Year Four enjoyed a beautiful walk organised by Mr Frewin and Magnus' mum River walk. I have heard all about it from the children. They wandered through meadows, spotted wildlife, caught salmon, painted watercolours, paddled in the river and so much more. I could hardly be more jealous! As a church school we often think about how we can make sure we are teaching the 'whole child' - enabling them to live 'life in all its fulness and John 10:10 puts it. Days like that Year Four River walk really exemplify the sort of education that we want our children to have - at peace with themselves, in harmony with the people around them and connected to the wide, wide world around and beyond them. Lovely!
Year One and two had a visit to the church. They learnbed so much and , by all accounts, had the most terrific time. Mrs Robertson was positively glowing when she filled me in on the day. Well done children and a big thank you to the people involved in the church who gave us such a warm welcome and such an interesting introduction.
Year Six had a taster day at Okehampton College yesterday. I cannot wait to hear how it all went.
Kael has been in school again today running our Woodland School provision. I've jsut popped out to check on our Year Fours and Sixes having ntheir time out in the copse and found them busily creating bird traps of all things - poor birds!
Fantastic Mr Fox
Our production of Fantastic Mr Fox hits the stage in the amphitheatre next week.
We have performances on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons as well as on Friday evening. Tickets remain for all afternoon performances. It's best to buy tickets online via the link Buy tickets.
As I communicated last week, these performances will be goling ahead despite the strike action by the NEU. Colleagues within the union at Chagford Primary feel strongly that they would wish to support that action however, they feel even more strongly that we want our pupils to have the opportunity to perform thier show to parents, carers and the wider community - we have invested too much time, energy and money to throw that away. We want to thank colleagues in the NEU for this decision which we know will have been a very hard one.
Lydia has communicated with parents about costume and what time children need to be back at school for the evening performance. If you haven't recieved this information, please contact Elaine who will be able to make sure you know everything you need to know.
Call out for Cakes and Bakes from the PTFA
Dear Parents and Carers,
The PTFA will be selling refreshments at the performances and the Summer Fayre next week.
We are asking for donations of cakes or other baked goods to be sold at the Friday performances (7th July) and the Summer Fayre (8th July).
If you are able to donate any baked goods please take to the school office by 1pm on Friday 7th July.
Many thanks in advance.
The PTFA Committee
Have you heard about Lumi Nova? It's a new therapeutic mobile game to help 7-12 year olds learn to self-manage their fears and worries.Lumi Nova: Tales of Courage provides a fun, safe and engaging way for children and young people to tackle their worries head on so they can build resilience, gain confidence and thrive.
Congratulations to our colleague James Green who has won an 'Inspiring Educator Award' from his supply agency. Luke from Supply Register came into school on Wednesday to present the award in assembly. We had managed to keep this a secret and Mr Green had his socks blown off. What a lovely surprise! James will continue to work with us next year I am pleased to say. He is a much loved colleague.
Year Four had a brilliant time on their watersports days on Thursday and Friday. I am hoping to share some photographs of this in next week's newsletter.
Well done to Year SIx for sucessfully passing their Bikeablity course this week. It was lovely to see them diligently and carefully learning to handle their bikes according the rules of the road. The instructor was very pelased with their behaviour and attitude. What great ambassadors for our school.
Well done and thank you to every child (and every parent and carer) who was involved in the Celebrating the Earth event with Brian Froud - the faery invasion looked like huge, huge fun. if anyone has still photos they would like to share, we would loive to see them.
Today was Rainbow Day - the day when we make sure we take time to remind ourselves that everyone is different, everyone is special and everyone is welcome in our school.
We loved seeing the children coming into school in clothes that expressed something special about themselves - we had bright colours, strips of favourite teams, clothes that reminded us of favourite characters and clothes that were just plain fun.
In assembly, Year Three presented the story of Nen and The Lonely Fisherman - reminding us that you can be friends with anyone - and that difference is nothing to be afraid of. They did a great job - well done Oak Class and well done Mr Newland.
In the afternoon we headed up to the park to have fun together in the heart of our community. We are proud to belong to Chagford and we hope Chagford is proud of us.
Thank you to everyone who helped to make the event a success. Thank you to Claire-Shauna Saunders for these lovely photos of the community picnic.
Fantastic Mr Fox
Parents will be aware that the NEU announced dates for strike action by members which coincide with the performance days fro our production and that, on previous strike days the school has been partially closed.
Teachers who are members of the NEU have been forced to make a very difficult decision. They nwant to support their union and to oppose the government's real terms cuts in funding for schools which are causing so much damage to the sector and to the provision that our young people can receive. At the same time they do not want our pupils to miss out on the opportunity to perform for their parents and carers.
After discusion, colleagues have decided that they will not take strike action on those days and will work as usual so that the performances can go ahead as planned. As such, the school will be open as usual to all pupils on that day.
