Newsletter 10th December
Carol Concert and Santa's Grotto
It was such a huge pleasure to see so many children, parents and carers at our outdoor carol concert on Thursday. We may have got a little damp but my word it raised the spirits. The teachers, led by our wonderful Mrs Armstrong, had been practicing the songs with their classes for the last few weeks meaning that every corridor I walked down was filled with Little Donkey or some other Christmas classic. The work certainly paid off and I was really impressed with the children, especially considering the conditions. We intend to record and share the Year Six children's poetry reading - they did an amazing job but it was hard to hear over the sound of rain pattering on anoraks and we really want you to be able to hear them.
Thank you to everyone who came along. Next year we hope we'll be able to host you all in the hall but, if we can't, I'll be happy to sing with you all outside again.
Huge Huge thanks to Lotte's mum Phillipa who did an exceptional job or organising a fun and very covid secure Santa's Grotto as part of the late night shopping event on Thursday. It filled my heart with happiness to see so many families queuing up the road for a little bit of Santa's time and a big slice of Christmas magic. Phillipa has been organising this for, I think, six years and she more than outdid herself this year. I saw a lot of happy little people clutching cuddly reindeer and the parents seemed to have been more or less undaunted by the lenghty wait - it seems santa was up for a bit of a chat with everyone who came through. Thanks to each and every person involved in this lovely endeavour - Philippa, the elves, even good old santa himself.
Celebration of the Earth
Following the COP26 meeting in Glasgow the church here in Chagford has started hosting 'Celebrating the Earth' events for the whole community - not just for regular churchgoers but for anyone who would like to take part in a contemplative celebration of our shared home. The first of these took place in early December, celebrating Winter Trees. One of our Year 3 pupils took centre-stage, processing up the aisle behind the Yule log, and presenting the yule to the audience. This took courage and confidence, and we are extremely proud of her for not faltering, even when her mischievous headdress decided to fall off mid-sentence!
Do look out for more of these events - we hope, as members of the community and as a school to be more involved with them as we go on.
At the time of writing we have no confirmed cases of covid in the school but do have one pupil awaiting the results of a PCR test. We will of course let you know straight away if that test does come back positive. WE are alos aware of a number of positive cases in and around the wider community so we are not in any way complacent. In line with the raised level of cases in Devon and in line with government guidance we have taken a few steps to increase our covid security at school.
Sadly, for the time being, we have had to cut down on visitors to the school. We are not allowing people into school unless they already work here or have a very strong need to be in the building. This means that just in the very short term we are not able to allow parent volunteers in the building. We wonder if there might be a way to involve reading volunteers online. Our colleague Miss Robertson has been teaching individuals and small groups on line for a few weeks now and it has been hugely effective. If you would be interested in piloting this and we have processed your DBS do please get in touch.
We are now insisting that adults in the school wear face coverings in all communal areas such as the foyer, corridors, hall and staffroom. We do not ask children to wear face coverings.
For teachers having close face to face interactions with children we are strongly advising the use of a visor to protect both parties.
Staff take two lateral flow tests each week - most choose to take these on Sunday and Wednesday. Colleagues who work across schools - such as Miss Jordan our brilliant French teacher and people in leadership positions across the trust are taking daily tests to ensure they don't carry the virus between school settings.
While we do not expect another lockdown as we had last year and the year before we have to accept that it is at least a possibility that children may be learning from home again at some point in 2022. To ensure we don't miss a beat if individual children, classes or even the whole school is asked to learn from home we would like to try and make sure that every child has access to their google classroom account. We will be communicating on this next week but it would be immensely helpful if you could work together with your child to make sure they have access to their username and password and attempt to log in over the weekend. We will be able to reset passwords where necessary and to confirm accounts for pupils who have started at the school since the last lockdown.
Just to reiterate, we aren't expecting another lockdown and we don't have access to any special information on this but, should anything happene to necessitate learning from home again, we would like to be ready to go - not on the back foot!
There are just a few days left to enter the Chagford School PTFA Grand Christmas Raffle! Thank you to those that have already bought tickets, the draw takes place on Wednesday 15th at 8pm.
Be in it for the chance to win some brilliant prizes:
Chagstock 2022 weekend family ticket
One night in a luxury handcrafted Shepherd’s Hut
Two Bridges cream tea for two
Hill and Coombe 4kg organic beef box
The Dartmoor Shepherd hot water bottle cover
Load of seasoned barn stored logs
Fat Mouse Diary £30 voucher
Folklore £20 Voucher
Dartmoor’s Daughter £20 voucher
Black’s Delicatessen Goodie Bag
Plus prizes from Uptown, Bay Brows and Beauty, Bloom Hairdressers, Fare of the Field flowers, Chagford, Made by Morwenna, Chagford Pharmacy, Chloe Brooks-Warner Jewellery and more!
Thank you so much to our incredibly generous donors.
Tickets are only £1 each, simply follow the link to Rafall.
Please share far and wide! Thank you for your support, all funds raised go directly to supporting our local School and enriching the Children's experiences and education.
Carol Singing Christmas Eve
If you enjoyed the Christmas carol concert on Thursday evening you really must make an absolute appointment to come along to the carol singing at the church on Christmas Eve at six p.m. The event will be held outside to ensure it can be covid secure. It would be wonderful to see a good contingent from the school there. The Reverend Paul assures us that there will be a joyful and inclusive vibe and a good mix of carols for all tastes. What a lovely way to make Christmas Eve special and to take a little time out of the day to celebrate with the community and reflect on some of the universal messages of Christmas.
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