Newsletter: 22nd January 2021

Dance Success!

Last term, Devon School Games organised a Virtual Dance competition across all primary schools. Entrants could submit videos of them performing a routine which was then judged by a panel of physical education and dance experts. We are absolutely delighted to say the five children who entered from here did very well indeed – here are the results:

  • Hope and Josie – 12th Place
  • Maisy – 11th Place
  • Daisy and Isla – 4th Place (only missing out on 3rd by one point!)

This is an exceptional result for all three entries given the high level of interest from across the schools which took part and we are extremely proud of you all – well done!

Parent Governor

We are opening our search for a new parent governor again. governors play a vital role in determining the strategic direction of the school and monitoring standards and processes. Any parent with a child registered in theĀ main school (Reception to Year 6) is eligible to stand, and if only one nomination comes forward that parent is automatically “elected” without the need for a ballot. Mrs Miles will be in touch early next week, but if you are interested in taking up this position, please speak to her for more information.

Our existing Governors are as follows, so please feel free to ask them about their role too:

Tracy Buckley Chair, Parent governor
Ben Trevor Vice-Chair, Co-opted governo
Sue Kersey Staff Representative
Kathryn Bass Foundation governor (ACCT)
Di Bennett Local Authority governor (DCC)
Siobhan Brennan Parent governor
Sarah Broom Foundation governor (ACCT)
Emma McGuire Parent governor
Matt Cole Headteacher
Sue Miles Clerk

Re-opening Update

In case you missed the news this week, the Secretary of State has announced that parents will receive two weeks’ notice of schools reopening, and that this is likely to happen region-by-region. At the moment we are not clear what “region by region” means – whether that’s the wider South West or by Local Authority (i.e. Devon). Below is a map produced by HM Government on Wednesday showing the national variation by Local Authority and it shows quite clealy that Devon is in a relatively favourable position, so we have everything crossed that we would be in the early waves of schools to reopen. As soon as we hear anything more we will, of course, let you know straight away.

School Lunches

Just a reminder that we are continuing to operate our full lunch menu every day here at school for those children who are attending. The school Free Fruit service, which was paused by the government on Lockdown has also now restarted and so we have a lot of surplus fruit each day – this will be distributed to older children as well so it doesn’t go to waste.

For families in receipt of free school meals but not attending school, you should have received your vouchers by email earlier in the week. If you haven’t got them, please check your Spam folder and if the email from Eden Red isn’t there, let us know straight away. We also had confirmation that Devon will be operating a voucher scheme over the half term break which will be the same as the ones that operated over Christmas. Mrs Miles will be in touch with relevant families early next week.

Remote Learning

At this half-way point in the Half Term, I wanted once again to thank our familes for doing so well with Remote Learning. This week we have had over 98% of our children engage with learning at school and at home, which is outstanding! We know how hard it can be to keep children motivated and engaged from home and we are doing our level-best to enable that to happen in a positive way whilst also teaching about half the class on-site. We have had many, many very positive comments from parents with children in all classes for which we are extremely thankful for. Sadly, I have also seen a few negative ones published on social media this week which are critical of our offer. Please could I urge you to contact your child’s teacher in the first instance if you have concerns about the content, quality or suitability of the Remote Learning materials rather than resort to public shaming of our staff online, which at the present time is devastating for them to read and ultimately will have no effect in improving your childs learning experience during this really difficult time? Thank you.

IT Kit

This week, we have been delighted to get 7 devices out to families to support remote learning. These have all been donated by our local community and there are more to come. We are still waiting for delivery of our five Chromebooks from the DfE and once they arrive we will get those out too. Because we have had such a strong response from the community, we have more laptops/chromebooks available than we anticipated so if you could benefit from an additional one in houses with multiple siblings, please let me know. One our DfE allocation arrived, I anticipate we will have six or seven further machines to get out to you.

We’ve had some lovely photos sent in this week from children working remotely… I know children in Burscott, including Oliver, really enjoyed their Bake Off challenge this week, and Dan has taken the time to re-string his bass guitar. Izzy has also been baking… some wonderful Yorkshire puds, which look amazing – well done all!


Well done to everyone who has been recognised this week for their hard work and great effort:

  • Cranford Class: Juniper – creating amazing papier mache planets; Robyn – making a superb planet model
  • Burscott Class: Alfie – making an amazing 3D dragon for English; Jenson – understanding subtraction by using a number line
  • Stroxworthy Class: Alfie – excellent effort in his story writing, challenging himself to use interesting vocabulary and write in complex sentences; Henry – always trying his best in all his remote learning even when he finds the work challenging
  • Alminstone Class: Ralph – amazing coding skills in computing this week; Paddy – trying really hard with his maths every day
  • Ashmansworthy Class: Megan – an outstanding report about the holocaust; Maisy – an excellent diary extract based on World War Two using effective informal language

With best wishes,

Matt Cole, Headteacher

1 response on Newsletter: 22nd January 2021

  1. Thank you all for all your hard work and commitment to our children during this incredibly difficult time

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