pre-school, reception and years 1 and 6 over the next week. If your child is in one of these groups and you would like them to attend school, please sign them up through school gateway as explained in my email earlier this week.
The children in school are being taught in 8 'bubbles.' There are bubbles for pre-school, reception, 2 for year 1, 2 for year 6 and 2 for children of critical workers from years 2-5. The children within each bubble have their own room, staff and space on the playground and field. To minimise any spread of the virus, the bubbles do not mix with each other and all rooms and equipment are cleaned regularly throughout the day with a deeper clean at lunchtime and the end of every day.
If your child is attending school, they need to bring in their own equipment and stationery as detailed in emails earlier this week. In short, please could they come in in school uniform, wearing or bringing shoes suitable for outdoor PE. They need a coat for inclement weather, sunhat, homelearning book, snack, packed lunch and water and a pencil case containing a pen, pencil, colouring pencils, ruler, rubber and sharpener.
With most staff now in school each day, we've had to make some changes to who is leading home learning. Mrs Culverhouse is now the lead for homelearning in pre-school, year R and year 4. Miss Rowe is leading in year 1 and 3, Miss Bennett in year 2 and Mrs Bonnett in years 5 and 6. Please do contact these teachers with any queries and to send in work and photos for the class blogs. Class zoom meetings will continue to take place.
You might like to make use of this visual timetable (pictured above) to help to structure your day. Add your own times, or don’t add times at all and just go with the flow! Copy and paste the symbols, so that children can see the available activities to them during the day. Children can also take ownership of their own timetables and create their own.
Please visit each of the class blog pages to see the lovely work and activities which pupils have undertaken at home this week.
As the term progresses, we continue to take advice from the Department of Education and government and to respond to changes as they are introduced.
South Tawton School PTA 100 Club - May Draw Results
Mrs MacMillan-Scott carried out May's draw at home and the following people/numbers won.
1st 60 Pete Rose
2nd 79 Kirsty Loader
3rd 42 Fiona Passmore
All winners will be notified separately with details of how to claim prizes.
Rain Before Rainbows – a book to inspire hope from Walker Books & Save the Children.
Walker Books has released Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Halls and illustrated by David Litchfield as a free eBook to raise awareness for Save the Children’s Save with Stories campaign which is helping children most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The rainbow has become an incredible symbol of hope and optimism during this time and we hope that this uplifting story can be a source of comfort and light to children and families, and that it inspires anyone who is able to do so, to donate to the Save with Stories campaign.
The ebook can be accessed here
More Primary Resources
Lots of ideas and resources from English Heritage; videos, virtual tours, podcasts and craft ideas to inspire and educate.
Suitable for home or school this site asks children to imagine, design and write about solutions to real world problems, including a daily challenge and a newly released resource pack Mission: Protect Our Oceans. There is an option to upload your designs.
For the second year running the Guardian has joined forces with the Football School series to organise a Young Sportswriter of the Year competition. This exciting contest is aimed at seven- to 12-year-olds. This is the link
Litfilmfest. Some free projects and some subscription content such as daily videos on writing aimed at giving isolated learners a daily dose of literacy.
Books and Authors
Booklife have made 7 of their non-fiction titles free to download as pdfs. Covering science topics like space, seeds and human body. This is the link
Dan Freedman’s Jamie Johnson; The Kick Off is available to read for free This is the link This book was made into a popular series on CBBC and would be on interest to Y7/8 too. AR level 4.9
Jon Klassen’s We Found a Hat has been turned into a puppet theatre production by The Little Angel Theatre Company This is the link
The Ickabog by J K Rowling was written as a read-aloud book but it’s suitable for 7-9 year olds to read to themselves. J K Rowling is posting chapters every weekday between 26th May and 10th July and asking children to provide illustrations of the characters to be share on social media, there is a competition to illustrate the final published version. This is the link
I realise that this is a very strange time for all our families. Some of you will be having concerns about coming back to school; others will feel somewhat abandoned because their year groups have not been invited back. Please do all keep in touch with us and your home learning teacher and let us know if you have any worries or questions. Have a lovely weekend.