Newsletter: 11th January 2019

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a great Christmas break with your families and that your child has enjoyed their first few days back in school. We have lots of exciting projects in our WILD Curriculum this term – from Space to Oceans, Homes to History. Burscott have already had their Launch Event yesterday when they visted Tiverton Castle. Please keep supporting your child’s learning as much as you can – if you’re not sure how or what, your child’s teacher will have lots of ideas for you but the most important things, as ever, is hearing your child read aloud regularly (whatever their reading ability), practising spellings and multiplication tables and, of course, any finding-out around the class Project. Thank you!

Staff Changes

I am sorry to start the term with some unsettling news, but we’re really sad to say that due to family circumstances, Mrs Sasha Macleod will be leaving the school at half term. Sasha has been an integral part of the school for the last 18 years, initially coming to us as a foundation stage teacher and, more recently, taking responsibility for PE across the school and leading PE events across the Trust. Sasha will be deeply missed by everyone and we’re really very sorry to see her go. Her vacancy is currently being advertised and we hope to appoint a teacher to cover Thursdays and Fridays in Alminstone Class until Mrs Stevens returns from maternity leave in the late summer term. I will keep parents with children in Alminstone Class updated as I know more.

Music Room

At the end of last term, we converted the old upstairs intervention room (“Squirrel’s Drey”) into a dedicated music room. If your child has music lessons here at school, please could they now take their instrument into the Music Room when they arrive at school as there is now space for them, and they’ll be much safer there than out on the landing or in cloakrooms. Thanks.


On Monday the children had a special assembly from Bernard Moore, District Commissioner for the Scout Association and Leader from Kingsley, Wonnie. They spoke to the children about the different braches of Scouting which is hopefully being set up in the village from March, Please remember to register your interest by completing the form which appeared in last term’s Newsletter (Here: and returning it to Bernard. All three branches of Scounting (Beavers, Cubs and Scouts) are open to both boys and girls but at the moment, the Scout Association aren’t clear whether there is most demand for starting Beavers and Cubs, or Cubs and Scouts.. or maybe all 3. Your input will really help to provide a clear picture of local demand. Flyers have been sent home this week for relevant ages but if you have children eligible for Scouts, or know of families in Hartland, Parkham, Bradworthy etc who may be interested too, please call at Reception and pick up a copy of the relevant leaflet.

Spring Term After School Clubs

The booking form is now open for after school clubs this term. Go to to access the form and book your child’s place. Available this term are:

  • Recorders – Mondays Y3,Y4, Y5, Y6
  • Coding Club – Mondays Y5, Y6
  • Eco Club – Mondays Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6
  • Tag Rugby – Mondays Y4, Y5, Y6 (update: Now also open to children in Year 3 as of 14/1/19)
  • Infant Dance – Tuesdays YR, Y1, Y2 3:15-4pm
  • Junior Dance – Tuesdays Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6 – 4-5pm (But welcome to assist at the Infant Club first…)
  • Ukuleles – Wednesdays Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6
  • Running (from February) – Wednesdays Y4, Y5, Y6
  • Choir – Fridays Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6

Please note that the electronic form is the only method we will accept for booking onto clubs as the system will also generate our registers which we will use to check your child into their chosen activity. Once clubs are full, the option of selecting them will be turned off, so please assume if you’re able to choose a club there is a space for your child.

Sunflowers Trainee

For the next ten weeks, we wil be welcoming Rosanna Hoadley into Preschool and, at times in other classes, as she joins us as part of her Early Years Initial Teacher Training. Similar to our School Direct trainees, Rosanna will be learning through practice and will be an asset to the team. If parents with children in Preschool have any questions about how Rosanna is being deployed, please ask either Kerinda Phillips or Sarah Oyarzabal – thank you.


Travel Opportunity

Come and join a French Twinning trip to Normandy. We have 30 children (French & English) involved, so you won’t be alone! Join in a real French experience by staying with a French family for the weekend, and an opportunity to see the local sites (possibly landing beaches). You don’t need to speak French, but it helps if you can, and children seem to communicate and get on, whatever they speak.  The real good news is that the only cost is for the group travel, and the dates are 11th to 15th April. We will be pleased to welcome you, and give your children (and you!) the chance to have a new educational and fun experience.

To find out more, ask Rachel Ward, Sarah Oyarzabal, or Amanda Stevens. Thank you, Brian Butler.

Governor Vacancy

At the beginning of February, Amanda Stevens’ term of office as a Governor expires and so we will be looking to recruit a new parent member of the Governing Board. Please have a think about whether this is something that would interest you, and if so speak to Sue Miles or me in the school office. Alternatively, you can speak to our Chair of Governors, Tracy Buckley or any of the Board about what the role entails. It’s really important that we have a strong parent prepresentation on the Board so please give this vacancy serious thought. Thank you.

Additional Phone Line

Our IT Technician, Tom, has been able to change the setup of our phone system so that our old fax line can also be used for incoming calls. This means if the school line is busy you can try dialling 01237 431652  instead – if someone is available in the office we’ll be able to pick up your call as well. Please add this number to your phone contacts in case you need it.

WILD results in the Community

As you know, one of the main features of our new WILD curriculum approach is giving the children real-life experiences in our local community. Last term, in connection with their Flight project, Stroxworthy Class visited the Air Ambulance charity chop in Bideford to present a cheque for the money they had raised – Well done, Stroxworthy! Here is a letter from DAAT…

Birthday Celebrations

Preparations are underway  for our 140th Birthday Celebrations which begin on 28th January. Of course, the school bell is away being restored as we speak, the community having donated over £500 towards the cost of refurbishment and refixing.

On the day itself, Monday January 28th, we will all be looking back to those first days of the school in 1879. We are hoping that everyone will come to school dressed in Victorian costume and enjoy a truly Victorian experience in morning school time… We will also be putting together a time capsule to represent our lives today, enjoying a celebratory meal at lunchtime and hopefully a whole school event in the afternoon.

There is a trail around the school to help the children understand what we think the school must have been like 140 years ago – and that alone has opened up lots of conversations about how things have continued to change here over more recent times!

The anniversary itself will just the start of our celebrations. In Family Groups, the children have begun to think about what else might take place later in the year, including a commemorative whole-school photo, an open afternoon for past pupils, staff and parents, and a Victorian-style Sports Day later in the year.

We will bring our 2019 celebrations to a close at the Fireworks night on November 8th.

If there is something you would like us to do to mark this birthday, please leave a comment on this post. All events will be branded with our special 140 Logo, shown here, which has been designed by Emily Buckley who is in Year 1.


The Week Ahead

  • Monday: Governors’ Teaching & Learning Committee 3:30pm CANCELLED. No Eco or Recorder Club.
  • Tuesday: 
  • Wednesday: Mr Davies out all day, Mrs Macleod teaching in Alminstone Class. Anti Bullying Workshop at Instow Primary (Community Voice)
  • Thursday: Mrs Miles out all day. Mr Cole to ACCT meeting (am). Governors Resources Committee 5pm, Full Governors 6:30pm
  • Friday: Mrs Macleod out all day, Mr Davies teaching in Alminstone Class

With best wishes,
Matt Cole
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