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.
Welcome back again for the half term that we teachers imaginatively call 'Spring Two'. It's now light when I drive to work and the road through Drewsteignton and past Castle Drogo is fringed with daffodils and snowdrops. That puts a smile on my face.
It's been very exciting to open a new class and to see the Year Two pupils learning all together in Yew Class with our new teacher Ms Quieroz. It's early days of course but they seem to be settling in very well and while I know their 'old' teachers are much missed I know this will prove to be the right move for the children's learning in the long run. In the short term the extra space in those rooms has instantly made both Year One and Year Two feel a great deal calmer which has helped a good number of the pupils to feel more settled. I'm sure this will continue as the change becomes more familiar.
Sunflowers for Ukraine
Many of our pupils have asked if we can do something for the many thousands of people who have fled the war in Ukraine. For children who may be anxious as a result of what they have seen on the news or heard grown ups talking about, one of the kindest things we can do is give them a sense of agency. A sense that they can actually do something, however small, to help with the worrying issue.
After discussing this with children we would like to do things.
We would like to run a bake sale after school next Friday. Families a re invited to bake biscuits, cakes or savouries and drop them off at the school office through the day on Friday. We will run the sale at the end of the school day. If the weather is kind this will be at the front of the school - if the weather is unkind we will run it in the hall with as many doors and windows open as we can muster.
Next we would like to sell small packets of sunflowers, we think for a donation of a pound and invite children to sow and grow on sunflowers at home. When the sunflowers are big and strong enough to plant our we will ask children to bring their best specimen back in to school and will will create a glorious field of sunflowers at the front of the school. All money from the sale of the sunflower seeds and from the bake sale will go to the DEC fund for Ukraine. Children will be taught that sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine and that their glorious colour reminds us that there is hope even in the darkest places.
Job Vacancies in Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust
Would you like to be a colleague of us within the Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust? There are now seventeen schools within the trust with two more joining soon and a wide variety of schools from tiny village schools with just a handful of pupils to large secondaries. There are jobs available at Trust level too. If you're eager for a change or just interested why not take a look?
Vacancies - Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust (dartmoormat.org.uk)
World Book Day
A reminder that Chagford's own World Book Day is on Thursday 10th March.
#Children are welcome to come to school dressed as a character from a book or as an author. We know that some children do not enjoy dressing up (my own son didn't like it at all as a younger child) so there is no pressure on children to dress up if they don't want to.
We will start the day with a fun bookish assembly and then classes will be involved in lots of activities through the day which will encourage a love of reading and books.
Each class will have a chance to visit the pop up book shop organised by our friends from The Bookery in Crediton. The team will introduce the children to an exciting set of age appropriate books that they may not have come across before and then the children will have a chance to browse and buy a book. Books are all priced at six pounds so much cheaper than they will be in the shops. The Bookery are also selling two books for ten pounds. Money should come into school in a sealed, named envelope and be given to the class teacher for safe keeping at the start of the day. Any parents who are nervous about their child's ability to hold on to their money for long enough to get it to the teacher are welcome to drop it off at reception. If you are able to give us exact money of six or ten pounds we can avoid children losing change!
An extraordinarily generous member of the community has offered to buy the school a copy each of all the books that The Bookery brings for us to see so children can be assured that if there's a book they really want to read but they can't buy it, it will, at least, be available to read in school.
Midsummer night's Dream Fundraiser Concert - May 21st
On Midsummer Night in June this year Chagford Primary School will be putting on their most ambitious ever performance. A whole school adaptation of William Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. This is going to be a big job and it's going to cost a bit more than we are likely to recoup in ticket sales so various people are working on fundraising to make sure it can go ahead.
We would like to invite you to attend a concert performed by Amye Farrell & Rupert Egerton-Smith at St Michael’s to raise money for the production. This will be a great night with beautiful music, a chance to mingle with friends an, of course, an opportunity to make sure this brilliant project can go ahead. Rumours are abounding that Mr Finch will give us his acclaimed rendition of 'I know a bank where the wild thyme grows' we are unable to confirm or deny these rumours at this time.
Chagford and the Environment - A Community Conversation
On Saturday March 19th, Chagford Parish Council is hosting a community conversation on what we can do to preserve and protect the beautiful natural environment in and around Chagford. The children have been asked to think about what matters to them and some of the children have been creating poems, drawings and paintings that will be on display during the event and afterwards in the Church. Our very own Benji B will be joining Rev. Paul and other Chagford residents in a live conversation on the day. The event runs from 10-12 in Jubilee Hall, go down early on the way to Run for Rosie - the children race off at 11am - and have your say, all views are welcome! All details on the flyer below.