Break the Rules Day
Thank you to everyone who has been makikng a new habit of remembering to order their child's meals in advance so that we can plan and get things ready in a more timely way.
From next week I will ask teachers NOT to check the dinner registers in the morning. We will assume that every child who requires a meal will have had one ordered and that any children without a meal ordered are being provided a packed lunch from home.
If your child is having a homje packed lunch, it is still very helpful to make sure that is entered on the system so there's no chance of confusion.
Making this change to routine will save a few minutes of class time every day meaning we can get straight into something more interesting and useful.
We are really looking forward to teh concert tomorrow night in the church. We'll be raising funds for the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream as well as celebrating our beautiful church and a chance to be together. I understand that some tickets are still available so do come along. It promises to be a beautiful evening.
Dogs on Site
Can I remind everyone that as a school we can't allow dogs on site. We have some children who are very scared of dogs and a couple with allergies. To make this school as kind and inclsuive as possible we need to protect all our pupils and make sure they can feel absolutely safe and helpful on the grounds. I have spotted that lots of families are already tying their dogs up on the fence before bringing children on to the site - I'd like to thank them and I'd like to see if we can encourage each other to make this a universal practice.
Jubilee Tea Party
We will be having a Jubilee Tea Party on Friday afternoon. We will have scones with jam and some games and fun together to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. We have invited some older people to come and join us and it will be lovely to see the younger and older people from the community clebrating and enjoying spending time together.
The mamoth task of baking two hundred scones is being coordinated by the PTFA - if you could help out and provide a batch let us know and we will put you in touch with the organisers. We hope to be able to invite all of our parents and carers to stay behind for a cup of tea before too long!
Bee Kind! Celebrating the Earth
The next in the 'Celebrating the Earth' series of events - following on from the 'New Life/Beltane' Celebration last week - is a celebration of bees, their sense of community, their cooperation and everything they do to keep our planet running along.
Children wil be making their own bees to take along to the event.
The event will take palce after school on June 7th - we hope lots of families will want to be there with their children.
A Flower Festival in Chagford Church
Thursday June 2nd – Sunday June 5th 10.00 am – 5.30 pm daily.
Around twenty different flower and plant displays will each depict an event or particular interest of Her Majesty’s, from throughout her long reign.
This will be a real community event with many groups of people involved, including Chagford Primary School, flower arrangers and local organisations and businesses.
We anticipate that people will visit Chagford from far and wide as we open our wonderful town, and all it has to offer, to visitors for this special event.
Date: 2 June 2022
Parish Church of St Michael the Archangel, Chagford, Devon, TQ13 8BN, United Kingdom
Find out more:
Marie has been very happy this week as so many families have logged on and booked in their children's meals. She has been able to get on with preparing the meals much more promptly and classes have been able to get on with their learning much quicker. There is a very small number of children left without a confirmed meal on the register each day now and we are moving to a presumption that any children left without a meal chosen against their name is having a packed lunch brought from home.
Thank you for making this change everyone - it's a real help to us. Please do keep it up.
Break the Rules Day
Thursday next week is our 'Break the Rules Day' raising funds for the PTFA. Children are very, very excited about this! There is a limited set of rules that pupils are invited to 'break' on the day - of course they will still be expected to be Safe, Ready to Learn and Respectful.
We ask for fifty pence for each of the 'rules' that your child chooses to 'break' - if your child wants to break all five that would be a two pound fifty donation. Can donations come to school in an envelope and be given to the class teacher at the start of the day so it can't go missing.
Pick Up Time
It's funny that drop off in the morning always seems very cheery, calm and orderly while pick up time at the end of the day can seem crowded and at times a bit chaotic. I worry about this a bit - at the end of the day with lots of adults on the site and lots of children criss-crossing and hurtling about I worry that we could have an accident or that a child could go missing. These might sound like big worries but it's my job to think about the big worries and consider how we can make things safer.
Parents can help us by standing a little way back from the classroom doors so we have a clearer transition and can see who has whom. Children can help me by staying calm and by staying with their parent or carer once they have been picked up.
One area that gets especially busy is the side door where both Year Three and Four come out at the end of the day. With parents also waiting for EYFS this area gets really busy.
