Goodbye and Good luck
Yesterday, we had to say goodbye to our wonderful year 6 children. We wish them every success and happiness in the next stage of their education and beyond. They've risen admirably to the challenges of the last two years and have made us smile every day with their quirky humour and characters.
We also wished Ms Laybourn all the very best for her next endeavours and bid a fond farewell to Roman who is relocating during the summer holidays.
Good luck to you all from our whole community.
It's been a hot and hectic final week and suddenly it's the end of the year. Despite the obvious challenges of Covid19, it has been such a pleasure and a privilege to lead the school through this year. The warm relationships, enthusiasm, humour and care shown by all the children and staff to one another make me immeasurably proud and happy.
Thank you to every one of our pupils for your fantastic attitudes and behaviour. You are the reason why the school is such a happy place and we all love working here.
Thank you to all the staff. So many challenges have been faced, new skills learnt, new directives taken on board and tasks completed. There's been delight and despair, and you've shone through both. Thank you and enjoy a well-earned rest.
Thank you to all parents for your lovely messages of support and gratitude through the year. Thank you for riding through the changes and rules and regulations with us, and for your enormous engagement and encouragement through the home learning months.
Thank you to the PTA who have worked tirelessly to raise money and provide us with funds for enrichment activities.
Finally, thank you to our local stakeholder board who've been so supportive through the whole year.
Enjoy the summer holiday. Stay safe and well.
Road sign competition
Sports' Day Winners
Pictured above are the winners of our Sports' Day last week. The blue team won the KS1 competition and the green team won overall for key stage 2. Harry and Keira were both presented with shields as the year 6 pupils who won the most points across all events. Congratulations to everyone who took part and helped to make it such a lovely day.
Then and Now
It seems amazing how much our year 6 pupils have changed since they were in Year R, 7 years ago. As they move towards their secondary education, I thought they might like to see this photo of the current year 13 students both now and when they were starting school at South Tawton. These year 13 students are still close friends as they leave college and prepare for university; I hope you all will be too!
We really can't finish the year without a mention of our breakfast club! They have been such a wonderful, happy group of children and Ruth Elliott, the club leader, asked me to thank them all. Sometimes, it's hard to know whether Ruth or the children are enjoying the club more. Breakfast club is available to children from YR to Y6 and can be booked through school gateway accounts.
New Free School for Devon
Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust are delighted to announce they will be welcoming a new Free School to its wider network of schools.
Following a successful bid to Devon County Council, the Trust will manage the new Free School presumptive for Devon, which will open in September 2022.
The Free School will be for learners with SEMH (social, emotional and mental health special needs) from the Mid Devon region who will be allocated places by Devon County Council in conjunction with the Trust.
The new school will be located in Okehampton and have 40 places initially for Early Years to KS4 and will grow year on year up to 100 learners.
Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust is excited about welcoming the new free school into its community of family-oriented schools. As a MAT with a strong local identity, it is looking forward to using its strong local knowledge and strong local connections to support all young people – both within the Trust, in the wider area and in Devon as a whole – to reach the best possible outcomes.
The Trust is passionate not only about recognising and meeting needs in the region, but truly impacting the life chances of children and young people across Devon.
Dan Morrow, Trust Leader for Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust, said:
“DMAT is delighted to have been successful with this bid and we are thrilled that such an important entitlement for our children and communities will be within the DMAT family. This will help us on our journey to be the transformational offer that we know our families so richly deserve
“As part of our Trust, the new free school will impact positively not just on the learners and young people who access it, but the schools, and communities from which they are drawn. We’re excited to get this process underway and continue to positively expand our family of schools.”
A message from Merryn
Hello, I’m Merryn from Year 5 and I am the youngest member of the West Devon Borough Climate Change Forum. I am very keen on looking after the planet. As part of my roll on the climate forum, I have been asked to help find out what people locally would think about having an electric car and bike club in this area. This would allow people to use electric vehicles without having to pay the often prohibitively expensive cost of buying one. I would therefore be very grateful if you could spare a few moment to follow the link attached and complete the survey so we can capture your views and gauge local opinion.
Direct link to the survey: https://bit.ly/ElectricWDevon
Link to more information about the survey: https://www.westdevon.gov.uk/article/8081/Community-Led-Electric-Car-and-Bike-Club-Survey-Launched
Thank you very much
Please click here to read the latest Covid19 response update from Devon County Council
What a week it has been! This newsletter is very photo heavy as we have so many excellent experiences to share. Although it was sad not to be able to have parents join us at Sports' Day, there didn't seem to be much difference in noise levels from previous years as the children cheered, clapped and encouraged each other through their events. (The noisiest moment was definitely the beginning of the Y6 boys' long distance race when they decided they would sing Sweet Caroline throughout. Admittedly, this singing got progressively quieter after they hit the first hill....) The day was filled with smiles and some shining examples of team spirit and support. Well done to all pupils for making it such a lovely day.
