Newsletter 30th September
The Strolling Mummers
We were very happy to host a visit from The Strolling Mummers this morning - they performed last night at the church as part of the Celebrating The Earth programme of events and came into school to entertain the children.
The Strolling Mummers are walking a long route through Devon and Cornwall performing each day in a different village or town and accepting the hospitality of local people to be fed, watered and given space to put their tents up. Our Chagford based friend Howard is part of the group so it was especially right to welcome them to the school. They explained that doing this project puts them in touch with the kindness and generosity of the people we live amongst and that this feels heartening and healing in these difficult times.
Mumming is an old English tradition. Amateur actors play rambunctious versions of folk stories with lots of physical humour, silly jokes and songs. Mummers often tour around pubs and bigger houses at Christmas time. It was lovely to see this version of the old tradition.
The story that our Mummers told was the old tale of St George, the dragon, Saladin and, of course, the Doctor of Physik. The show was enjoyed very much by the children, about half of whom ended up on stage as horses to help pull St George's tooth out. We sang to the Mummers at the end of the show to say 'thank you' to them. Two children got so carried away that they decided to join The Strolling Mummers and go off on their travels with them. I hope we see them again...
What a happy day.
Kyan String Quartet
Year Three and Four had a visit from the Kyan String Quartet today, a group of young musicians from the Royal Academy of Music who are involved with a project at the Okehampton Music Centre. The quartet introduced the children to their various instruments and to the music of various composers such as Haydn and Benjamin Britten.
The Quartet had a lot of fun with the children. They invited birthday girl, Ellie, to come to the front and conduct them as they played 'Happy Birthday to You'. They also played a fascinating game where they played the melody of popular theme tunes all on one note so that we had the rhythm without the melody - the children found this really hard but lots of them recognised the theme tune from 'Wallace and Gromit'!
Huge thanks to the Two Moors Festival for organising this and to Devon and Torbay Music Centre for funding it.
The Railway Children Return at the Jubillee Hall tomorrow - Saturday at 10:30. A really enjoyable film for all the family. Note: this is the recently released film set long after the story of the original film. Jenny Agutter reprises her role but with a new cast of children and a new adventure set in the Second World War.
Halloween Disco - the PTFA will be inviting us all to a spooky themed early evening disco on 4th November. Look out for more details soon.
Reading Open Morning - join us next Thursday 6th October for a reading open morning. Join Mr Finch in the hall for a quick welcome then make your way to your child's class to join in a fun reading lesson. See what the classrooms are like and see how things have changed - and haven't - since you were a child! You might even get an idea for how to talk about reading with your child.
Parent Carer Forum
Join us at 6:00 p.m. 13th October to have your say on the school and your child's experience. We will be looking at the school's values and how we live them out for the children and the community. Challenge us to set our sights higher and support us to deliver for every child.
Brass Lessons at Chagford Primary
On Thursday we had a fun demonstration from our new brass teacher Harry Napier. Harry offers lessons on Trumpet, tenor horn and - if pushed - trombone. Harry is also a cellist and double bassist and he showed off his range palying lots of interesting and varied pieces of music. Mr Finch was moved to hear Bach's Cello Suite No 1 in G minor played so beautifully in the hall as the children processed out of assembly. Thank you Harry.
t was great to welcome to Harry to the school. If any children are interested in learning a brass instrument have a word with Elaine in reception and she can put you in touch with Harry to make arrangements.
Always a depressing one this. A couple of parents have let me know that their children have had worms. Typical ways of spotting this are that the child has a very itchy bottom - especially at night - or has what looks like pices of white thread in their poo. Worms can pass from child to child if the children aren't being very thorough in their handwashing. We do our best to remind them of this but it won't hurt for you to back the message up at home.
Worms are easily and effectively treatable so there's no need to worry - just get it sorted as it's uncomfortable and embarrassing for the child while it lasts. Have a word with a pharmacist and they will help out.
There's more information about worms from the NHS website here.
OCRA Half Term Activities
No sooner back to school and we're out for Half Term Holidays! Our activity programme is online and booking now. Sport & Art returns Tuesday and Thursday. Don't forget Breakfast Club, Afternoon Club and All Day tickets.
