Newsletter 6th May
School Dinner Bookings
Have you met Marie - our on site cook? Many primary schools nowadays are bringing food in that has been cooked off site but here we still proudly cook from fresh each and every day.
Marie needs to get to work as soon as she gets in to school in the morning - and if all the dinners have been booked up in advance, she can do just that. If, however, we don't have the bookings in she can't crack on and has to wait until teachers have laboriously gone through the list asking children what they want for lunch and marking it off. This is a waste of valuable time for Marie who genuinely needs to know how many people she is cooking for before she can start measuring out her ingredients. It's also a massive waste of time for all our children who are getting on with busywork rather than getting straight into something more interesting and useful. If it takes a teacher five minutes to check the missing meals from the register each morning then that's twenty five minutes for each child every day which is being wasted - over a term we are talking about hours of time listening to children deciding between a roast dinner and a tuna sandwich - it just isn't a good use of time.
Can we say a big 'thank you' to all the families who do book their school meals in advance - it really helps Marie and it really helps us. Can we ask, gently but firmly, if the few families who are not booking in advance to get in the habit of doing so please? If your child has packed lunches prepared at home, it would still be immensely helpful to us if you could log in and book those in - it really streamlines things to know what children are having.
From the middle of next week will be moving to an assumption that children who do not have a meal booked are having a home packed lunch. We will instruct teachers not to go through dinners with their classes each morning and we expect to win back quite a considerable chunk of learning time.
If you are not sure how to book online please drop in and see Elaine who will be very happy to show you how to do it.
Can we remind families that the school day starts at ten to nine and that we expect that all children will be on site by that time so they can line up when the bell is rung and start the day together. of course anyone might get caught up in a queue behind a tractor once in a while, we absolutely understand that - however this really should be the exception rather than the rule! Elaine has some really specific jobs she has to crack on with in the morning and while she is always delighted to see the children she would like a bit less coming and going while she completes her tasks. We will be contacting families where this has become an issue to ask if there is any way we can support them with punctuality.
Monday 6th June - School Closed
You will be aware that the government called for an additional bank holiday to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. This bank holiday falls within the half term holiday so schools have been instructed to take that day elsewhere in the school year. Together with other schools in the trust we have decided to add it as an extra day immediately after the half term break to keep things as simple as possible. That means that school will be closed to all children on Monday 6th June, the Monday after the half term break.
Year Six Sats
Next week is the Year Six SATS week. Of course there is a degree of nervousness and tummy butterflies involved. The children are fully prepared to do the best that they can do and the teachers are all briefed on their roles to support the pupils. SATS exist primarily as a tool for the government to monitor the attainment and progress of cohorts of children. Secondary schools tend not to use the results of SATS to group or stream their Year Sevens - most prefer to use their own assessments so there really is no need to be worried that a child who has a hiccup on the day will be disadvantaged. Of course, as a school, we'd like the children to do as well as they possibly can - the success of our pupils is one of the ways that our effectiveness is judged - but far more than that, we want the children to be happy with how they have done. We're hoping that next week will be a really positive one for the children. We will be narrating success every day.
The papers will be sent away to be marked and the results will come back in a few weeks by which time, I guarantee you, our minds will be so busy with sports day, leavers assembly, a Midsummer Night's Dream and a hundred other things that the tests will seem like ancient history to the children whose sights will be increasingly set on Year Seven and beyond. It sounds silly but, as far as is possible, the best advice for you to give your Year Six children is to do their very best, remember all the help they've been given, try to enjoy it as much as they can and then to move on and think of greater things.
Equipment for EYFS
There's a lot more fun equipment in the Early Years area this week thanks to a generous donation from the PTFA. A trolley for pens, pencils and clipboards so we can always have a writing area outdoors, more shelves so children can access the things they need more easily, more play food for the home corner, brushes for sweeping (children love to sweep!) and much more. It's great to see the money that the PTFA raise being used to benefit the children. Thank you to everyone who has attended an event, bought a raffle ticket, organised something or played a part in this terrific work.
Jubilee Tea Party
On Friday 27th May we will be having an epic Jubilee Tea Party for all the children and invited guests.
Plans are still being finalised but we hope to see lots of regal attire, we'll be hoping to treat everyone to a scone with jam and cream, there will be games, a visit from a VERY special guest and every child will take home a souvenir of the day. We will be asking fro some support with this soon - if you could come along to help, could bake a batch or two of scones, could supply some jam or know an older person who would really value an invitation - please do let us know.
Break the Rules Day
We want to raise some money to fund giving each child a memento of the Platinum Jubilee. To do this we are going to have a 'Break The Rules' Day. This was run very successfully at our sister school South Tawton Primary a couple of weeks ago. Children were reminded of a list of five very important rules and then invited to 'break' them creatively. The rules included;
Celebrating the Earth 'Beltane' Event
Children have been busy making leafy headbands in preparation for the 'Celebrating the Earth' event next Thursday. The event will take place on O'er Hill on Thursday 12th May at 5:30. The organisers hope that children from the school will come along to join in the celebration of the coming of summer and of the power of nature and of new life. I am told there will be an 'Obby 'Oss and lots of fun. It would be lovely to see some of the children there with their beautiful leafy headbands. Of course, if your child has not made one at school (or if you think you can do better!) there's nothing at all to stop you making a headdress of foliage and blossom at home to wear along to the event.
Chagford Primary in the News
Did you catch our appearance in the Mid Devon Advertiser? We were delighted that a photographer from the paper was able to come along and help us create memories of our brilliant day with Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve last week. They possibly didn't need a picture of Mr Finch but it's a shame to quibble.
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