It's wonderful to see the children growing in happiness and confidence as the year wears on.
A child bounced up to me at the gate to show the comic he had made with such pride that it made me very grateful indeed to do the job I do.
I see children become excellent writers. A child doing equations using fractions that not only could I not have done at his age but which I'm not sure I could do now. I see children loving their PE lessons - there's been some amazing gymnastics going on - and children fascinated by their science.
One special pleasure this week has been listening to the practicing for the Christmas Concert next week. 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' is sounding just wonderful thanks to the care of the children and Mrs Armstrong's brilliant work. Another particular joy was Christmas Jumper Day on Wednesday - we loved the children's pleasure and pride in their decidedly individual choices of festive overgarments. Happy days and happy memories. Thank you to everyone who took part and for all those donations for the Christmas Fayre's Tombola.
We have our Collective Worship together every afternoon and it's wonderful to see that culture and practice becoming ever more deeply embedded. We were fortunate this week to have a visit from James Forshall from Romilly's Foundation to speak to us about the small charity he runs, named after his daughter who died sadly early, which helps to offer education to street children in Sub-Saharan Africa. We love to have visitors and speakers so if you'd like to visit or have something to say which would interest the children do get in touch. We want children to understand that our community of learners goes way beyond the school gates out into the world. If your child was moved by the assembly and you'd like to learn more, you can find the charity website here.
We look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible to our Christmas Fayre tomorrow.
This is being hosted by the PTFA in the school hall between 2-4pm.
The Fayre is open to the general public as well as people from the school so please spread the word!
There will be a lot of different things to do from making decorations, carol singing, refreshments, a raffle and tombola, and much more.
Please note we are only able to accept cash.
As this event is being held out of school hours, we politely ask that all children are supervised by a responsible adult and that children are not permitted to be anywhere else in the school other than in the hall for the Fayre.
We look forward to seeing you all there.
The PTFA Committee
Mel Stride MP visits Chagford Primary
We were pleased to welcome our MP, Mel Stride, to Chagford Primary today. He toured the school and took an interest in every area from Early Years to Key Stage Two. It was an excellent opportunity to talk to the children about how a parliamentary democracy works and what the job of an MP is. I think that, as adults, sometimes we have a habit of overestimating how much children understand about the world of politics - it was great to have a meaningful opportunity to talk to them about how the system works, how MPs are elected and how not everyone gets what they want. We modelled an election in assembly and thought about how people whose favourite candidates don't get to win might feel but how we can all respect the fairness of the system.
Mr Stride was interested to hear all about the strengths and challenges of our school and we were able to explain some things that would really make a difference. He promised he would try to help if we got in touch to follow these up.
Mel met with a group of children from Years Five and Six who got to ask him questions about what he does. The children showed themselves and the school off really well - they must have been nervous but they didn't let it show.
Poppy and Benji B asked Mr Stride about the best and worst aspects of being an MP - he said the best bit was knowing that, in your job, you can make a difference- even if only a little difference to people's lives. He said the worst bit was that sometimes people aren't very kind to MPs.
Benji C asked him if he had always wanted to be an MP. He said that actually he had done lots of things before he thought of it but that he had always been interested in politics and that when he was about 48, he had decided that he wanted to be active politically and that was where it had started for him.
Ellawyn asked Mr Stride if if he got to spend much time in Devon or if he had to spend all his time in Westminster to which he replied that because it takes such a long time to get from his home in Devon to Central London it just isn't possible to commute and he does spend most of the time in London but that he made sure that whenever Parliament isn't in session, he spends as much time as he can in the constituency.
Jess asked Mr Stride about how she could become an MP and he explained a bit about how elections work.
Finally, Max asked Mr Stride how people could get in touch with their MPs if they wanted to ask a question or ask for help - he said that if you just google 'Who is my MP?' and put in your postcode you can find his email address and the phone number for his office.
Perhaps we should encourage the children to write to him with their thoughts and concerns.