With only three days of Activity Camps, be sure to book early for your favourites.
We start with Athletics and Mini Athletics,on Monday 28th with a Halllowe'en twist to Create & Craft in the afternoon.
Wednesday 28th sees the return of Fencing with metal an archery with sharps.
Cyclo-cross runs (pedals!) alongside an extended Football Camp following Mini Football on Friday 28th. and Mini Dance, and the return of Archery with sharps.
Check out the full listing at ocrasport.org.uk/holidays and book now to avoid disappointment for the rest of the programme.
Book online now
If you have any queries, please contact email@example.com.
*For GDPR reasons, we're again asking parents to complete a paper registration form on the day of each activity.
Design a Christmas Card for Mel Stride MP
Dear Mr Finch ,Our MP Mel Stride writes;
I am pleased to announce that I will be holding another of my annual Christmas card competitions this year.
I am asking primary school children in Central Devon to design a festive card inspired by their own interpretation of the Christmas celebration. The winning entry will be sent to well over a thousand constituents and fellow Members of the House of Commons and House of Lords.
This year, I will be sending out an electronic Christmas card. There will be one winner and two runners-up. The winner will have their Christmas design shown as the image upon opening the e-card and will also receive a small prize. The runners-up will also have their designs included in the e-card. All three children will have their name, age, and school displayed under their design.
I very much hope that your school will be able to take part. If time cannot be found to complete this in class, please do encourage children to have a go at home. Entries should be received at firstname.lastname@example.org, or my Westminster office at the above address, no later than Friday 4th November. Submissions will preferably be in an electronic format (or if a physical card sized at 190mm x 130mm) and be accompanied by the name, age, and school of the artist responsible.
If you have any questions, please do let me know. I look forward to receiving your designs.
With best wishes,
Newsletter 23rd September
Chagford Pantry Logo Competition
Our friends at Chagford Pantry have asked if the children of Chagford and the surrounding area could help them to design the logo for the new service.
Starting very soon, Chagford Pantry will be a community food share and serve service with outlets up at St Michaels and at the school. You'll be able to drop off food which you have a glut of, pick up other peoples excess and essentials and work together to make the way we use food as a community more sustainable and less wateful.
The logo will appear on notices, signs and commuinications so it needs to be bold. I woul suggest using only one or two colours. The logo needs to speak of community, food and love. The winning design will be used for all the pantry business. The winner will recieve a prize and may be asked to officially open the pantry when it is officially launched.
Make your diesign on white paper so it can easily be scanned, mark it with your name and hand it to Elaine in the office. The deadline is Friday 30th September - that's Friday next week.
Parent/Carer Forum - 13th October
Mr Finch and the Local Stakeholding Board will be running a live, in person Parent Carer Forum after school hours on Thursday 13th October. We will make this late enough that people can attend after work. We will asking for your input on various aspects of the school, focussing particularly on the school's vision - Community, Challenge, Care - we will be trying to find out how well we have commuinicated our vision for the school, what it means to you, how you can challenge us to make that work better and how you can support us to make our vision really shine in the community. We will make this a fun, interesting and interactive evening. Do please mark that evening in your diary and find a way to come along so as many voices as possible can be heard.
Three Hares Local Stakeholder Board
Liz Davidson & I (Mel Holyoak) would like to introduce ourselves to you all, as we have taken over as (Co) Chair of the Local Stakeholder Board (the governing body) from Emma Neath. The role of the LSB has changed over the last few years, and we thought it would be useful to you as parents and carers to know a bit about us as individuals, and the purpose of our role. Our intention is not to overwhelm you with information, but each week, we will aim to add to the school’s newsletter, introducing ourselves, the lead roles and what we’ve been up to (that will be of interest to you!).
This week, it’s introducing me & Liz. So a bit about me:
I’m a parent at Chagford School, and have lived in Chagford for the last 16 years. I have been a governor since 2019, and am also involved with the 1st Moretonhampstead Scout Group (as Treasurer), the local Parish Church Council, Chagford Sanctuary (our Homes for Ukraine support group) and Chagford’s monthly Celebration of the Earth events. You may recall our children dressed up as bees last term and sang a couple of joyful songs at St Michael’s! So, one of those people, with a genuine interest in linking and supporting the community in as many ways as possible. I also love running, so am often out and about exploring the moors, and trying not to get lost.
