Well, that was a fun, exciting, tiring and brilliant first week at Chagford Primary School. What an amazing welcome from the staff, pupils and families - I feel very grateful indeed and very humbled to be accepted into this very special community.
I've seen some lovely things as I've looked around the site - children showing real kindness to each other, pride in each others achievements, good sportsmanship, a unique cheeky sense of humour... I could go on.
There's a huge amount to be proud of at Chagford and a huge amount to look forward to as well. Cricket coaching will start again very soon - thanks to Andy from the cricket club. (Please see the attached flyers re cricket. Both All Stars and Dynamos are currently fully booked, but they are taking names and placing them on a waiting list.) We're looking forward to swimming lessons restarting after half term - after a long forced hibernation it feels like the mighty creature we call a school is starting to move and flex its muscles again. I'll be in school tomorrow morning with some community members to take care of some jobs to try and make this place a safer and better for our children to learn and grow.
What makes me proudest of all is seeing a learner trying hard to learn something new, not giving up when it's tough, sticking at it and making progress. I don't mind if that's a child in the Foundation Unit working out how best to fill a plastic brick with dirt, a Year Four child improving their handwriting or one of my colleagues working out the best way to teach a tricky point in Maths. It's the hard work, the resilience and the sticktoitiveness that I find beautiful and moving.
I'd love to hear your stories and see your photographs of when your children learn a new thing or make a breakthrough - taking a catch on the cricket pitch, getting their next belt in karate, mastering a new chord on the guitar, riding the bike without stabilisers. Do share those stories and let me celebrate them in assembly and in my newsletters. It's the hard work we care about - nothing worth very much ever came easy.
And I'll tell you a secret - when I see those children really working to master something new and modelling resilience, it makes me more determined to do that myself. To be a better friend and a better dad. To be a better headteacher for all the brilliant children of Chagford Primary and for the community around the school.
Have a wonderful weekend good people. I'm looking forward to a rest and then to next week and to all the weeks after. We are off on a most wonderful journey together.
Best wishes, Mr Finch
Dear Chagford Families and Staff,
John Roberts has worked with local businesses to produce an eggciting Easter Trail. The children all have a copy of the sheet. Look out for letters displayed in Chagford shop windows and see if you can spell out the special word. Older ones can complete the crossword too. I yoke you have an eggselent time (Ok, I’ll stop the puns now!)
Covid Risk Assessments
We are not allowed to change our school risk assessments yet. This means after Easter we need to continue with maintaining our class bubbles in school and on the playground. Unfortunately, this means we are not yet able to have our extra-curricular clubs. Mr Finch will let you know as soon as we are able to resume these. However, our Saints sports coach Mr Strong, is running sessions on Monday and Craig is continuing Y6 football on Fridays.
If you wish to book in for Saints on a Monday am or pm, please follow the links.
Breakfast Club (Gymnastics); https://saints-southwest.class4kids.co.uk/info/671
After School Club (Football); https://saints-southwest.class4kids.co.uk/info/694
If you wish to contact Craig, please email or call Mrs Lawson in the school office for his details.
Your Views Matter
The Foundation for Education Development (FED) is dedicated to promoting a long-term vision and plan for education in England, and is launching their National Consultation Report at the end of April 2021. More information is available on their website here. As part of this consultation report the FED have launched a short survey which we would like to encourage staff, parents, and students to complete. Their plan is to capture '100,000 Voices' in the next 3 weeks from across the education spectrum. Please see the message below:
Do you want to help shape the future of our Education System? Please take 60 seconds to answer these simple questions and support The Foundation for Education Development https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/EducationSystem or go straight to our website Fed Education – Foundation for education development.
It’s a fond farewell from me.
I have been overwhelmed by the kindness that the Chagford community has shown me over the last 18 months, and particularly today. The staff and children arranged a special singing assembly outside, where I was presented with a tiara which I have enjoyed wearing all day! I have been inundated with so many beautiful gifts. You really have been incredibly generous. I have so many cards! I have not opened them yet as I want to enjoy reading them at home (and know I will shed some tears!)
But most importantly I leave Chagford with lots of very special memories. I have taught all KS2 classes and spent many sessions working in our KS1 and EYFS classes. I have done a gazillion break time and lunchtime duties and have been regularly visited in my office by children bringing me their work and sharing their news. I have so many funny stories and heart-warming moments to remember and hundreds of ‘lightbulb’ memories to treasure - the joy we experience when a child discovers something, is courageous to try something new or understands something for the first time. There are also memories which are so truly ‘Chagford’ - shooing sheep off the playground, meeting the ponies in the carpark, and clearing their dung off the paths!
We will all remember where we were during the 2020 – 21 pandemic. I am glad I was in such a caring community, with amazingly supportive leadership, and with such great staff who really worked hard to go out of their way to make the situation as bearable as possible.
I wish you all a Happy Easter and hope that while The Chagford Chicken song is ringing in your ears, and you are eating hot cross buns and chocolate eggs you pause for a moment to reflect on the great Christian message we have been learning about this term in school; kindness, of which you have shared with me, in abundance.
Thank you all.
With very best wishes,
Head of School