Newsletter: 10th September 2021
Posted on September 10, 2021 | By Mr Cole | 2 responses
I hope you have all had a good summer break and that everyone is looking forward to what will hopefully be a “normal” school year. A special welcome to Grace, Elowen, Charlie, Freddie, Freddie, Harry, Ronnie, Milo, Luca, Oscar, William, Joshua, TJ, Noah, Rogan and Bea who all started in Cranford Class this week, and also to Georgia who rejoins Ashmansworthy Class.
Staff, as you know, have almost all moved classrooms over the Summer and, when I spoke to them last, were very much looking forward to the challenge of a new age range and room to work in. I know they, and our cleaning team Simon and Clare, have worked incredibly hard over the break to get the school ready – an even bigger challenge than usual with the removal of Bubbles and other Covid Restrictions!
Sadly I am currently isolating so very frustratingly have missed the first days of the new school year but from home, I have been able to hear the sounds of all the children playing on the field, which was absolutely delightful after such a long time.
I’d therefore particularly like to thank Mrs Farmer who has been teacher in charge in my absence, and who has been doing a superb job of keeping everything running smoothly.
When I return to school early next week I am looking forward to dropping in to classes and seeing everyone again, and catching up with parents on the playground.
Whilst I’ve been working at home, I have calculated that almost a third of the school has never experienced our “normal” way of life, either because they were in Preschool in Spring 2019 when the pandemic hit, or have moved to the school from elsewhere in that time. So, I am mindful that many of the things we used to to need more explanation as we bring them back. The first of those is our School Voice.
Whereas many schools have a School Council, we call our equivalent School Voice and it is divided up into 4 groups who each look after a specific area of our wider school ethos. The children who sit on those School Voice groups are elected from their Family Groups, of which there are 7 across the school (Beech, Elder, Hazel, Oak, Silver Birch, Sycamore and Willow).
The School Voice Groups are: Community Voice, Charity Voice, Enterprise Voice and Global Voice. Elections for representatives on the Groups were held on Tuesday and I am delighted to announce the following children were chosen:
Community Voice: Isla, Faris, Logan A, Aaron, Isla-Mae, Mia, Poppy
Charity Voice: Louie W, Genevieve, Arthur C, Connie, Eva, Isaac, Ravi
Enterprise Voice: Harry S, Ralph, Mary-Jane, Hope, Molly, Emily, Maisy
Global Voice: Georgia M, Farley, Henry, Nate, Elouise, Josie, Finley E
Next week, each of these children will receive a fabric badge which should be sewn on to one of their school jumpers just below the embroidered logo – they can then wear their Voice badge with pride for the whole year whilst they serve on the group. Here’s what each group does:
Community Voice works with our wider community like village organisations, the Village Schools Partnership and the Atlantic Coast Co-operative Trust;
Charity Voice organises whole school fundraising days for our chosen charities and things like Children In Need
Enterprise Voice brings the children “traded” services like Tasty Tuck (see below…) and generates funds to spend on addititional resources of their choice
Global Voice helps to plan whole school themed days, espcially to raise awareness and funds for Leng Piseth, our sponsored boy in Cambodia
After an almost 2-year absence, Tasty Tuck will be returning on Friday morning breaktimes from next Friday. Enterprise Voice will meet with me next week to plan their selling strategy and rota. Tasty Tuck is the name we give to our child-run healthy snack Tuck Shop which operates on the playground every week. All items cost 50p and children can bring in some change to buy an item if they’d like to. This can be as well as, or instead of, the healthy snack which all children can bring in for each breaktime (no crisps, sweets, chocolate please)
We have received this information from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust about a competition your children may be interest in entering this weekend…
I’d be really grateful if you can share this reminder that pupils are invited to create a piece of art about bumblebees and flowers, using any medium they like such as pen, pencil, paint or textiles. The competition closes on 15th September 2021.
The competition is open to North Devon primary school education pupils (age 5-11) only. There are three categories, Reception, Years 1 & 2; Years 3 & 4; and Years 5 & 6.
Winners from each category will receive flowering hedge plants and spring bulbs for the school grounds, activity sheets, flower and vegetable seeds for their class, and for themselves one of our Youth Memberships as well as Bumblebee Conservation Trust goodies including stickers, pencils and more. Entries will be shortlisted by the West Country Buzz team. The winners will then be chosen by our patron and award-winning writer, Kate Bradbury! Winners will be recognised through our social media channels and marketing material.
