It’s a delayed welcome back newsletter—you would have had one last Friday were we not up at the Church with our Year Five and Six singers taking part in the Whiddon Autumn Festival.
With the government restrictions being relaxed we were able to welcome four young professional musicians into he school to work with the children to learn a song written especially for the occasion. In the evening some of those children came up to the church for a practice then performed as part of the concert. We could not have been more proud.
After a long time where we couldn’t do many of these things it was just lovely to get back into doing the sorts of things that connect us to our community. Thanks to Freddie Crowley, once a pupil of this very school, for organising the festival and making sure our children were involved. Thanks also to Mrs Armstrong who helped keep a watchful eye on the children and enjoyed being on stage with them too. Most of though, thanks to the children who showed themselves up as true #ChagfordChampions.
Thanks to the PTFA
Huge, huge thanks to everyone who has run an event, volunteered to help out, donated prizes, bought a raffle ticket or, in any other way, helped out with PTFA fundraising events. Our wonderful new public address system on wheels which is giving such joy at the start of each day came from that money as did the visualisers which are now in every classroom making it possible to share picturebooks, children’s work, objects from the natural world and teacher modelling on the big screen—these devices are a real game changer in the classroom and we wouldn’t have them without the wonderful work of the PTFA. Look out for more exciting fruits of your fundraising coming soon and news of some exciting upcoming events.
As you will know rules and regulations around covid have mostly been lifted and we have returned to a much more ‘normal’ version of school life.
We have ‘unbubbled’ the playground meaning that all children can play together as before which is a source of great joy. We are having whole school assemblies again. Our start of the day routine on the playground with music and dancing allows all the children to be together and to start off our learning in a really joyous way.
We are still asking children to sanitize their hands on entry and regularly through the day and staff are wearing face coverings in communal areas such as corridors, though not in class. The most important thing we can do at school to stop the spread of the virus is make sure all areas are well ventilated. That means we keep windows and doors open enough that there is fresh air replacing itself throughout the day. This might mean that, as the weather starts to become more autumnal, it could feel a little chilly in class—children will want their school jumpers!
New protocols mean the school is very unlikely to close a class due to covid, individuals awaiting a PCR test result or who have tested positive are asked to isolate as before but siblings, unless they are showing symptoms, are able to attend as normal. The school no longer has the responsibility to contact close contacts of people testing positive—that has gone to the Test and Trace service now. If you or someone in your household tests positive, test and trace will help you identify people who have been close contacts over the last few days and who should get themselves tested. Only if a very significant portion of a class or of the school tested positive at the same time would we be asked to close a class. We take our advice from this from Public Health England.
Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions, we can’t promise to have all the answers but will we do our best to give you a sensible response.
Choking Hazards in Packed Lunches
Just a reminder that we ask parents and carers to consider the safety of items that go in to school lunch boxes and playtime snacks.
We get a bit worried when we see grapes and cherry tomatoes and other round items that size as we know how dangerous they can be if a child inhales them by mistake. These items are so much safer when they are sliced in two.
Similarly we worry about peanuts, cashews and the like—as well as the choking hazard we worry about our children with nut allergies. Nuts are a great source of protein so we understand why, especially for vegetarian children, they are an important of the diet but perhaps they could be kept for meals and snacks at home?
Our Morning Routine
We have loved seeing how quickly the children have got used to our new morning routine. They enjoy having a play together before the bell is rung and are coming to line up so quickly—especially brilliant Year Four this week. Seeing them dancing together—led by the amazing Mrs Armstrong (what a great addition to our school she is) - makes me very happy and proud to be Principal of this lovely school. Teachers tell me that having the children lined up and calm before they go into class is making for a calmer and more orderly start to the day.
Thanks to the parents who suggested we use the big top gates to let the main school in leaving the lower area to the early years foundation stage children—that has made things much calmer for the youngest children. We have added the orange site fencing just to try and make sure we don’t see climbing up or jumping down from that wall—we hope to replace it with something a bit more attractive before too long.
One more thing—a big thank you to everyone who has heeded my request that we keep dogs off the school grounds. It slightly breaks my heart as I enjoy meeting people’s companions so much but there is no doubt that some of the children are feeling more comfortable as a result and I can feel a bit easier letting children run and play in the beautiful gardens knowing the possible hygiene issue is resolved. Thanks all.
Margo and Mr Whatsit
recommended age 4+ 50mins family show
Do you have an imaginary friend? A little piece of mischief only you can see?Sophia’s imaginary friend is called Mr. Whatsit. No matter where Sophia finds herself living, he’s always there with a new joke to tell and a new game to play.But when Sophia moves into her new foster home, Mr Whatsit finds himself unimagined! Now Sophia has a new imaginary friend – the glamourous, grown-up Margo.Can Mr. Whatsit’s childish playfulness keep him from being unimagined for good? And with her imaginary friends competing against each other, will Sophia manage to find her forever home?PaddleBoat Theatre Company present an interactive make-believe tale where the real and imaginary collide, and friends are never far away.
You can see Margo and Mr Whatsit at the Jubilee Hall in Chagford on Saturday November 3rd. Tickets available from the library
Check out these opportunities for Saturday Morning Junior Tennis Coaching at Okehampton and District Tennis Club.