Our school is rooted in the Christian tradition and has been affiliated with St Michael the Archangel, Chagford since it was opened opened by the Church in October 1936. To this day, we retain our close alliance with the Church and the surrounding North Dartmoor Parishes, through our local Rector, Revd Paul Seaton-Burn, who is a former Governor and Vice-Chair.
All Church of England schools are committed to nurturing, encouraging and inspiring pupils and staff of all faiths and none.
Our church has been at the heart of the community for well over 1,000 years and it is a joy to welcome the school community to St Michael’s to mark the major festivals and celebrate the achievements of each school term. In recent years, pupils have made moving contributions to community events like Remembrance Sunday and their artwork has been displayed here and at Exeter Cathedral. Revd Paul and colleagues visit to lead collective worship and provide additional educational and pastoral support throughout the year.
Pupils and staff have also made an important and enjoyable contribution to our annual Bio Blitz in May since 2017 (cancelled in 2020 owing to C-19 restrictions). This survey of bio-diversity across our ancient churchyard takes place with the support of biologists from University College London and local volunteers and is always a source of fun and fascination. Children have also been able to observe the wonderful sight of swifts roosting again in our church tower; the result of a project in 2016 to support these beautiful and endangered birds and welcome them back to St Michael’s after many years of absence. We look forward to their return in 2021 and pupils will be able to follow their progress via a live-streamed swift camera, installed in the breeding boxes.
In recent years, pupils from Year 6 have been introduced to the ancient art of bell-ringing, with a hands-on tour of the bell tower and we are now equipped with two training bells for young people to ‘learn the ropes’. This enables them to learn about an important Devon tradition which has taken place in our parish since at least 1480.
The Joyce Storey Memorial Fund was established by St Michael’s in 2019 to support young people’s learning in Chagford. The church donates the interest from a legacy in the form of grant payments to support our school and other learning projects in the parish, as well as encouraging private donations for school needs, such as purpose-built library furniture.
‘Chagford Church of England Primary School is a wonderful place of learning for pupils, staff and parents alike. We look forward to working alongside you over the coming year and learning new ways in which the values which underpin our school might be expressed creatively, with care for every individual and our environment and prove life-giving for the wider community we serve.’ Revd Paul, Team Rector of the North Dartmoor Parishes