As of next Monday we will organising Year Four to leave the school through the hall doors. We will pilot this for a week or two to see how it goes before making a firm decision. Parents for children in Year Four should wait a little way back from the hall doors nearer to the reception and children will be released one by one to their parents. Hopefully this can be a calmer and more orderly way to release them and make things calmer at the other end too.
Year One Trip to the Chagford Memory Cafe
On Thursday 12th May, Beech class walked up to the Jubilee Hall and joined in with the monthly Chagford Memory Café. This month’s memory café was celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The children took up their drawings of Queen Elizabeth II which were enjoyed by all. We heard from one of the guests about the day of the coronation and how they felt. We also saw photos of the coronation and street parties for past jubilees. There were lots of interesting stories to be heard. We performed our ‘Rocket Ship’ dance which we had learnt in PE and then were invited to join in with a drink and biscuit. Everyone had a lovely time; on the walk back, a child even asked if we could do it every day!
The children were a real credit to Chagford school and excellent ambassadors. It was fantastic being able to go into the community and meet lots of new people; something we hope to do more of in the coming months.
A huge thank you to Ann and Caroline for organising this and allowing us to visit and a huge thank you to Chloe for volunteering too – without you, this trip wouldn’t have been possible, thank you.
The PTFA would like to warmly welcome you to come along to a meeting on Tuesday 17th May in the Birdcage Cafe to discuss The Jubilee, A Midsummer Night's Dream and much, much more.
Beltane 'Celebrating the Earth
Children at Chagford Primary made leafy headbands over the last week so that they could take part in the celebration of the coming of summer and of new life up at O'er Hill on Thursday Night. Plenty of children from the school attended and a lot of fun was had. We loved to see these pictures with a lot of familiar faces - both adults and children! The children were able to tell me about the 'Obby 'Oss that was dead but came back to life and snapped it's jaws at them, the jack in the green and jumping over the stream (none of them got their shoes wet they said). Ut sounds like a great event and I hope it becomes an annual tradition that the children can take a part in. I'm vcery gald we were able to play our part.
Competition Glory for Holly!
We were excited and proud to hear that Holly from Year One won the under 12’s 'design a postcard' competition at Exeter Phoenix arts centre.
Holly made her design when she was 5 years old, of her own accord, The family liked her spatial awareness and use of colour, so shared it with family. There is a stained glass window after visiting church, alongside the keys that were on the family dining table, so it's a real mix of influences! Unbeknown to the rest of the family, Holly's Granny entered it into the competition and later announced Holly had won!
The artwork will be on exhibition later in the year, so we might be able to show you a picture of Holly with her winning picture.
Well done Holly - you're a proper #ChagfordChampion.
School Dinner Bookings
Have you met Marie - our on site cook? Many primary schools nowadays are bringing food in that has been cooked off site but here we still proudly cook from fresh each and every day.
Marie needs to get to work as soon as she gets in to school in the morning - and if all the dinners have been booked up in advance, she can do just that. If, however, we don't have the bookings in she can't crack on and has to wait until teachers have laboriously gone through the list asking children what they want for lunch and marking it off. This is a waste of valuable time for Marie who genuinely needs to know how many people she is cooking for before she can start measuring out her ingredients. It's also a massive waste of time for all our children who are getting on with busywork rather than getting straight into something more interesting and useful. If it takes a teacher five minutes to check the missing meals from the register each morning then that's twenty five minutes for each child every day which is being wasted - over a term we are talking about hours of time listening to children deciding between a roast dinner and a tuna sandwich - it just isn't a good use of time.
Can we say a big 'thank you' to all the families who do book their school meals in advance - it really helps Marie and it really helps us. Can we ask, gently but firmly, if the few families who are not booking in advance to get in the habit of doing so please? If your child has packed lunches prepared at home, it would still be immensely helpful to us if you could log in and book those in - it really streamlines things to know what children are having.
From the middle of next week will be moving to an assumption that children who do not have a meal booked are having a home packed lunch. We will instruct teachers not to go through dinners with their classes each morning and we expect to win back quite a considerable chunk of learning time.
If you are not sure how to book online please drop in and see Elaine who will be very happy to show you how to do it.
