Our pupils had another great session with Kael today thanks to the generosity of the PTFA. Children explored the site, made maps from found natural materials and investigated the skin of a fox. Once again, some children astonished us with their knowledge of the natural world while others showed how much they enjoyed this way of learning by drinking in all the new knowledge.
Huge thank yous go to Kael for facilitating the sessions, Chloe for being his hard working assistant right through the day, the PTFA for funding this experience for the children and everyone who has ever bought a cake or a raffle ticket or come along to a mini monster bash or a coffee morning - every penny the PTFA makes goes towards enriching the children's experience at school.
Chagford Eco Pantry
A reminder that the Pantry in our reception area is there for everyone to use. You don't need to be signposted from any authority or to be in receipt of benefits. If you're short of a tin of beans or fancy a biscuit with your tea just pop into the reception area and have a look at what is available this week. A lot of this is overstock from local cafes and businesses, and is food which would end up going to landfill if you don't divert it. I would like to see the whole range of the community dipping into the pantry to reduce waste and to share in the bounty. Do me a favour and take something next time you're passing so that everyone in the community knows that they can.
Here's a picture of our good friend, Lennie, helping herself to a tin of beans. Be more Lennie. By the way, that amazing-looking Christmas Pudding is still there - someone come and pop it in their cupboard for the big day.
Three Hares LSB
The final member of our current LSB to introduce is Reverend David Spence, who recently moved to North Tawton with his wife, Ellie, and their four children, two of whom attend North Tawton Primary School. David moved here from Witney, near Oxford and is looking forward to doing more work to link the school and the community, through his role in the church and as a governor.
David’s specific role is a Foundation Governor and he will work alongside Mel (the other Foundation Governor) to cultivate respect for the spiritual and moral beliefs of the Christian traditions, and champion & monitor the integration of Christian values across all aspects of school life. Whilst Chagford is the only Church of England school, the Three Hares principals are all keen to welcome David into their schools, where he will also bring a fresh pair of eyes to the overall ethos and vision of the schools.
This week, James Warner, our Safeguarding Lead, has undertaken safeguarding visits to all three schools. Each visit took about two hours, and included a meeting with the Designated Safeguarding Lead (who is the principal in each of our schools), a sample check of the Single Central Record to ensure its compliance (the SCR is a statutory requirement for all schools, and stores records & details of all staff, volunteers etc, to ensure all appropriate vetting checks have been carried out, and all details are current); a walk around the school to observe safeguarding issues; a chat with some staff to check their understanding of safeguarding; and a talk to a panel of pupils to assess their perspective on safeguarding. James will report back to the LSB at our next meeting in January, although if any urgent issues had arisen, these would be highlighted and dealt with immediately.
We would like to thank the principals for inviting us to their various school festive events. A number of us are able to attend different occasions, and are really looking forward to seeing the children and staff getting into the Christmas spirit! Do please say “Hi” to us, if you see us – we are always keen to meet you and it really helps us in our overall objective of gathering stakeholder voice!
Mel & Liz
Thank You Mrs Lloyd - Welcome Back Mrs Robertson
We are very sad today to be saying goodbye to Mrs Lloyd who has been teaching Year Two since the start of the school year in September. She has become a much-loved part of the school community and she will be missed as much by the staff as by her Year Two Pupils.
It's lovely, however, to welcome back Mrs Robertson after her maternity leave. She'll be teaching the Year Twos now and I know she is ready to give them engaged and enriched learning. I can't wait to see what they get up to.
We are deep into November now - it's December next week - and some children are still coming to school without coats. I know that Dartmoor children are a hardy bunch but I'm seeing a lot of damp, chilly children after play times. I know that a lot of them are probably saying, "Oh, we don't need coats", but, using the power invested in me as principal, I'm saying "Yes you do". Feel free to take my name in vain and if your child is refusing to wear their coat to school tell them, "I'm sorry but Mr Finch says you must!"
Parents' Evening - Thursday 1st December
School Photos - Thursday 1st December
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
Our attendance today was 94.9%. Thanks to every child and every family who are coming to school on time every single day. We would love to see an uptick and for us to be regularly getting back into the upper reaches of the 96 percents or even, I dream of it, the 97s. Of course, if your child is poorly and needs to be off school then that is your call but don't forget that walking inbto school generally has an extraordibnarily healing effect on poorly children. Also, remember that if they are feeling a bit rubbish in the morning but perk up a bit by elevenses, it's fine to bring them into school for the rest of the day.
Please remember that I cannot 'allow' term time holidays. Those will always go down as an unauthorised absence. We are always grateful to be informed so that we aren't worrying where your child is or if they are safe but we cannot and do not authorise absence for reasons like visiting realtives or taking postponed holidays.
Please remember that we teach in sequences. A day's absence may seem neither here nor there but to the child it can be more than that. If we've been planning how to build our own catapults to explore forces and your child misses the day we actually build them then that's a big thing for them. If your child misses the nday we plan out our story and is then in school on the day we write them up but without a plan then that's a big thing too. We know that the vast majority of parents and carers are doing their utmost to get their child to school each day. Thank you for that - we know it's makikng a difference.