Newsletter 24th February
A busy, busy week here at Chagford Primary. We have just had the Friday celebration with the most ever parents and carers in the room to celebrate childrens acheivements with us. Cornelia played a piano piece she'd written herself, George amazed us with his beautiful, corruscating computer art, we heard about great learning in maths, beautiful writing, the children sang - what a lot of beautiful things!
Earlier in the week the children enjoyed a football tournaemnent run by OCRA (Okehampton Community and Recreation Association). It was a cold day but the tournament was very exciting and the children had a blast.
Spring flowers are popping up all over the site - some in the most unexpected places as a legacy from the layout of the old building. I don't remember as often as I should to say 'thank you' to the gardening team that gives our school a daily dose of wonder and beauty. Thank you gardeners - you don't know how much your work enriches all of us.
Next week I am expecially looking forward to our World Book Day celebration on Wednesday and Woodland School on Friday. I love Chagford Primary - there's always something to celebrate and be thankful for.
World Book Day - Wednesday 1st March
Chagford Primary will be celebrating World Book Day next Wednesday, 1st March. This is a day before the 'official' World Book Day as we have managed to organise a visit from The Bookery to help us make the day special.
On Wednesday, the children are invited to come to school dressed as a favourite character from a book, or in another way that chimes with the book day theme. Do see the message from Proper Job below. They know that World Book Day costumes can be an expense and a lot of work for busy parents and they are hosting a reuse and recycle facility to save families time and money.
During the day, classes will take part in a variety of activities designed to promote a love of books and reading. There will be a competition for the best 'book nooks' - book sized boxes that slot into the bookshelf amongst the books and contain a little diorama linked to a book.
In the afternoon, our friends from The Bookery will give a presentation of exciting newly-publshed books that the children might enjoy. The children will then be able to buy from this selection. Books are subsidised and much cheaper than they would be online or in the bookshop. Children can buy one book for £6 or two books for £10. Money should be brought into school in a named envelope. It is fine to bring £10 to be shared by two siblings but this must be marked very clearly on the envelope so that we don't inadvertently let one sibling choose two books and leave the other without.
We would love as many parents as possible to join us on the playground in the morning for a short parade, so we all get to see the great costumes.
Message From Proper Job - Don't Panic! - Reuse, Recycle and pass on fancy dress!
Dressing up for World Book Day has become something of a tradition over the years. For many children, getting to be someone else for the day is imaginative and fun. There can be lots of learning - thinking about book characters, what they look and act like, and getting creative. But how much unnecessary waste does this national tradition create?
We know that parents are increasingly under pressure to produce new ideas each year and it can cause stress and anxiety for many, therefore we have put together a rail of pre-loved items to help you to reuse, recycle make do and mend.
If you would like to share or pass on last year’s outfits, please donate them to the Resource Centre and we will try to pass them on to others to help save time resources and money!
#worldbookday #reducereuserecycle #makedoandmend #fancydress
The PTFA are holding a Bake Sale on Thursday 9th March straight after school.
This is to raise money for upcoming events.
We would be very grateful for donations of any baked goods. Please take these to the school office before 3.30pm on the 9th March and/or send your children in with some money to buy something delicious!
Woodland School Fundraiser
The children at Chagford School have been lucky enough to enjoy Woodland School sessions since last Autumn - donning their wellies come rain or shine (or minus 7 degree frosts!) and going into the school grounds to learn about all sorts of exciting things to do with our environment. The sessions have been funded by the PTFA but this is not sustainable and a longer-term funding solution is needed. Therefore we are turning to you, family and friends of Chagford School, to help keep this fantastic opportunity going for our kids.
Why do we think it is important?
Outside play is a key aspect of child development. Small children spend much of their time exploring, collecting, wandering, and questioning. When school starts for the child, their learning takes a different form, one that engages the more intellectual side. We believe that providing the opportunity for outdoor learning benefits the child’s development on all levels and provides a good balance.
Through the Woodland School, the children have the opportunity to develop a fascination and interest in plants, insects, animal life and natural processes of nature such as the weather/seasons. They learn some of the skills to work with natural substances in the old traditional way, building structures, using fire, and harvesting wild edibles.
Working together in teams, the children naturally develop good interpersonal team-working skills with communication an essential and natural part of this. The enthusiasm with which these activities are taken up by the children shows the effect that working within nature has on them, building upon their natural enthusiasm and encouraging new social interactions between classmates.
What is magic about engaging the children this way is that when back in the classroom, their levels of focus and concentration have improved. This is both through these activities working with nature and also from having time away from the busy-ness of the classroom. With their lungs full of fresh air, the children have been seen taking up their classroom work with a new focus and enjoyment.
The Woodland School provides an opportunity for hands-on activities to be adapted to suit all children, thus enabling every child to take part in honing both their gross and fine motor skills. As their skills grow, so too does their self-confidence. Their problem-solving skills are called upon within this highly practical environment.
£3,000 would allow the children from Reception to Year 6 to enjoy 3 sessions per half term for the next year as well as a little surplus for materials.
Any donation is so very much appreciated! Thank you!
Fundraiser by Katherine Grimshaw : Chagford Primary Woodland School (gofundme.com)
We have decided to move away from using the Accelerated Reader scheme to monitor and incentivise pupils' reading. The scheme has become more expensive and we are not absolutely convinced of the value for money. We have allowed our subscription to the scheme to lapse as families may have realised if they logged on to run pupil book quizzes.
We will, of course, continue to monitor children's reading. We will do this through close attention to children's reading ages and by continuing to prompt children to move gradually to more challenging books - while still promoting a love of reading and allowing children to build their own tastes in author and genre.
We know that very much the most productive thing that parents can do to support their child's learning, right across the curriculum, is to read with them for a few minutes as often as possible. This does not have to mean the child reading to the parent - it is just as important, maybe more so, for the adult to model good reading to the child. Read a bit, stop to predict what might happen next, talk about the characters (Who do you like? Who don't you like? Why?), how does the book make you feel? At home it's not the decoding of reading that we focus on - we can teach that effectively at school - it's the deep appreciation and love of reading and learning how books connect us.
We will run a 'reading with your child' workshop for any parents who are interested in the next few weeks and we would love to see you there.
Industrial Action - March 2nd
Members of the National Education Union are taking industrial action in the SOuth West and other parts of the country on Thursday 2nd March. As a result our school will be closed to all pupils for the day. We regret the disruption to parents, carers and families. The closure effects all parts of the school, including pre-school. Fees for pre-school sessions will be reimbursed retrospectively.
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