Can we remind families that the school day starts at ten to nine and that we expect that all children will be on site by that time so they can line up when the bell is rung and start the day together. of course anyone might get caught up in a queue behind a tractor once in a while, we absolutely understand that - however this really should be the exception rather than the rule! Elaine has some really specific jobs she has to crack on with in the morning and while she is always delighted to see the children she would like a bit less coming and going while she completes her tasks. We will be contacting families where this has become an issue to ask if there is any way we can support them with punctuality.
Monday 6th June - School Closed
You will be aware that the government called for an additional bank holiday to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. This bank holiday falls within the half term holiday so schools have been instructed to take that day elsewhere in the school year. Together with other schools in the trust we have decided to add it as an extra day immediately after the half term break to keep things as simple as possible. That means that school will be closed to all children on Monday 6th June, the Monday after the half term break.
Year Six Sats
Next week is the Year Six SATS week. Of course there is a degree of nervousness and tummy butterflies involved. The children are fully prepared to do the best that they can do and the teachers are all briefed on their roles to support the pupils. SATS exist primarily as a tool for the government to monitor the attainment and progress of cohorts of children. Secondary schools tend not to use the results of SATS to group or stream their Year Sevens - most prefer to use their own assessments so there really is no need to be worried that a child who has a hiccup on the day will be disadvantaged. Of course, as a school, we'd like the children to do as well as they possibly can - the success of our pupils is one of the ways that our effectiveness is judged - but far more than that, we want the children to be happy with how they have done. We're hoping that next week will be a really positive one for the children. We will be narrating success every day.
The papers will be sent away to be marked and the results will come back in a few weeks by which time, I guarantee you, our minds will be so busy with sports day, leavers assembly, a Midsummer Night's Dream and a hundred other things that the tests will seem like ancient history to the children whose sights will be increasingly set on Year Seven and beyond. It sounds silly but, as far as is possible, the best advice for you to give your Year Six children is to do their very best, remember all the help they've been given, try to enjoy it as much as they can and then to move on and think of greater things.
Equipment for EYFS
There's a lot more fun equipment in the Early Years area this week thanks to a generous donation from the PTFA. A trolley for pens, pencils and clipboards so we can always have a writing area outdoors, more shelves so children can access the things they need more easily, more play food for the home corner, brushes for sweeping (children love to sweep!) and much more. It's great to see the money that the PTFA raise being used to benefit the children. Thank you to everyone who has attended an event, bought a raffle ticket, organised something or played a part in this terrific work.
Jubilee Tea Party
On Friday 27th May we will be having an epic Jubilee Tea Party for all the children and invited guests.
Plans are still being finalised but we hope to see lots of regal attire, we'll be hoping to treat everyone to a scone with jam and cream, there will be games, a visit from a VERY special guest and every child will take home a souvenir of the day. We will be asking fro some support with this soon - if you could come along to help, could bake a batch or two of scones, could supply some jam or know an older person who would really value an invitation - please do let us know.
Break the Rules Day
We want to raise some money to fund giving each child a memento of the Platinum Jubilee. To do this we are going to have a 'Break The Rules' Day. This was run very successfully at our sister school South Tawton Primary a couple of weeks ago. Children were reminded of a list of five very important rules and then invited to 'break' them creatively. The rules included;
Celebrating the Earth 'Beltane' Event
Children have been busy making leafy headbands in preparation for the 'Celebrating the Earth' event next Thursday. The event will take place on O'er Hill on Thursday 12th May at 5:30. The organisers hope that children from the school will come along to join in the celebration of the coming of summer and of the power of nature and of new life. I am told there will be an 'Obby 'Oss and lots of fun. It would be lovely to see some of the children there with their beautiful leafy headbands. Of course, if your child has not made one at school (or if you think you can do better!) there's nothing at all to stop you making a headdress of foliage and blossom at home to wear along to the event.
Chagford Primary in the News
Did you catch our appearance in the Mid Devon Advertiser? We were delighted that a photographer from the paper was able to come along and help us create memories of our brilliant day with Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve last week. They possibly didn't need a picture of Mr Finch but it's a shame to quibble.
Sarah McIntyre 'Patron of Reading' Visit
On Wednesday, author and illustrator Sarah McIntyre spent the day at the school in the first of her visits as our new Patron of Reading. Sarah brought her friend and co-author Philip Reeve along for the ride and together they gave us a very special day.
