The Autumn Term is now in full swing. Beautiful displays of children's work are appearing around the school and singing and laughter is frequently heard across the site. The new year R children had their first experience of getting changed for PE and managed brilliantly. Year 1 are studying the human body in science, year 2 made music and year 3 found a dragon's egg on the school field. Have a look at the class blog pages for more details and photos and to learn what the older children have been doing this week as well.
in other news, we still have some copies of our amazing Lockdown Recipe Book for sale. If you would like to purchase one of these, please contact the office on 01837 840242 or email email@example.com
Medicines in School
We are only able to administer medicines to children in school if we have a signed form from parents or guardians requesting that we do so. The form can be found in the Parents section of the newsletter here. If you need your child to receive medicine during the school day, please ensure that you fill in and bring in the form with the medicine.
On the whole, the children are looking extremely smart and are all in correct uniform. However, there are one or two children wearing jumpers that are not navy and some shoes that are not black. Similarly, in P.E. lessons, whilst the vast majority of children are wearing white T-shirts with black or navy shorts, one or two are really standing out in coloured T-shirts. Please help your child to feel a part of their class groups and the school by following the uniform guidelines.
This year, for our Harvest Festival, we will be supporting Okehampton Foodbank. Donation collection days will be announced soon. Please find below a list of what is needed to help those in need. Any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.
At this time the Okehampton foodbank particularly welcome donations of long-life milk, tinned tomatoes, tinned meat, tinned rice pudding.
Other really helpful donations are as follows: (sealed please; not opened)
We encourage all children to have a healthy and nutritional meal at lunchtime and a snack during morning break.
Research shows that children who have a nutritionally balanced meal (rather than one that has too much sugar and fat) are better able to concentrate in lessons.
We also encourage children to keep hydrated during the school day, preferably with water or other drinks without additives or added sugar.
All meals prepared at a maintained school must comply with the government Standards for school food in England.
Free school meals
All children in reception, year 1 and year 2 at state schools in England automatically get free school meals. However, parents and guardians are encouraged to apply for free school meals when they enrol their child in school, as this can help their child’s school to attract additional ‘pupil premium‘ funding to support learning.
From year 3 onwards, children whose parents are getting any of the following are entitled to free school meals:
How to apply
Apply through the Devon Citizens Portal. This is the quickest and easiest way to apply and will result in you getting an instant decision. Alternatively, call the Education Helpline on 0345 155 1019.
If you think you may be eligible for free school meals, please apply even if your child is in years R, 1 or 2.
Breakfast Club now open on Fridays
The PTA raised over £8000 last year and this money goes towards paying for equipment and events to enhance our children's school experience. We couldn't do this without your help and support!
The PTA are having their AGM on Monday 20th September at 8pm. This will be held virtually on Zoom so if you would like to attend, please email email@example.com and we will send you the link. Please come along as we can't run without your support! Also, Katie will be standing down as chair so, if anyone is interested in becoming chair or a general volunteer, please do get in touch for for more information!
Healthy Start Scheme – for eligible families with children under 4 and pregnant women
Get a Healthy Start! - scheme for eligible families with children under 4 and pregnant women
Devon Public Health are running a promotional initiative to raise awareness of the government’s national Healthy Start scheme, which provides eligible pregnant women and families with children under 4 with financial support towards fruit & veg, pulses, cows’ milk, and infant formula, as well as free vitamins. The Get a Healthy Start! promotion will provide the following, for FREE to eligible residents in the Devon County Council area: Box of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables; booklet containing recipes, information on Healthy Start, and signposting; Healthy Start vitamins; fun 10 minute shake-up games for children; breastfeeding support information.
Boxes can be ordered directly by families themselves from devon.cc/getahealthystart and will be delivered in October. Eligibility will be assessed by the sign-up form. More information about the initiative, including eligibility and how to order can be found here or in the attached document. Orders are being taken until 24th September or until all boxes are allocated. Only 50% of eligible families currently receive Healthy Start – please promote and share this information with families to help more get the support they are entitled to!
For any enquiries please contact Ruby (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Harriet (email@example.com) in the Public Health Team
It’s easy and free to use your library
You can borrow books, take part in activities and use our computers or Wi-Fi.
It's free to become a member of the library, either join online or by visiting staff in the library.
