On Tuesday of this week we worked together with Paul Martin of Devon Wildlife Trust to plant a new hedgerow alongside the fence by the amphitheatre. Every child in the school from EYFS to Year Six planted a tree so that's one hundred and fifty new trees in our grounds. We chose tree species that would directly benefit wildlife and bring beauty into the grounds- hazels for the nuts, elder for the berries, maple for the glorious autumn colour - and we avoided things with thorns so as to make sure we aren't risking too many scratches.
I like to invite the children to think about how the hedge will look when they are grown ups, and how it might look if they have children who come to Chagford Primary School some day. Perhaps their children will be able to pick elderberries and sit in the shade of a tree their parent planted. This new hedge and the new mural in the hall feel like real promises to the future of the school and to the community.
We were especially pleased with our team of Wildlife Champions who worked as runners throughout the day to fetch groups for their chance to plant a tree and who helped the younger children - superstars every one.
Huge thanks to Devon Wildlife Trust for facilitating this project.
Information for Parents/Carers-Attendance
We have recently updated our attendance procedures across Dartmoor Multi-Academy Trust. The link between a child’s attendance at school and improved outcomes and life chances is well documented. We want to help all children and young people to fulfil their potential and get the most out of their education.
In line with our policy and government expectations all schools have the following procedures:
· If a child’s attendance starts to drop the school will speak to the child/parent and discuss the reason for absence and any support needed.
· After 10 sessions of absence, you will receive a first attendance letter (there are 2 sessions in the school day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon).
· After 15 sessions of absence, you will receive a second attendance letter and you will be invited to have a meeting to discuss how we can best support your child to attend school more often. You will also be offered an Early Help meeting.
· If your child’s attendance does not improve you will receive a third attendance letter and the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) will be informed.
Of course, there will be unavoidable absences for illness or medical appointments, but we want to minimise these where possible. Pupils and families will not be penalised for legitimate non-attendance due to Covid 19.
No term time holidays will be authorised unless there are exceptional circumstances. Every day in school counts, even a small drop in attendance can lead to a child missing a significant part of their education.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with school at any time if you have any queries around attendance expectations and procedures.
It’s Not Ok—campaign
This week, the whole of our Trust have launched the, 'It's Not OK' campaign across all its schools to say no to all forms of sexual violence and sexual harassment. Children at St James have talked about different ways they are kept safe in school as well as the characteristics of positive relationships. We have revisited the NSPCC Pants Rule and are proud that our children know who they can talk to should they feel uncomfortable or unsafe at any time.
For further information about how you can keep your child safe, please visit underwear-rule-parents-guide-children-autism.pdf (nspcc.org.uk)
Changes to the self-isolation period for those who test positive for COVID-19From Monday 17 January, people who are self-isolating with COVID-19 will have the option to reduce their isolation period after 5 full days if they test negative with a lateral flow device (LFD) test on both day 5 and day 6 and they do not have a temperature. For example, if they test negative on the morning of day 5 and the morning of day 6, they can return to their education or childcare setting immediately on day 6.
The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day. All test results should be reported to NHS Test and Trace.
If the result of either of their tests is positive, they should continue to self-isolate until they get negative results from two LFD tests on consecutive days or until they have completed 10 full days of self-isolation, whichever is earliest.
Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests or anyone who continues to have a temperature will need to complete the full 10 day period of self-isolation.
Further information on self-isolation for those with COVID-19 is available.
This new advice has been added to the school's updated Risk Assessment which can be found here.
Dogs on the School Site
Huge thanks to everyone who has remembered that we are asking to keep all dogs off the school site. There are issues of hygiene - we want our children to be able to play freely on the site without the risk of coming across something that might make them sick or worse, we have issues of allergies and we have some children who are very scared of dogs and for whom it can compromise their feelings that school is a safe place. Thank you so much for you support and cooperation in this matter.