In the morning Sarah and Philip ran a special assembly for all of Key Stage Two - they told us all about how they work together and how their books get made, they performed the start of their newest book for us, they taught us how to draw Kevin - the roly-poly flying pony - and together we made and played a brilliant 'Great Race' board game. The hall was full of engagement, interest and bookish fun.
For Key Stage One Sarah ran another assembly where she focussed on the character of 'Grumpycorn' - she taught the children how to draw the character and and helped them to make him their own by tweaking him to their own interests - there were some great, great pictures and we had so much fun.
Sarah visited the Foundation Unit and read the children her book 'Dinosaur Firefighters' which went down a storm then the children helped Sarah to do some amazing drawings of the dinosaur characters from the book - they gave her suggestions of funny things to add to the pictures and it was lovely to see their ideas coming to life on the paper. The children were fascinated and lots of them wanted to spend the rest of the day drawing and talking about the visit.
Sarah and Philip visited every class and were happy to spend time chatting to every child and signing books and bits of paper everywhere they went.
Huge thanks to Sarah and Philip for their time and energy and to Chagword for funding this project.
A group of our keenest readers got together with Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve to interview them for the newsletter. This is what they said...
Chagford Primary Reporters: How did you start making books with Philip Reeve?
Sarah McIntyre: We met at a book festival in Scotland and we made friends. I told him I was trying to put a new drawing on my website every day, as a challenge to myself, and he decided to start doing the same. I was very impressed by his landscape drawings of Dartmoor and the way he drew its interesting twisty trees. After many months of comparing our drawings, he invited my husband and me to see these twisty trees in real life and we stayed with him. After awhile, we decided that it would be fun to do a book together and came up with Oliver and the Seawigs.
Chagford Primary Reporters: When you were writing your books how did you get your ideas?
Sarah McIntyre: When I did Grumpycorn I couldn’t think of an idea for a book so I did a story about a unicorn who couldn’t think of a story! That was easy.
An editor asked me to do a story that had dinosaurs and police in it as her child really liked Dinosaurs and the police, so I did a book called Dinosaur Police!
Chagford Primary Reporters: When you create a series like the Kevin books, how do you come up with lots of different characters for the different books?
Sarah McIntyre: We based Kevin on a painting that Philip had painted years ago. We knew he needed a human friend so we invented Max and Daisy. Then we wanted to make it a little bit spooky so we introduced some characters that were a little bit spooky and interesting based on lots of different characters we’d met in different books and people we know.
Chagford Primary Reporters: Did you make a story map and plan stories before you start writing them?
Sarah McIntyre: For the stories we do together, Philip makes up the stories mostly by just starting to write and finding out what happens.
Philip Reeve: I don’t really plan it much – I start writing and make it up as I go along. Sometimes you have to go back and change things to make it look like you knew what was going on on from the start!
Chagford Primary Reporters: What characters are fun to write? What bits of books do you like doing?
Sarah McIntyre: I really enjoy writing all the fun little characters - I like doing Beyonce and Neville, the guinea pig characters in the Kevin books. I really enjoy making the big spreads with no words on them, like the end papers in the Grumpycorn books. I love collecting fabrics and I based those spreads on that.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
We are beyond excited and delighted that preparation for our whole school production o A Midsummer Night's Dream are now firmly underway under the watchful eye of our director Lydia Frater. The children have been having an absolute ball and it has been a pleasure to see it happening. The parts for the main characters will be cast next week and rehearsals will get underway in earnest. We are just SO EXCITED to share this with you all. Huge thanks to Crispin and to Ben who have been the moving force behind this project.
‘Music for a Midsummer’s Dream’ Concert
We are thrilled to announce a very special concert, ‘Music for a Midsummer’s Dream’, taking place in the church on Saturday 21stMay at 7.30pm. Two highly acclaimed musicians, the professional pianist Rupert Egerton-Smith and local cellist Amye Farrell (see below for more information) will treat us to an evening of music guaranteed to enchant, playing Rachmaninov Sonata in G Minor for cello and piano, Beethoven Sonata in A Major for cello, Chopin Ballade No. 3 in A flat Major and Scarlatti Sonatas for piano k96 and k27.