· A huge range of stories from the classics through to popular series, the latest bestsellers, and graphic novels within our Junior and Teen library.
· Easy Reads for children learning or struggling to read.
· Information books to help with learning, homework and hobbies/interests
· All of these books are free to borrow and reserving of stock is free for children.
· We have stories on CD's which are free to borrow and films and TV programmes on DVD which may be hired by adults.
Our online resources
We have a range of free resources that all library members can access online: · A large selection of eBooks to download or stream on Libby. Ranging from junior ‘beginner reads’ for children learning through to read to teen reads. · A range of eAudiobooks to download or stream via BorrowBox and Libby. · A selection of eMagazines and eNewspapers are available on Libby · Online reference resources at Devon Libraries.
Book Amnesty 8 September – 8 October
Got an overdue book on your conscience? 📚
Couldn't face returning that DVD after losing it down the back of the sofa three years ago?
Return your horribly overdue items to your library during our Book Amnesty, and your fine will be waived, no questions asked
Saturday 2nd October ~ Okehampton Fun Palace 09:30-12:00
Fun Palaces is a national campaign to put culture in the heart of local communities. It is an annual weekend of action - arts, science, craft, tech, digital, heritage and sports. We are offering a creative community morning of free taster activities. If you would like to take part, sharing a skill or learning a new one, please contact Okehampton Library.
Current activities include ukulele and patchwork. For more info about Fun Palaces visit their website. funpalaces.co.uk
For more information from the library, please click here.
What a lovely first week it's been! I'm so proud of all of our children and staff for the fantastic, positive start made to the new academic year. Walking around the classes on Wednesday morning, it was hard to believe that it was only the first morning. Everyone has settled straight back into routines and all of our new starters seem to have adapted immediately to the new structures and challenges. Highlights for me were the Wednesday playtimes where the children could mix with other year groups for the first time since March 2019. There was a lot of hugging! It was also so special to have most classes together in the hall for our celebration assembly on Friday. Thank you to everyone for ensuring such a smooth and positive start to the year.
Alongside all the new children in year R and other age groups, we're also delighted to welcome some new staff. Lindsey Graham will be teaching in Y4 on Mondays and Tuesdays. Kellie Budworth has made a big change to her preschool role and accepted a full-time position as teaching assistant in Y6. (A very big thank you to Sharon Cooper who has agreed to cover Kellie's hours at preschool while we recruit to fill the preschool role.) Kayleigh Anderson has joined us as a teaching assistant in YR.
Safeguarding at South Tawton
Need someone to talk to?
At South Tawton Primary School, pupils and parents can talk to any adult about anything that is worrying them. However, there are three adults who have special responsibility for safeguarding. Sarah Marvin is designated safeguarding lead, Shirley Culverhouse and Peggy Chalcraft are deputy designated safe-guarding leads. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns. More information can be found on our safeguarding pages here.
Did you know?
More information and photos about what is happening in each class each week can be found in the class blog pages on our website.
The website also contains information about the curriculum, our policies, term dates and much more. If you need any information which you can't find, please let us know.
School gateway accounts should now be set up for all pupils. If you haven't yet registered for an account, please click here. Your gateway account should show meal bookings, clubs and any payments. If you are having any trouble with your account, please let us know.
We are in the process of planning after school clubs and these will begin in a few weeks time. We are very proud of our offer which provisionally has the following clubs (but may be subject to small changes.) When club bookings are available for your child, you will receive an email inviting you to book through your gateway accounts. Many of the clubs will run for three weeks before and three weeks after half term and start in the week beginning 4th October. I am, as ever, enormously grateful to our staff who provide these clubs voluntarily and in their own time. Please note that the SAINTs SW clubs are payable and bookable through their site.
With the new railway line between Okehampton and Exeter opening soon, please click here to read an important safety letter from Network Rail.
PTA Summer Newsletter
Please click here to read the latest newsletter from our wonderful PTA.
PTA 100 Club
The PTA will once again be running the 100 Club this school year.
For anyone not aware of what the 100 Club is, for the cost of £12 a year i.e. £1 per month, members are allocated a number between 1-100 that is entered into a monthly draw with three cash prizes to be won. The more members of the 100 Club, the higher the cash prizes and the greater the money raised for PTA funds. The Club is open to all parents, grandparents, carers, staff and friends of the School in the wider community.