Liz says: “I'm a parent at South Tawton School and have lived in Okehampton for the past four years. I am also Co-Chair of the Parent Teacher Association at South Tawton School. Having taught in primary schools for almost 15 years, I really enjoy being involved in school life! It is always so inspiring to see young people learn and grow. Given how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place I spend as much time as possible with my family on the beach or exploring the countryside.”
The role of the LSB is to act as the link between the Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust (DMAT), the parents & the community, and part of that means representing the interest of the community within the Trust, and representing the school in its community,. Liz & I are particularly keen to develop the community links in each of our three schools, and enhance parental engagement and communication. We hope that this weekly update is one way to make us more accessible to you - please do feel free to contact us – our details are below.
Next week, we will tell you about the Lead Roles within the LSB, and introduce someone else to you!
In the meantime, we sincerely hope that your children have enjoyed being back at school and that they are looking forward to the year ahead.
Mel & Liz email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
PTFA Annual General Meeting
Please join us next Tuesday, 27th September, for the Chagford School PTFA AGM at 3.40pm at School. Children are welcome to come with you if they are happy to play quietly.
There will be a brief overview of the things we achieved last year but we will mostly be looking to the future! There are many ways to be involved in the PTFA. It’s a great opportunity to get involved and help shape the way the PTFA supports the children at Chagford Primary.
You should have also received a PTFA survey. It would be really helpful if you could take the time to have a look and return it to School by Monday 26th.
The Best Small Film Festival In The World
The Chagford film festival 2022 will run from Monday September 26th to Saturday 1st October with an extraoridnary programme of movies that really does have something for everyone. Do check out the programme online here.The organisers know that times are ahrd and there can be flexibility in pricing for anyone struggling to make the books balance. Please just ask.
Do you know of someone in need?
With fuel bills rising and the cost of living increasing we know that many people will be finding times tough. This is just as true for working families as it is for the unemployed. If you are worried about making ends meet do speak to someone. There is a hardship fund called the 'Joyce Stroey memorial Fund' which has money to hlep. You can speak to Mr Finch at school, the Vicar, Paul, or Mel Holyoak any of whom will be happy to listen and try to connect you to some support. If you know of a friend or family member who is struggling but who you think might not think to ask for help please have a word and direct them our way. This money is there to be used - it doesn't do anyone much good sitting in the bank.
Attendance and Punctuality
Attendance this week was at 96.85% - that's not terrible but I'm never really happy unless I see it above 97% - I will officially celebrate next week if I can tick over that boundary.
Can I remind everyone that school starts at 8:50 a.m. when the bell is rung for the school to line up. We would really like to see everyone there ready for that time. The register closes a little after nine and after that time children are judged to be late. Joining class late means starting the day in a fluster having missed the morning work which is almost always practice and embedding previous learning - it really does make a difference and, in my experience, most children really hate walking into class late. We do our best to make sure they feel welcomed and never put on the spot but even so it isn't the right way for them to start their day. I'm hoping we can see a movement to more children arriving on the playground on time for a quick chat with friends and a bit of a play before the bell is rung and the day starts - I do think it will pay off in good spirits and a calm and orderly start to the day. I would really value your help with this.
Ed Finch (Principal)
'The Queen's Wreath' Assembly
It was just lovely to welcome parents and carers into the school for our Friday Celebration Assembly this week. As well as seeing the children recieve thier certificates for their various acheivements they got to see Year Six perform 'The Sea' by James Reeves and to take part in a short celebration of the life of Queen Elizabeth II. The children had practiced a song 'Homeward Bound' which they performed very beautifully and each child had decorated a leaf to add to a wreath for the queen. I hope that parents who attended enjoyed the assembly we have a celebration assembly every friday at three p.m. and parents and careres are always welcome to join us for it.
French trip for Year 6 Pupils
We are delighted to announce the details of our Year 6 residential next year to Normandy in France. We have secured funding to take all Year 6 pupils from Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust Primary Schools in the summer term. Following a rigorous and competitive application process, Mrs Jordan (Trust French Lead) and Mrs Underwood (Trust Executive Principal) received the news that all travel, accommodation and visit costs for 230 pupils and 50 staff will be covered by the government’s Turing Scheme funding.
