Newsletter: 11th September 2020

Great To Be Back!

I think we’ve all breathed a collective sigh of relief this week to see our school reopen and the children clearly loving being back with their friends.

Thank you everyone for your amazing resilience over the last six months, and also for your patience and compliance with all our various organisational changes which you’ve had to get your heads around.

All things considered, the start of term has gone remarkably smoothly so far and we’ve been very pleased that as everyone gets used to new timings the routines seem to be working as well as can be expected. We know many of the arrangements aren’t ideal and some appear to be quite strange on the surface, but they allow us to be open and welcome all of our children back… which makes everything worthwhile. We’re really grateful for your strong support.

Dropping Off… Picking Up

Thank you to parents who aren’t coming all the way to the school gate with older children. This has been really helpful in reducing the congestion around the school (both people and cars). Please remember if you are still driving up Old Market Drive with only older children in your car, you shouldn’t be doing so at the moment, but parking further away from school and asking your child to walk in from there. I am supervising children crossing Old Market Drive where they don’t have an adult with them (and sometimes when they do!) before and after school.

If you are collecing your child from Copper Hill, please could you refrain from calling your child across the road at the bottom of Old Market Drive. Whilst I appreciate it seems silly to ask them to walk the 20m up to me, cross safely and then come back down again on the other side, it is much better that they do that than us have someone else’s child blindly follow your child across the road into the path of a car. There have had several instances this week of children who are not under any direct adult care crossing because they are just following their friends and assume it’s OK. Thank you for your help with this.


Your child may well come home talking about SCARF lessons which they have had in school. This is a new approach for the school, from Sunflowers right through to Year 6 in response to the new Relationships Education curriculum which has become mandatory for schools this month. SCARF stands for Safety, Caring, Achievement, Resilience and Friendship and is delivered to us through Coram Life Education. This is a fully resourced scheme from which all children will receive at least one session per week. Details of the topic your child will be covering this term are included in the A3 sheet which would have gone home for Burscott to Ashmansworthy Classes earlier this week. More information about SCARF can be found at

School Lunches

A huge thank you to everyone who has used our ScoPay portal to book school meals this week. The system seems to be working really well as a substitute for our paper booking slips which we can no longer use. Please don’t forget that you must book your child’s lunch before midnight on the evening before the meal is due to be taken; after that time it won’t be possible to change your order.

You also need to use the ScoPay portal to cancel any meals you have previously booked and no longer need.

If family circumstances change over night please don’t hesitate to email or call us before 9:30am and we will change your order for you. Please could you not send email requests to Mrs Miles’ email address, particularly on Fridays, as Sue doesn’t work on Fridays any more so your message will not be picked up.

Data Collection Forms

This week, we sent home forms showing the contact and medical information we hold about your child. In the present climate, it is essential that these are returned early next week. As you will appreciate, if we were to have a sonfirmed case of Covid in your child’s bubble we would need to be able to contact you very quickly in order to arrange collection. Please make sure the contacts you list have current phone numbers which can be answered during the school day.

Staff Changes

Over the holiday period we were very sad to receive Mrs Phelps’ resignation from her position as SEND Teaching Assistant. Mrs Phelps has worked with the school for a number of years supporting some of our most vulnerable children and those needing additional learning support. We wish Mrs Phelps all the best for the future and thank her for all of her work during her time with us. There will be an advertisement for Mrs Phelps’ replacement imminently.

We also said a sad good-bye to Mrs Todd who has been a mealtime assistant, Forest School Leader and supply teaching assistant with the school for many years. We are really pleased that Mrs Todd has been able to secure a teaching assistant position at Flying Start Federation and we know she is looking forward to putting the skills she has developed through her teaching assistant training to good use over the coming months. Miss Kerry-Ann Grant has taken up the position temporarily from Tuesdays to Fridays as we try to work out lunchtime staffing in the new Covid-19 Framework and we warmly welcome her to the school.

This term, we also welcome Mrs Helen Morrison who is a trainee teacher with Dartmoor Teaching School and will be based in Burscott Class for the majority of the year. Mrs Morrison has already got to know the children in the class and is looking forward to working through her training year under the guidance of Mrs Kersey and the restof the staff here, together with tutors from the Teaching School.

Music Lessons

Laura will be returning to school next Tuesday to provide drumming lessons. This is another positive step forward in getting back to something like normal for our children. If you would like to book drumming lessons for your child, which are taken in lesson time in our music room, please contact Laura directly on . Music Lessons will all be compliant with our own Covid risk assessment and those supplied by Devon Music Education Hub and Music Mark.

We are still waiting to hear about a date for Annie to return to school for keyboard, piano and strings lessons. Unfortunately, we are still not able to offer woodwind or brass, although Annie is able to offer both of those options as well once the Covid restrictions allow.

Just a reminder that Beavers, Cubs and Scouts resume normal meetings from next week, splitting meetings between the School Hall, our Mess Tent on the school field and expeditions out and about. Please get in touch with your section leader if you haven’t yet completed the form to say you have read the Risk Assessment for a safe return under the NYA’s Amber Readiness Level.

Cross Country Time Trials

Great cross country course for kids and adults, staggered start to comply with covid. All profits raised will fund two local project (cardiac risk in the young local screening for 14 to 35 year olds and the Hartland arm of the British Legion). For more information please follow the link below. This event, open to Year 3 children up to adults,  was orginally scheduled to take place in August but has been moved to 20th September.

At the present time, we have so few things running in addition to our regular school week, we won’t be running The Week Ahead feature. As the term starts to pick up and we begin to hold different events we will re-introduce it for you.


Have a great weekend, everyone – looking forward to seeing you all back on Monday.

Matt Cole


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