All proceeds will go towards funding Chagford CE Primary School’s ambitious summer production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play has been specially adapted and re-written for our school by acclaimed playwright Crispin Whittell and is being directed by experienced director Lydia Frater. It is a wonderful and unique opportunity for our children, every one of whom will have the chance to take part. Anything remaining will go to the School’s Art Fund which supports and encourages a variety of artistic and musical opportunities for the children.
Tickets are £10 to include a glass of wine and are available to buy in Sally’s Newsagent or reply to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to purchase online.
Celebration of the Earth – Beltane May 12th
On 12th May, we are holding our monthly event following on from COP26. This month’s theme is Beltane, or the Welcoming in of Spring. We are having a couple of people dressed up as an Obby Oss and Jack In The Green, and there will be music and singing and some dancing at O’er Hill (where we had the Wassailing event) from 17:30 that afternoon. We hope to get families and their children involved in this and to have a wonderful time together celebrating our wonderful world and the fun we can have together in it.
Unite and unite, and let us all unite
For summer is a-comin today.
And whither we are going we all will unite,
In the merry morning of may!
Celebration of the Earth – Bees (June)
This celebration is all about bees, the beautiful mystery of their lives and communication and the wonderful work they do for us all by pollinating so many of the plants we rely on for our food, our fabrics, our oxygen and the beauty of our world. We are thinking of creating some sort of hive right here at school that the children go go into to feel bee-ish. What fun! If you are a bee afficionado, why not get in touch and see if we could get you involved.
Unbelievably, this break marks the end of my first year as Principal at Chagford Primary. I have to say a big thank you to everyone who has welcomed me, supported me and helped the school along this leg of the journey. There are far too many people to mention by name but the kindness and welcome shown to me by the staff, the community and, most of all, by the pupils of the school is genuinely moving.
It has been a challenging year for sure - the pandemic has forced us to make a lot of difficult decisions and there's always something surprising around the corner when you're trying to run a school. I hope that parents and carers can see just how hard staff are working and that5 while, of course, we can't get every decision right for everyone, we really are trying to do our best for the children in our care and for the community we serve.
There is so much to look forward to after Easter - there's our Midsummer Night's Dream production, trips galore, swimming, sports fixtures, a concert... we can't wait to take this next step with you alongside us - 'Let us spur each other on to love and good works' Hebrews 10:24.
Easter Hat Parade
It was a delight to see so may of the children arriving at the school in their Easter Hats. The rain may have dampened the hats a little but we kept our spirits high. Thank you to parents who came along to support and enjoy the occasion. The rendition of 'Spring Chicken' may not have been exactly as it was in the past but the children loved singing it and that put a big smile on my face. if you have any more photos you are happy to share, do email them to me and I shall add them to the slideshow. Lots of prizes were distributed in assembly in the afternoon - I wish I could have given a prize to every single child but alas my money doesn't stretch that far. Well done and thank you to each and every one of you.
We have lots of after school clubs running and more starting after Easter. Currently children are participating in multi skills sports, Samba, Netball, chess, football and lego robotics. Aft5er Easter we will be adding a dance club. Perhaps you'd like to run a club. Talk to us and we will try to make that possible. Could yo run a book club, nature club, gardening club, coding club, craft club...? Have you got an idea for a club you'd like to run that we haven't thought of? If so, get in touch and we'll see if we can make it happen.
A Message from the Governors
On behalf of the Three Hares governors, I would like to wish all pupils, their families and all staff a Happy Easter, and to say a huge thank you for all your hard work and support during what has been another tough term.
I would also like to welcome our new governors, Liz Davidson a parent governor who has a daughter at South Tawton, Lucy Dennis a staff governor from South Tawton and Wes Frewin a staff governor from Chagford. We also welcome back Ben Morris who had been on sabbatical so he could concentrate on the COVID vaccination programme. Unfortunately, we have to say goodbye to Mark Neave, one of our foundation governors, who is moving to a new parish. It’s been another busy term for governors, and I thank you all for your hard work and support too.
There are still some vacancies for governors, so if you are interested or know someone in the community who may be please contact me at email@example.com. We would particularly welcome someone from the North Tawton community, as both Jo Ware and Lee Pascoe stepped down as governors last term.