Scouts' Christmas Post
Many of you will know that several of our Chagford children are part of the 1st Moretonhampstead Scout Group, either as Cubs or Scouts. This year, the Group is running a Scout Christmas postal service in Moreton and Chagford, and nearby villages, raising money for two charities: St Jerome Centre, a children’s home in Kenya (stjeromecentre.org.uk) and Force, Exeter’s cancer charity (forcecancercharity.co.uk). Read on to find out how it works and where will the Scouts will be delivering…
The delivery areas will be: Moretonhampstead, Doccombe, North Bovey, Manaton and Chagford. Please don’t post cards addressed to other areas and please don’t post cards for the Scout Post in the Royal Mail post boxes. Please note, you do NOT need a stamp!
Where can I post my cards? In Chagford, Blacks and the school have kindly agreed to host the postboxes. (Of course, If any other business is keen to volunteer then please get in touch!) The postbox in Blacks is just inside the door on the left, and the box at school is in the main reception.
How much does it cost and how do I pay? It costs 35p per card (or you can post three for £1. Just put your money in the Scout Box by the card collection box. If you don’t have any cash, but would like to use the service to support the Scouts’ fundraising efforts, please contact the Group Leader, Mike, or the Treasurer, Mel (yes, her again!) to make arrangements (contact details below).
When will the cards be delivered? They’ll be delivered in the week before Christmas. We are only doing one delivery round, so please don’t include invitations for events before Christmas!
Is it legal? Yes, as long as it’s only Christmas or New Year cards.
And - if it’s not too early – Happy ‘Preparing for Christmas’ from 1st Moretonhampstead Scouts.
Mike Collins, Group Scout Leader (email@example.com)
Mel Holyoak, Group Treasurer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Three Hares Local Stakeholder Board
With the lead-up to Christmas, we have been quite busy these last couple of weeks, but in a really wonderful and positive way. Our thanks to our three schools for inviting us in over a frantic period in the school year, so we can appreciate the fruits of the children and staff’s labour! I have just returned from North Tawton’s Carol Concert at the school which was utterly joyful! I absolutely loved the mix of music and singing, and particularly loved “Oh come all ye faithful” when they started the chorus quite loudly (when it’s meant to be quite quiet) and I was thinking “Goodness, how are they going to get any louder?” but sure enough, by the third repetition, they were raising the roof! One of the best parts of being a governor is seeing the children being themselves in a safe environment at school, and it was so clear to me how much the kids were enjoying themselves. David Spence, our new governor based in North Tawton, also attended and was able to see the school “in action” (as well as applauding his own children!).
Another great part of our role is being recognised by the children… Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited on the joint Chagford / North Tawton Year 6 school trip to the Energy for Waste plant in Devonport, Plymouth, so I spent all day with twelve of the Y6 North Tawton pupils. If you’re a parent of any of those children, I have to say what an absolute delight they were to hang out with. And it was even nicer to be recognised by them today at the school, as they called out to say “Hi!” to me.
In the meantime, all of our governors have attended the “Ringfenced Funding” training, which helps us to understand what additional monies the schools receive for Pupil Premium, Sports Premium etc, and how that is spent for the benefit of the children. We are booking meetings with the Principals and Sports Leads for each school early next term to monitor how those funds are being spent in each school, and the impact of those spends.
Liz has alo managed to visit South Tawton a couple of times, where she was impressed with the great progress Early Years have made with their reading using the Read Write Inc platform, and this was reinforced by one of the children telling her how happy they were that they could “read words now!”
We hope to see you at one of the school’s festive events – between us, we are hoping to get to as many as possible.
Mel & Liz
It was very cold today - especially in the morning - but we Dartmoor folk aren't easily put off and classes from Year One to Year Six enjoyed another session with Kael in a very frosty Woodland School area. Classes played 'Head Honcho' learned about tawny owls and made pcitues of their favourites parts of the site using materials they found within it. Thanks, as always to the PTFA who fund this for our children, to Kael for runnning the sessions and to Chloe-Brookes Warner who gives up her time to support Kael and to look after the fire. It is a beautiful thing to be able to offer our children and it's terrific to see the enjoyment and engagement that comes from it.
Dates for Your Diary
PTFA Christmas Fayre - Saturday 10th December 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Nativity Play - Wednesday 14th December 2:30 p.m.
Carol Concert - Thursday 15th December 5:00 p.m.
End of Term - Friday 16th December
First day of Spring Term - Wednesday 4th January