Year 6 pupils will deepen their knowledge of History, RE, Art and PSHE through a range of inspirational visits including; the Bayeux tapestry, Mont St Michel, the D-Day landing beaches and the magnificent new British Normandy Memorial. Pupils will of course also further develop their confidence to speak French through a shopping challenge at a market, as well as visits to partner schools in Normandy. This residential will also enable Year 6 pupils across the Trust to unite and develop friendships in preparation for secondary school.
The Turing Scheme is the UK’s global programme offering opportunities in education and training across the world and enabling pupils to develop new skills and gain international experience. This year, the Turing Scheme received 513 applications, a significant increase on last year. Whilst most applications from universities were successful, Dartmoor MAT was one of only 4 schools in the South West which was awarded a grant through this highly competitive application process.
There are meetings planned for Y6 parents and pupils in all schools this half term. If parents are unable to make the date and time of the meeting at Chagford, please let us know as you may be able to join a meeting at another school. We will be meeting at Chagford at 5:30 on Thursday 22nd September.
Patron of Reading - Sarah McIntyre
We had a second visit from our Patron of reading on Wednesday this week. Funded by the Chagword Book Festival, to whom we givce great thanks, Sarah came to school and gave the children a great day. During her time with us, Sarah gave assemblies ofr Key Stage One and Key Stage Two - the Older children leanred how she makes her comics like 'Vern and Lettuce' and 'The New Neighbours' - they made their own stories about two guinea pig characters based on the characters Neveille and Beyonce from her books about Kenvin the Roly Poly Flying Pony. Key Stage one learned to draw some of the dinosaur characters from he book 'Dinosaur Police' and had geat fun imagining adventures for them. These assemblies kept the children engaged, entertianed and busy for a thoughtful, creative hour. They were great.
In the afternoon Sarah spent time with our Year SIx pupils teching them how to have a 'comic jam' with a friend. They had a terrific time and made up some very funny stories. Sarah's manner with the children is just great, they all feel seen and all participate and get involved, it's lovely to see.
Somehow Sarah also managed to fit in a visit to EYFS who astonsihed us by wanting to sit on the caroet for not one but two stories. Given that this was only their fifth day in recpetion class or pre4school this was a eal testament to Sarah and to teh children.
At the end of the day Sarah signed books for children, Tucker from Astors books provided stack of books to buy and Chloe Brookls-Warner was kind enough to run the book stall. A huge thank you to Tucker, Chloe and Sarah for making that possible.
A very quick thank you to John Bint who once again welcomed our new year sixes to the bell tower at ST Michael the Archangel and taught them how to ring. In the past many children from the school have gone on to become regualr ringers at the church so I'm hopeful that some of this year's crop will choose to get involved too. It's agreat passtime that is also a service to the community and John is a great teacher. Our Year Sixes were absolute credits to themselves, to their families and to the school.. They made their teacher very proud.
September 09th, 2022
We express our deepest sympathies for the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Her dedication to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and to her other realms and territories is unparalleled and we thank her for her service.
Our school/trust will observe the mourning period whilst continuing to support our pupils, families and staff. Unless otherwise stated, please assume any scheduled activities and events we have scheduled will continue as planned. We will observe the national holiday for Her Majesty’s funeral, which means schools will be closed that day, but outside of this, school hours will continue as normal.
Our school will be keeping pupils informed of news about these events as part of assemblies and class activities. If you think your child may be experiencing particular upset due to the passing of the Queen, please do let us know so we can provide additional support if needed.
It is expected that there will be significant disruption across the UK, particularly in London, during this period, therefore we will endeavor to keep you up to date should there be any further changes. Should there be anything further we can support you with, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Thank you for your understanding.
Patron of Reading Visit
Our Patron of Reading, Sarah McIntyre, will be visiting the school on Wednesday 14th September. She will be leading assemblies, working with classes and spening time with the children so they can get to know a real life author. Children can bring one of her books to have signed and, at the end of the day there will be a bookstall at the front of the school selling her books so do come along to buy a book and get it signed if you would like to.