We are hopeful that next term we will be able to come into school more so we can see all the wonderful things that are happening in our schools and to meet up with pupils, parents and staff to hear their thoughts about the schools. We also hope to join in with community events. So please keep an eye out for us. Next term we will have our details posted on the school websites so hopefully that will help in recognising us! We are also going to set up a governor blog so you can see what we have been doing for the schools.
Chair of Three Hares Governors
Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve visit
Don't forget that our new Patron of Reading, Sarah McIntyre and her friend and colleague Philip Reeve will be visiting us on the first Wednesday after we get back from the Easter break. It's going to be a really great day. As well as everything else they'll be doing. Sarah and Philip will be happy to sign copies of their books. We did send out a form to allow you to pre-order books for your children earlier this week but only a few people have taken advantage of it. Tucker in Astor's Books or any other local bookshops will be very happy to sell you copies of Sarah and Philips books prior to the event so that your child can have their own copy of a book signed by the author and illustrator - this can be a real incentive to build a love of reading so we really do encourage you to buy a book to get signed.
Children in pre-school, reception and Year One might be best served with a copy of Dinosaur Police or Grumpycorn. In Year Two and Three I would suggest one of the 'Kevin' books about the fat flying Dartmoor pony that Sarah and Philip create together. For Year Four 'Philips 'Goblins' might be a good choice. For Five and Six I'd recommend 'Utterly Dark' - Philips newest book, or, for more confident readers, his 'Mortal Engines' series. Sarah and Philip are really high quality, award winning authors,. I'm very proud to have them visiting the school and I know a signed book would be a really powerful way to make the day more effective for your child.
Year Two Staffing
We are very sad to be saying goodbye to Ana Quieroz. Ana joined out team as class teacher for Year two a few weeks ago but due to a change in her personal circumstances she is unable to continue in the role. We have enjoyed her time with us and we wish her all the very best for her future. Audra Fitzgerald who has taught the Year two children for some extended periods in the last few months is returning and will take the class through to the summer break.
Easter Bunny Paw Trail - 9th April to 24th April
Find the twenty eight bunnies hidden around Chagford and claim a prize. Buy a trail sheet for £1 from Beachwood Bakery, The Birdcage, Blacks Deli or Sally's Newsagents.
Postcard form Brazil
Ollie and Eva have been in Brazil visiting their family for the last couple of weeks. They wanted to send a postcard back to their classes at Chagford Primary. With their mum's permission we wanted to share it with you - what a lovely photo of the two of them and what an amazing setting! Ollie and Eva said;
Hello everyone at School,
We are having a wonderful time with our family in Brazil. We went to see the Iguaçu Falls, one of the natural wonders of the World. It was amazing and beautiful!
We hope you are having fun and have a very Happy Easter.
Love Ollie and Eva.
Easter Swimming Crash Courses
Learn to swim over the Easter Break. Take a four day crash course and improve your swimming and water skills. Only £24 for four days of lessons. Classes available in Okehampton and Tavistock.
a very short newsletter this week as I'm afraid we are all just about ready to drop but I couldn't let Friday go past without taking a few moments to fill you in on what has been going on and saying 'thank you' to the people who have kept us running.
As you will know I was off with covid for ten days through last week and a bit of the week before. I came back to school on Monday and it was lovely to be welcomed back by pupils, parents and staff. My first 'thank you's have to be to the wonderful staff at the school kept the school running while I was away. I don't know when I last felt so ill and I wasn't able to play any part in keeping the school on its feet. Thank you and well done to all the staff but especially to Mrs Armstrong who did a magnificent job in my absence.
Over the course of this last week we have lost quite a number of staff to covid and to other illness and this has taken us down to a skeleton crew. To be absolutely honest with you, there have been times this week when we were minutes away from closing the school to classes. We know that this is extremely difficult for families and we have done everything we can possibly do to stay open. We have managed that this week and we hope the children have continued to have a good time and to do some good learning. This has put a great deal of pressure on teachers who have missed the time they would usually have for planning, preparation and assessment and has meant that I have been in class throughout the week. Normally we would be able to employ supply teachers to cover for absence but for the last few months this has proved close to impossible - there just aren't enough supply teachers in the system to cover the numbers of missing staff and the vast majority have now accepted contracts in schools so there are very few 'floating' supply teachers left available.
