Another beautiful week here at Chagford Primary. A special shout out for the moon which has been as beautiful as I can ever remember seeing it. The early mornings just before we let the children onto the playground have been gorgeous with crispy, crunchy frozen grass and sunlight just starting to wash over the hills towards Castle Drogo. What a privilege to be here.
Year Two News
I wrote to parents of children in year two earlier today to let them know about an exciting new addition to the class structure and the staff team here at the school which will be coming into effect after half term. It's no secret that our Year two cohort has grown over the last few months and it is now at the size where we have enough pupils to employ another teacher and to split off Year Two from Year One making our school a true one form entry.
Of course this is an upheaval for the children which we would prefer not to have had to make them go through mid year. The Year twos will miss their Year One friends and vice versa, and those Year Two children who have been studying in Year Three have done incredibly well there gaining in confidence from the increased level of challenge and revelling in the Key Stage Two curriculum. We will be absolutely respectful to the children's feelings and do our best to manage a calm and orderly transition.
Our new staff membre is Ana Quieroz. Ana gave me a few words to introduce herself to you, this is what she said;
My name is Miss Queiroz and I'm really excited to be the new Year 2 teacher! I wanted to tell you a little bit about me before we meet in February. Teaching has always been a passion for me. My career in education began in Brazil, where I trained to teach science. In England, I worked as a TA and later as a teacher at different schools in Devon, where I supported children of all ages. Wherever I went, I did my best to foster an environment in which all pupils felt safe and confident to participate, make mistakes and learn from them.
In my spare time, I like playing with my two cats, taking long walks, reading and meeting up with friends. When the weather is good, I enjoy kayaking and gardening. I also love talking about Brazil, where I'm originally from and sharing interesting facts about my culture.
I look forward to meeting all of you and working together!
Thanks so much for welcoming me into your lovely school!
Helen Gilbert from Med Theatre joined us at school on Thursday to lead a workshop for Year Four. The class worked outside in the Forest School area to generate ideas then came back inside to write. They are invited to take part in a poetry competition looking for verse inspired by the beautiful Teign Valley.
The competition isn't just for children, there are categories for young people and adults too - why not have a look at the competition and see if you'd like to take part - just click here OUR RIVER - Med Theatre
Got something for the Newsletter?
A parent caught me after school today and gave me something to think about. She suggested running a competition for parents and carers to contribute something for the newsletter - the winner gets the glory of seeing their words in print and one of our much sought after 'Chagford Champion' certificates. I might even buy them a drink at the pub.
Of course that got me thinking - one of our key values at Chagford Primary is 'Community' and this newsletter could be a great way to reach out to other people in the community. If you'd like to write a piece for us that would be absolutely lovely - whether that's about an interest or a campaign, a poem or some nature writing - that would be great but it would also be fine if you'd like to give me details of a community event or group that would be fine too. Just email it to me firstname.lastname@example.org with 'Newsletter' in the subject line and, presuming it's appropriate, I will include it in the next letter.
The Ethos Group are a gathering of people who come together once every few weeks to help to set the direction for the school and help to devise actions which will help us to embed and express our values. We would love the group to be truly reflective of the diversity of our school community. That means we want people of different faiths and none, people with a range of philosophies and outlooks. If you have an interest in being involved do have a word with Mr Finch or drop him an email. We have some dates sorted out for the rest of the year and we'd love to welcome you to a meeting to see if you'd be interested in coming more regularly.
It is very important that children get seen by the dentist regularly. I know from my own experience how hard this has been during the pandemic and how backed up some of the dentists are. I am reasonably forgiving over appointments that really have to happen during school hours. I would say, however, that by far our preference is for dentist's appointments and other appointments such as opticians and so forth to happen out of lesson time so that children don't miss out on parts of a sequence of lessons. The example I like to give is of a series of lessons in which children will plan, draft, redraft and publish a story. If your child misses the lesson where the children plan out their story they may only have missed ten percent of the teaching but they will struggle to take part in the rest of the sequence. If our teachers a re doing their jobs well their teaching isn't a series of stand alone lessons but a journey through a cohesive whole. So, of course, if your child needs an appointment and there really isn't any time they can go, we are going to say 'yes' but if it's possible to make an appointment that doesn't disrupt their learning we would be grateful if you could take that instead.
We have a new display up in the little corridor outside the hall. For mysterious reasons we have started receiving postcards, letters and messages from some of the UKLs most interesting and talented writers. We've collected these together and now we have a whole board full of messages from our favourite novelists and poets. Have a look at this display and see if you or your children know any of them - they all come with the Mr Finch seal of quality. There's still space for a couple more authors so, if you can think of someone who ought to be up thre let us know, we can but ask!
The wonderful poet Dom Conlon sent us this poem from his book with Viv Schwartz 'This Rock That Rock - Poems Between You, Me and the Moon. It remembers a story from astronaut Charile Duke about a question and answer session with a group of children. They asked all the usual questions - what did you eat?, How did you go to the loo? What did it feel like? - until one child asked a very different question.
Did you meet my grandma on the Moon?
She was like roadside dust,
when I last saw her,
gathered upon the bed
as my family and I
saying our goodbyes
until the white winds changed
and she was gone,.
Did you meet her on the moon -
she'd have risen to greet you
lifted by the ancestors
who once held her as a baby
an she'd have looked at you
as she used to look at me
when I sat upon her knee
to tell her of the dreams I had
of becoming an athlete leaping
across continents or
a racing driver turning
the circle of this world in my hands -
but that was when she was here.
So did you meet my grandma on the Moon,
and did you tell her of your dreams?