We hope parents and carers will understand that the position of the teachers has not changed. They remian in opposition to government policy and reject the unfunded pay proposal that would have put intolerable strain on every school's budget and which would result in redundancies. However, they do not want to waste the investment of time, commitment and money that has gone into this produiction. We cannot wait for you to see it.
It would mean a very great deal to colleagues if you would find a way to signal your appreciation of this very hard decision.
Tickedts are still available for performances of Fantastic Mr Fox on July 5th, 6th and 7th. Do book online here. Buy tickets
There is a second workshop to create costumes and props tomorrow from 10:00 till 1:30. Do come along for all or part of that time to help Lydia, Phillipa and the team work thier magic.
Read to a Dog
Okehampton Library are starting new 'Read to a Dog' sessions with 'Rafa' on Monday 17th July, to help and encourage children and teenagers to read. Rafa has been assessed by and is registered with Pets as Therapy (PAT)
Why Read to a Dog? – Dogs are amazing listeners, they are non-judgemental, give unconditional acceptance, help increase relaxation and lower blood pressure, do not criticise, allow children to proceed at their own pace, provide confidence and a sense of comfort and security.
Which children will benefit from reading to a Library Dog? All children can benefit from this activity and are welcome, however, it is particularly beneficial to those children who find reading challenging, are worried about reading aloud in front of others or lack self-confidence and self esteem.
Research undertaken in America, where there are many dogs (known as the READ dogs) who help children with reading, has proved that children who read to these dogs show an increase in reading levels, word recognition, a higher desire to read and write, and an increase in intra and interpersonal skills among the children they mix with.
What happens during a Doggy Tales session at Okehampton Library?
Each reading session lasts up to 15 minutes, depending on the age and ability of the child. The session consists of the library dog (Rafa), his owner, the child (the reader) and their parent/carer. The session will take part in a quiet corner of the library and there will be some comfy cushions for the child to use and settle down to read.
If you would like to find out more, please speak to a member of staff at Okehampton Library on 01837 52805 or email: email@example.com. Booking is essential.
Next Friday is our Rainbow Day. We will be celebrating the uniqueness of every child. I like to say - "We are all special, we are all unique, we are all welcome in our school." That means that irregardless of faith, race, gender, who we love, who we want to be, whether we ahave lots of money or not so much, whether we find learning easy or hard - we are all valued equally in our school community.
We'd love to celebrate that with you - do come to our 'Rainbow Picnic in the Park' at 2:00 p.m. on Friday if you are free.
At this time of ytear, as we prepare for Rainbow Day, we like to take just a little time to think about the nine characteristics protected under the equalities act of 2010 - that just sharpens our understanding of what we mean by equality and diversity. We will be using picturebooks in assembly to give children a really gentle and age appropriate introduction to each of the protected characteristics. You are very welcome to pop into school and have a look at these books which are displayed on the book selection at the front of school.
Dartmoor Cup Cricket Competition
Well done to the cricketing pupils who travelled to Simmonds park in Okehampton to represent us in the Dartmoor Cup against schools from all over the moor. We sent two teams to the competition who represented us beautifully both on and off the pitch. One team got through their pool but lost in the semi-final. The other team ended up as runners up after losing a nail biter to a very strong team indeed. Not bad at all. I love that our children can compete with such enthusiasm without ever losing their cool or their manners. They make me very proud.
Wildlife Champions Conference
Our brilliant Wildlife Champions were rewarded for their work this year with a whole day of activties at Meeth Quarry near Hatherleigh. The Champions take care of our environment here at Chagford Primary School - litter picking, looking after the composting, creating and caring for the new pond.
The Wildlife Champions COnference, organised by Devon Wildlife Trust, brought them together with their counterparts from Lydford, Boasley Cross, Bradford, North tawton, South Tawton, Okehampton Primary and Exbourne - all schools from Dartmoor Multi Academy= Trust.
The children got to search for insects, pond dip for invertenrates, learn about moorland plants and find out about the creatures that live in the deeps of the ocean. It was a VERY hot day and the sun was fierce but we had an ace time. The children were a delight to be with.
I have never before had a minibus of children spontaneously break into The Chain by Fleetwood Mac before - that was a first.
Well done Champs and thank you to Devon Wildlife Trust for a brilliant day.
Stakeholder Consultation Process Summary
Over the course of the consultation period and process, staff, parents and carers have posed a number of questions to understand the process and decision-making more fully. Please follow this link to find a summary of the process and also responses to a range of questions posed by stakeholders for openness and transparency.
Thank you all for your support, as well as challenge, and for ensuring that we continue to improve and serve your children
Trust Leader and CEO
Summer Fayre July 8th
Don't forget to keep July 8th free for the PTFA Summer Fayre. The PTFA are plannign all sorts of great things. If you'd be interested in helpi9ng out - either setting up, helping on a stall, clearing up afterwards or in any other way, do have a word with Zoe Francis who will be glad to hear from you!
After a difficult few weeks we are very happy indeed to hear that the pool is open again.