If you have called to speak to me or have not had a response to an email I do apologise - my time has been entirely spent in the classroom or trying to organise cover for isolating teachers.
I think that things should be a little easier next week - we've had no new infections for a couple of days now and those who tested positive early last week should be coming back in to school over the course of the first few days of the week. While it remains possible that we might have to ask one or more classes of children to learn from home as the secondary schools have been doing, we are optimistic that this will not be the case. And, of course, we hope that the two week break over Easter will play the part of a firebreak and reduce infection rates further.
Patron of Reading
We are looking forward enormously to the first visit from our new Patron of reading, Sarah McIntyre, who starts in her role after the Easter break. Sarah is the author and illustrator of many great picture books such as Grumpycorn, The New Neighbours, Jampires, Dinosaur Firefighters and many, many more. She also works with author Philip Reeve to create books together - many of the children will know their 'Kevin the Fat Flying Pony' series which is set on Dartmoor. Sarah and Philip will be visiting us at Chagford Primary on soon after we get back from our Easter break, they will be leading assemblies, working with children, visiting classes and hopefully boosting our children's awareness of what exactly it is that authors and illustrators do and boosting the love of stories, books and reading in the school. We will give you all a chance to order a book from Astor's bookshop so children can have them signed by Sarah and Philip.
Farming our Moorland
What a fabulous week of sunshine we have had and it looks set to continue into the weekend so I hope that you all get a chance to get out and enjoy it.
It has been an unusual week with our Mr Finch and a couple of other staff unwell. Everyone has pulled together and we have managed to get through the week with minimal disruption.
Our temporary need to keep the children more spaced out from one another seems to have worked (helped by the good weather) and Covid cases seem to have stabilised so we are hoping that we won't see another spike. We don't want to keep children apart from one another any longer that is necessary. I'm sure that we are all wishing the poorly members of our school a speedy recovery and are looking forward to seeing them back with us.
The children have all coped extremely well with our test week this week and we are seeing some super progress so well done all.
Last Monday saw the third of our Cross Country competitions. Despite the disappointment of some of our team falling foul of illness, the children put in a sterling effort with the year 4s, in particular, achieving some noteworthy placings.
Lastly, to all you mothers and special carers out there........we hope that you are well and truly pampered this Sunday. You deserve it.
See you class blog for specifics of what they have been up to.
What a joy to end the week with some beautiful Spring sunshine. This has meant that the school field has been drier and the children have been able to enjoy the green space for their playtimes - long may this continue.
Red Nose Day
It has been lovely to see everyone looking comfy in their 'happy' clothes today and even more rewarding to think that in donating we are making others happy too. (Donations are all cashless via 'Just Giving' if you still wish to add to the total)
Water, water everywhere?
KS 2 have also had an interesting morning with workshops from Sophie from South West Water. In particular, the children have thought about how they can save water in and around the home so please ask them for their ideas and solutions.
Representatives from years 5 and 6 went to a hockey tournament in Tavistock on Tuesday. They represented the school really well and managed to win in their pool which was a worthy achievement after only a little practice together.
Bake sale for Ukraine
Huge thanks to everyone who helped to make last Friday's bake sale such a success whether that was through baking such delicious cakes, breads and biscuits or by buying them to eat! I have to say that last weekend was quite calorific but super tasty. The love and support for Ukraine was overwhelming - nothing less than we have come to expect and appreciate of our super community.
Please look up your child's class blog to find out what they've been up to this week and what is in store for the week ahead.
Best wishes to you all. Enjoy the sunshine.
Do come along to our PTFA meeting on Monday 21st March at 3;30 to hear about what the group have been getting up to, what they're trying to acheive, what they are planning for the future and how you can get involved. They a a brilliant group of people and its a lovely way to get properly connected up in the school community.
Children are welcome, there will be supervision and activities available.