The enrichment events this week began on Monday with fencing workshops for every class. The children showed great aptitude for fencing, leading me to wonder if we have some future Olympians in our midst!
Science Tricks and Bubble Shows
,Our Science Tricks and Bubbles shows finished off the week. Key Stage 2 children saw one of two 'Tricks' shows with exploding balloons, coloured flames and a variety of other bangs and explosions. Key Stage 1 watched an amazing bubble show in the afternoon. Although the shows were hugely entertaining, they were also filled with science knowledge and skills, some of which I hope the children may have shared with you at home. Sitting in my office, I was able to hear laughter and cheering coming from the hall all through the day.
One week to go
The summer term is drawing to an end and the last day for the children is Thursday 22nd July. We will be saying goodbye to our Year 6 pupils and wishing them every success and happiness as they continue their education at secondary school. Sadly, we will also be saying goodbye to Ms Laybourn after many years as a much loved and fantastic Year 6 teaching assistant. Ms Laybourn will be moving on to pursue different dreams and I 'm sure you will wish to join me in wishing her great fulfilment and joy in her new endeavours.
For those of you who haven't heard the happy news, I'm also thrilled to let you know that Miss Pearce (who left this time last year) now has a baby girl named Bella.
The forecast for this week is very hot. Please ensure that your child has a hat, sun cream applied, and water bottle in school every day.
The Autumn Term will begin for children on Wednesday 8th September. We'll be hoping to get the year off to a flying start. Please help us to help the children feel ready for a new year at school by ensuring that they all have the correct uniform including black shoes. We have a few children arriving in non-regulation clothing such as leggings this term: smart school trousers, shorts, skirts or dresses only please.
Before that, we will have a non-uniform day to celebrate the end of the year and to thank the children for all their hard work and enthusiasm. This will take place on Wednesday 21st July. There will not be a charge for this.
We currently have a vacancy for a full-time general teaching assistant to join our team. Further details may be found here. To apply, please visit the eteach site. Ideally, the position will be based in Year 6. The closing date for applications is Wednesday 21.07.21.
There will be ice lollies for sale on Thursday 22nd after school. Please do NOT send your children into school with the money for these - they will be purchased after school with parents. We had a few difficulties with missing pound coins in school last time.
The last lolly sale raised £130 and we took £72 from the recent Bag2School collection. Thank you everyone.
South Zeal Recreation Ground
South Zeal Recreation Ground would be very grateful for any donations of second hand books, board games, or jigsaw puzzles for a stall that will be running at Zale Fayre. They are also collecting bottles, packet foods, sweets, chocolates and toiletries for the adult and child Tombola. If anyone would like to donate any items please could you bring them to South Zeal Pavilion on Thursday 5th of August between 6 and 7pm or contact Marie Gentle on firstname.lastname@example.org.
OCRA Sports and Fitness Festival
You should all have received an email on Friday with a link to a Trust wide letter about any changes to risk assessments and arrangements after the 19th July. For anyone who missed it, the letter can be read here.
You will notice in this that we will sadly be unable to have audiences for our Y5/6 Performance or Leavers' Assembly. We are aiming to record both of these events and make the recording available as we did with the KS1 performance at Christmas. If anyone has the skills and technology to help with this, I'd love to hear from you.
We have made the decision as a Trust to not change our current risk assessment in the last week of term. Please can I urge you to continue to wear a mask at drop off and collection times.
Please bear in mind that not all of our staff, or adults in our families and wider community have had their two vaccinations yet.
Circus Skills Workshops
Anyone passing the school at any point last Monday can't fail to have heard the peals of laughter as each class visited Rupert Elford for their circus skills workshop. There were demonstrations from Rupert and plenty of opportunities for the children to have a go. As you can see from the photographs, it was a hugely enjoyable day. Thank you to the PTA for making it possible.
On Friday, we also had a visit from a storyteller. She led the children through stories outside until the rain finally won and Y5 and 6 had to move into the hall. The children also had the opportunity to draw, write and share their own stories.
Next week, we have fencing workshops on Monday and Science shows on Friday. Sports' Day will also be next week - we will check the weather on Monday and then decide which day.
PTA 100 Club draw
June's draw was carried out at last Friday's school assembly and the following numbers/people won:-
1st 8 Jackie Keegan
2nd 65 Vellette Vallance
3rd 39 Katherine Woolnough
Mary MacMillan-Scott will be in touch with all winners to arrange delivery of prizes.
Summer Reading Challenge
Summer Term Enrichment
With class trips outside of school cancelled, we've brought the outside in! We'd like to say a very big thank you to our brilliant PTA who have funded an exciting programme of visitors for the last few weeks of term.