If you would like to join the 100 Club, please complete the sign up form attached to this newsletter and then email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please can the £12 annual subscription fee be paid by direct bank transfer to the PTA bank account, details of which are:-
Bank: Nat West
Account Name: Friends of South Tawton County Primary School
Account number: 24427764
Sort Code: 54-21-14
Reference: Please state your name
Please ensure when paying that you put your name as a reference. Please could existing members who are renewing their membership also email email@example.com with confirmation they wish to continue their membership.
If anyone is unable to pay their subscription by direct bank transfer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org who will be able to assist.
The first draw will be carried out at School at the end of September, so please can all subscriptions be paid no later than Friday 24 September.
Please click here for sign-up form.
Please click here for 100 Club rules.
Thank you in advance for your support.
I hope you've all had a thoroughly lovely and healthy summer. We are looking forward to welcoming all children back to school on Wednesday 8th September. This year, we will not be staggering arrival and departure times, so arrival will be at 8:40 and departure at 3:30 for all children. Please help us to keep everyone safe by trying to limit crowding as far as possible and leaving the lane as soon as you have dropped your child off or collected them.
We will not be using the entrance through the car park this year, so years 3,4 and 5 will all enter the playground through the gate off the lane. The staff and I will be outside on Wednesday morning to welcome everyone and show them where to go.
Bookings for breakfast club and the school bus are now live but may not yet show for children in Year R or new starters. On Monday and Tuesday, we will be ensuring that all new starters are fully enrolled and school gateway accounts set up. We shall also ensure that lunch bookings can be made. The menu will be the same as last term and can be found in the Parent Information section of the website or by clicking the following link: https://www.southtawton.co.uk/uploads/8/0/6/1/80615962/south_tawton_primary_menu__autumn_2021.pdf
Uniform guidelines remain unchanged and can be found here:
Please particularly note that shoes should be plain black and jewellery other than plain ear studs should not be worn. Hair dye and any make-up or nail varnish are also not permitted.
The Covid19 risk assessment has been updated and can be found on the website here: https://www.southtawton.co.uk/uploads/8/0/6/1/80615962/stps_covid-19_risk_assessment_september_2021.pdf If your child shows any symptoms of Covid19, please do not send them to school. They will need to take a PCR test https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test and receive a negative result before they can come back to school.
All staff will be in school on Monday and Tuesday for training and to prepare to welcome the children on Wednesday. If you have any questions about starting back or require any help, please do get in touch by emailing me on email@example.com, the office on firstname.lastname@example.org or by ringing 01837 840242 on Monday or Tuesday.
Enjoy the lovely weather this weekend,
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in having any.
Please click here to read the latest update from Devon County Council.
We've been making the most of the better weather this half term and enjoying lots of activities and events outside. Year R are hoping that their caterpillars will soon become butterflies, year 2 have been working together on the field to create team games for each other to enjoy and years 5 and 6 have recently been making the most of having Dartmoor on our doorstep to experience guided walks on Cosdon with a Dartmoor park ranger. More information on all these activities can be found on the class blog pages.
We have been lucky here in Devon with relatively low cases of coronavirus compared to other communities. However, we cannot avoid the reality that case numbers are now rising both across the country and in Devon.
This week, schools in Devon, and within our DMAT, have had to isolate individuals, close bubbles, year groups and in some cases whole schools. The last thing we want to do is to increase the likelihood of this happening here at South Tawton.
It is for this reason we have had to change our plans for the end of term and we will not be able to invite parents as spectators for sports' day. We just cannot take this risk. It would be awful to have to keep children at home again.
While some parents have shown their support for the decision, others have aired their concerns and disappointment. Please do accept that this decision has not been made lightly. We have considered the size of the school, and potential risk before making this decision. Whilst we understand that some local schools are allowing spectators at their sports' days, these are much smaller schools where the number of children and staff present will be far less than at South Tawton.
It is our intention to use our expertise and staffing to really focus on the children and ensure that they have a positive and enjoyable last few weeks here with safe events and celebrations. We are using social distancing so that we can keep safe in our bubbles whilst still feeling part of the whole school group. Staff will ensure that the children have an exciting and enjoyable sports' day experience with their peers, even though their parents will not be present.