Chagford World Book Day
What a great day we had! I have so many highlights that I don't think there will be room for all of them. First - a slideshow of the amazing costumes that made us all smile so much. I loved the mix of old and new - Bunny Versus Monkey made a great group project for some Year Six pupils., I loved to see Asterix and Obelix - old favourites from my childhood. The gaggle of Spidermen (Spidermans?) made me smile as did the one Superman and his cheeky smile. Some of the costumes were proper construction projects - massive well done to The Iron Man, Dogman, and the Roman Centurion (from another of my childhood favourites 'The Eagle of the Ninth') in particular on that front. Our parade gave everyone a chance to see the brilliant creativity of the costumes - a brilliant Chagford tradition to add to the list. Do have look at some of the glorious costumes on display in this slideshow.
The Staff dressed up too of course - the main reason anyone applies for a job in school is so they can dress up for World book day.
We all love the costumes but the real magic of World Book Day is spending a good amount of time really getting into the love of reading. There was a great deal of brilliant work going on around the school as teachers found creative ways to engage pupils with books and the love of reading. It was lovely to see.
And, of course, the icing on the cake was the brilliant pop-up shop from The Bookery in Crediton who had very cleverly curated a selection of books with something for everyone. Most children went home clutching a book and for those who didn't a very generous member of the school community bought us 'one of each' so we can have all the books available to read in school. A thousand thanks for this very kind gift. I'm having fun choosing which one to read first myself! All these books come with the highest possible seal of approval.
We had a sad farewell to say on Friday. The wonderful Ms Fitzgerald has been working with us for a few weeks teaching in Beech Class while Miss Coleman has been away. Miss Coleman is back in and full of energy now which is great news but we were sad to say goodbye to Ms Fitzgerald. The children said goodbye in assembly with cards and gifts. We were moved to learn that parents had clubbed togaether for a git too - Ms Fitzgerald is very well loved and we hope to see again before too long.
Following the success and enjoyment of the last 3 years events, Run 4 Rosie will be happening again this year. Back in its original format at The Clubhouse in Chagford.
The event was set up in memory of local Chagfordian Rosie Webber. Rosie sadly passed away in September 2018, just 3 months after her Lung Cancer diagnosis.
In honour of Rosie we want to raise funds to support those suffering with this illness as well as their families and support the vital research the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation are doing to help in the early detection of this awful disease.
Find out more about their research projects here: https://www.roycastle.org/research/current-research-projects/
We hugely appreciate all donations. If you would like to donate and sponsor our runners please do so on our justgiving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kate-webber7
Sunflowers for Ukraine
Thanks to everyone who brought cakes and/or bought cakes at our bake sale for Ukraine on Friday. Together we raised £233.29 which will go to the Disaster and Emergencies Commission appeal for Ukraine.
If you are thinking of giving to help out in this awful awful situation do take a little time to consider how you can give in a way which is responsible, transparent and effective. This excellent article from the 'A Mighty Girl' website is really useful (the whole website is pretty awesome actually.
The Do's and Don'ts of Helping Ukrainian Refugees: How to Make Sure Your Donation Matters
Our next project to raise money for the appeal is our 'Sunflowers for Ukraine' project. You'll see the gardening group have already started preparing a space for our sunflower field at the front of the school - by summer we hope it will be a glorious riot of yellow and gold with a band of blue provided by cornflowers. We will be selling sunflower seeds to raise some money and asking children to grow them on at home until they are big and hairy enough to be slug proof - they will then bring them back to school to be planted up. We will think a way of honouring this together as a community. Do feel free to palnt up as many sunflowers as you can, whether you've bought the seeds from us or from elsewhere. We would like to see the school absolutely popping with sunflowers in the summer.
Call for pallets
Does anyone in the community have links to anyone who could help us out with some big pallets? We have a few projects we would like to put together that require pallets - either whole or stripped down. We'd like to build some pallet dens to add interest to the children's play and we want to strip some down to create stands for 'tuff trays'. If you know anyone who could help, do put them in touch.
'Artis' - project
A few weeks ago, Chagford resident Alice Parkin invited Chagford Primary School to be park of an exciting pilot project for 'Artis' the company she works with bring the arts and creativity into all areas of the school curriculum. Classes can explore science, literacy and humanities thorugh creative and expressive activities facilitated by qualified practitioners live online. The first of these workshop sessions have happened now and the teachers have been raving about the quality of the interaction. Check out the website for Artis here. This photo is from Year Three's science workshop - thanks to Alice and the Artis for having us a s part of this project.