The programme of events began on Friday with the first four classes loving the rock pool workshops, and will continue as follows. Every child from preschool to year 6 will be involved.
We're delighted to announce some additions to our staff team for September:
Mrs Lindsey Graham will be job-sharing alongside Peggy Chalcraft in year 4. Mrs Graham will be teaching on Mondays and Tuesdays and Miss Chalcraft Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. (Miss Bennett will be working as a full-time SENDCo across the Three Hares Schools.)
Mrs Kayleigh Anderson will join us as a full time additional teaching assistant in our reception class, while Mrs Marion West and Miss Jennifer Williams will take up new roles as teaching assistants in Year 5.
Congratulations and welcome to them all.
Next week is Week 2 on the menu!
The school meal for Sports Day has been changed to a "Bag Meal", which will consist of the following:
Main - Chicken Goujons, Potato Wedges, Carrot and Cucumber sticks
Vegetarian - Veggie Nuggets, Potato Wedges, Carrot and Cucumber sticks
Packed Lunch - Cheese Roll
Dessert - Cookie
Please note that there will be no Jacket Potato option on that day.
For Sports' Day, please send your children into school in their PE kit including, if possible, a T-shirt in their team colours.
This Wednesday 7th July, we will be having our 'Moving Up' morning to give all classes a chance to meet their new teachers. The important organisational element of this is that all children should arrive at their usual time. For instance, children who are in year 3 and have arrived at 8:40 all year, should arrive at 8:40 and not worry about what time year 4 arrive.
When the children do arrive, please could they go straight to their new classes and teachers as follows:
New YR pupils to arrive at 8:50 and enter through the gate by the cottage.
New Y1 (current YR) to arrive at 8:50 and enter through the gate at the bottom of the steps.
New Y2 (current Y1) to arrive at 8:40 and enter through the gate by the ramp.
New Y3 (current Y2) to arrive at 8:40 and enter through the gate in the carpark.
New Y4 (current Y3) to arrive at 8:40 and enter through the gate in the carpark.
New Year 5 (current Y4) to arrive at 8:50 and enter through the playground gate.
New Year 6 (current Y5) to arrive at 8:50 and enter through the gate by the ramp.
New Year 7 (current Y6) to arrive at 8:40 and enter through the playground gate.
If your child needs PE kit on that morning, teachers will let you know by email. Snacks and bags will go with children to their new classes and all pupils will return to their current classes in time for lunch.
Unfortunately COVID 19 cases are rising again and as a result some schools in the Trust have had to follow PHE advice and send students who were in close proximity home to self-isolate for 10 days from the time of contact. It has been a while since we have needed to follow such advice so below are some FAQs around keeping your child safe at home.
What if my child tests positive using a LFD home test kit?
Keep your child at home, tell school the result and report it via https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.
Your child and whole household should self-isolate at home immediately, and get a PCR test within two days to confirm the result. The student can return to school if the PCR test result (taken within two days of the LFD test) is negative and they have no symptoms.
What if my child tests positive using a PCR test?
Keep your child at home and tell school the result. Your household must self-isolate for 10 full days after your child’s symptoms started, or from the day of their test if they had no symptoms. They can return to school after 10 full days of self-isolation, provided they feel well and have not had a high temperature for 24 hours.
What if my child has COVID-19 symptoms?
Keep your child at home and tell school. Get the child a PCR test as soon as possible via https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. Your child and household must self-isolate and wait for the results. If their PCR test result is negative the child can return to school provided they feel well and have not had a high temperature for 24 hours. If their PCR test result is positive they must self-isolate at home for 10 full days.
What if my child is identified as a ‘close contact’ of someone who tests positive or has been sent home from school as part of a ‘bubble’?
Keep your child at home. Your child must self-isolate at home for 10 full days, even if they test negative during this time. The rest of your household doesn’t need to self-isolate, unless they are identified as a ‘close contact’ too. The child can return to school after completing 10 full days of self-isolation at home, provided they feel well and do not have any COVID-19 symptoms.
What if someone in my household has COVID-19 symptoms?
Keep your child at home and tell school. The person with COVID-19 symptoms should get a PCR test via https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test as soon as possible, your household must self-isolate and wait for the result. Your child can return to school if the person with symptoms tests negative, provided your child feels well and doesn’t have COVID-19 symptoms.
What if someone in my household tests positive for COVID-19?
Keep your child at home and tell school. If it’s a LFD positive result, get a PCR test within 2 days to confirm the result. If it’s a PCR positive result, your household must self-isolate for 10 full days.
PTA Takeaway Cream Teas
PTA uniform sales - all items £1
There are a selection of pre-loved, very good condition school sweatshirts on the PTA rail all sizes from 4-5 to 11-12.
Please email email@example.com if you are interested in having any.
Please click here to read the latest update from Devon County Council.