Do make full use of the pool - I'm very aware that they have weeks of income to make up for. The team have been working hard to get the pool open again after dealing with a set of circumstances entirely beyond their control. They deserve huge thanks for the enormous effort they have put in to get this resource open for the community. We are very happy that our pupils will start their swimming lessons on Tuesday of next week - 20th June.
Fantastic Mr Fox - Workshops
A reminder that we have workshops to create props and costume for Fantiastic Mr Fox tomorrow - Saturday 17th June and the following Saturday 24th June. Come along to help make the show as fantastic as it can be. We will start work about 10:30 and work through to about 1:30. Do join us if you can.
Rehearsals for Fantastic Mr Fox are hotting up and several of the songs are now becoming even firmer ear worms than last year's 'This Is The Chagford Show'. It's going to be terrific. Tickets on sale very soon. I believe that Lydia has already been in touch regarding workshop days for costume and scene prep. If anyone has a good strimmer and/or hedge trimmer they will be especially welcome - the amphitheatre is badly in need of its annual haircut.
Year Three were away at Meeth Quarry today enjoying their watersports day. I hear that it was just glorious. Both Mr Newland and Mrs Armstrong were absolutely beaming when I spoke to them after school - the children had had an immense time and were an enormous credit to themselves, to their families and to the school. I expect they'll be exhausted this evening but it will have been be worth it. Photos as soon as I have them I promise.
☕️ ☕️ 🍰 🍰 A message and update from us all at the Pantry.
As from the 5th June we shall be having a once a week session in church, every Monday from 10 til 12 with the FULL PANTRY.
Please know, you will be VERY welcome. There’ll be coffee and cake too if you fancy a cuppa.
Please let us know if this is a difficult pick up time for you and we could make alternative arrangements…
The school pantry will continue still,in the term times. ☕️ ☕️ 🍰 🍰
Rainbow Day - Friday 23rd June
Friday 23rd June is our Trust Rainbow Day. We are encouraging our children to wear their favourite colours to celebrate. This is an opportunity for us to reflect upon our similarities and differences so that all of our children learn to understand that there are people in the community and wider world with characteristics similar and different to their own. It is a day celebrating respect and inclusion.
We call it Rainbow Day as the rainbow is a Christian symbol of God’s love for us all. The rainbow flag is steeped in history from a symbol of maritime peace, the cooperative movement, LGBT equality and more recently, support for the NHS. The colours of the rainbow are different but come together to make something beautiful. This year will be especially important to many of us as we remember our colleague, Suzie Stevens, headteacher at St James Primary School in Okehampton who started the Rainbow Day tradition at that school and who we lost earlier this year.
We will be asking children to think about equality and when people may be treated unfavourably. We anticipate they will think about people with different physical abilities, cultures, religions and families. We are careful to talk in an age appropriate way and give children space to explore questions and develop their own thinking.
We will start the day with an assembly led by Year Three, after that classes will take a day off maths, phonics and other 'normal' curriculum areas to work together looking at brillaint books that promote inclusion and respect. In the afternoon we will parade to the Jubilee Park where we we have a beautiful, colourful picnic. Children will be given a tasty snack and a drink and there will be some fun and games as well as a moment of reflection. Families are very welcome to join us from 2:00 p.m. to enjoy this with us. Zoe Francis is, I believe, looking for volunteers who will help to make this possible - do give her a shout if this would be something that would speak to you.
Photo Day 16th June
Please note that next Friday, 16th June, will be our Class Photographs Day. The etam of professionals will be in to try and capture your child and their class at their very best so if we can have the cleanest t-shirts and jumpers ever and the smartest of haircuts ready to roll we'll give you a lovely photo to treasure forever!
Typing this will probably curse it, but here goes. It has very warm and sunny this week and maybe that will continue. We strongly advise you to slip, slap, slop. Slip on a light longer sleeved t-shirt or dress that really covers shoulder and uper arms, slap on a hat of some sort (named inside as those do go a'wandering), and slop on plenty of suncream. School staff cannot apply sunscreen but we are very happy to encourage children to do it themselves if you want to supply them with their own spray bottle.
Sports Day this year will be on Wednesday 19th July. The children will particpate in a carousel of activities culminating in some races. As always, the empahsis is on fun and participation but, nonetheless, the house cup will be hotly contested. Parents and carers will be welcome to join us for the afternoon session to watch the culmination of the events and any of them who feels up to it will be more than welcome to join in the relevant mums and dads (male carers and female carers) races. Year SIx parents won't want to miss the legendary Year Six Spectacular. Mrs Armstrong will be putting out a call for supersoakers for that special event before long I suspect.
We had a special assembly on Wednesday from some of the Horticultural Society Comittee Members who organise the children's section at the Show. They hoped to encourage as many young people as possible to take part in the competitions. There are lots and lots of classes for children and young people in the show and it's all about inclusion. There's everything from arrnaging flowers in a decorated welly boot to making a model animal out of vegetables. Your child should have brought a letter with all the classes on it home on wednesday. If they did not, just let us know and we will sort out a spare.