In terms of restrictions, we are still hoping that they will be lifted before the end of term so that we will be able to have live audiences at our Year 5/6 performance and Y6 Leavers' Assembly. Fingers crossed that this becomes possible.
Sports' Day Part 2
Weather willing, Sports' Day will take place on Tuesday 6th July. It would be really lovely if the children could wear a coloured T-shirt that matches their team colour. If possible, please can you send you child into school wearing the colour of their team. If you are unsure of which colour team your child is in, you can check with their class teacher. Please do not send the children in football shorts as this can cause problems with other children.
As with any event at this time of the year, the children will also need sun cream, a hat, a water bottle, a jumper and a raincoat.
Some parents have commented that they feel unsafe coming to the school gates when other parents are not wearing masks. Please continue to wear masks when dropping off and picking up your children. With case numbers rising so rapidly, this is particularly important.
PTA Ice Lolly Sales
Update from Devon County Council
For the latest Covid-19 response from Devon County Council, please click here.
It was such a disappointment to hear the news on Monday that the government road map out of lockdown has been delayed. This means we remain at Stage 3 with our current school risk assessments and measures in line with the government policy.
For this reason we are not able to go ahead with some of our summer term plans, including parents attending our Sports Day. While many of us are bitterly disappointed, we must all understand this is for the health and wellbeing of our staff and pupils at school, our families and community members. With the new variant, and numbers rising again, it is of course the right decision. We will do our very best to make sure the end of term is a special time, and have booked an exiting programme of visitors to the school to enrich the children's learning and experience. More details of these will follow, but a very big thank you to the PTA who are funding these visits.
On that note, I'm delighted to announce that the recent sponsored events in each class raised just over £2700 for the PTA. This is a staggering amount and I'd like to extend a huge thank you to the children for their efforts in completing the challenges and to all our community for donating so generously.
Sport's Day will still go ahead (though sadly without spectators) with the children kept in year group bubbles and equipment thoroughly sanitised between each class.
The Year 6 classroom now has secondary glazing and a new, lower ceiling installed. It looks fantastic and the acoustics are also much better. The walls have been freshly repainted and we have made the decision to re-paint the wood panelling, shelves and skirting boards in the summer holidays rather than now, so that the children can move back in this week.
Quad Kids Athletics Event
On Tuesday, OCRA coaches came in and held a Quadkids event for all KS2 children. The children each took part in javelin throw, a 50m sprint, standing long jump and a 600m run. Their sportsmanship and support of each other was fantastic to see. After the event, the coaches contacted me to praise not only the children's athletic ability, but also their fantastic effort and behaviour.
We have been reminding the children how to keep healthy and comfortable in the recent hot weather:
Take off thick jumpers but cover sensitive skin, apply sun cream, wear a hat, seek out the shady spaces, slide on a pair of sunglasses and drink plenty of water.
Please make sure that all children have water bottles and sunhats with their names on in school every day. They do also need a jumper and light coat because, as we know, our hot weather often doesn’t last!
Many of you will have noticed that there seems to be a high number of ticks around at the moment. Please click here for a government leaflet about ticks.
Key tick awareness messages
• ‘be tick aware’ and remember that you could be exposed to ticks whenever you spend time outdoors, including when in your garden or the local park
• ticks mainly attach to animals, but sometimes they may bite you or your family
• you can prevent tick bites by walking on clearly defined paths, using insect repellent and performing regular tick checks
• some tick bites can result in infection, so it is important to remove ticks safely and as quickly as possible
• the safest way to remove a tick is by using a pair of fine-tipped tweezers or a tick removal tool
• contact your GP or dial NHS 111 promptly if you begin to feel unwell with flu-like symptoms or develop a spreading circular red rash. Remember to tell them you were bitten by a tick or have recently spent time outdoors
More information For more information, search for the phrases 'ticks' and 'Lyme disease' on these websites: www.nhs.uk www.gov.uk
Letter to parents from the Secretary of State for Education
On Friday, the Secretary of State for Education wrote an open letter to parents encouraging continued regular testing, to support all the hard work schools and colleges have been doing to increase participation. Please read the letter by clicking the blue text above.