Details of how to enter are on our website along with the full Ts and Cs: https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/bumblebees-and-flowers-art-competition/
We look forward to seeing the entries!
The Year 3/4 Residential to Pixies Holt is now only a couple of weeks away.
Mr Davies will be holding an online Parent and Child meeting next Thursday at 4pm for everyone who is going. Mr Davies will go through the plans for the three day residential and there will be an opportunity for you (and your children) to ask any questions you may have.
The meeting will be held on Zoom and the joining code is below:
Pixies Holt Parents Meeting
Time: Sep 16, 2021 4pm
Meeting ID: 862 0639 3971
London and Adventure International Residentials
Please would parents with children in Year 5 and Year 6 look out for information in the next week or so about their residential visits which will take place in 2022. Booking will open before too long so that you have the maximum amount of time to pay for the cost of these opportunities.
We have received this message from the Immunisation Team, for all parents:
This year your child will be offered a free flu vaccination in school and we will shortly be sending communication via the school with regards to consent for this. However, we are aware there are some children that due to an underlying medical condition are at increased risk from the flu virus – if you believe that your child is in the category and you would like the opportunity to book them into an early community clinic, please contact our single point of access (SPA) on 0300 247 0082 or email at email@example.com. Please note this is an extremely busy time for our phones and therefore if you are struggling to get through, please don’t hesitate to contact us via e-mail and someone will return your call.
Best wishes , School Age Immunisations Team
The Village Schools Partnership
As you will remember from last term, Woolsery Primary School, Parkham Primary School and Buckland Brewer Primary School have now formed a Management Partnership and will be working increasingly closely together over the coming weeks and months. This is very much in the best interests of all three schools as we seek to bring new opportunities for our children and secure a better financial future, which can only help improve provision across all three schools. We are calling the grouping The Village Schools Partnership and you will hear lots more about it in future Newsletters.
Staff from all three schools (except me!!) met up on our Training Day on Monday and have begun the process of getting to know each other and planning for working towards new projects. Both Governing Boards will be forming a joint working group to monitor arrangements and, in time, consider a more formal Federation to further secure the futures of all three schools. Exciting times!
What’s Your Sport?
Mr Davies would like you to send in any photos of your child participating in their chosen out of school sport. This is for a display he is putting together in his role as PE Subject Lead. If you have anything suitable, please either send in hard copies via your child’s teacher or email pictures to Mr Davies directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
The SCARF team – which is the programme the school uses to structure our delivery of the Personal, Social, Health and Relationships Education part of our curriculum, are visiting school next Monday and Tuesday. Life Education will be working with each class in turn on an aspect of their Autumn Term work, along with their trusty mascot, Harold the Giraffe. Sunflowers, Cranford, Alminstone and Ashmansworthy Classes will have their visit on Monday, wheras Burscott and Stroxworthy Classes will have theirs on Tuesday.
Forest School Rangers
After several years’ absence, I am looking to recruit a team of trained Forest School Rangers. These are parent helpers who are able to commit to supporting weekly Forest School sessions throughout the year. We ask for a minimum commitment of one afternoon per week when Forest School is running and in return will provide you with training about the Forest School ethos, safe working and our progression of skills. In the past, Forest School rangers have ended up in school employment, both in this school and in neighbouring ones, as the role is great for a CV and gives you lots to talk about on application forms! Sadly we are unable to pay for our Forest School Rangers time, but we can offer great company, mud, rain, some sun and even hot chocolate! If you would like to know more, please email me at email@example.com . We continue to welcome parent helpers on an ad-hoc basis to support your child’s class in Forest School sessions, but this commitment carries a little more responsibility and the aim of working across multiple classes through the year, not just your child’s class.
Next Tuesday, we are at long last having an upgrade to our rapidly failing phone system. At present, we have many cut off calls, and we’re aware that for the caller the school phone “rings” up to ten times before the actual phones in the office start to buzz. We are promised by the installer that there will be a less than 30 minute gap between the old system being powered down and the new one coming online… but just in case that isn’t the case, please bear this in mind and email us if you can’t get through.
One installation is complete, you will experience a new call menu when phoning us, you will be able to report a child’s absence by voicemail and you will be able to get through to one of the admin team even if phones are in use, meaning better connectivity for you.
I am really pleased to be able to publish a full list of after school clubs again. Other than Ukulele Club, all clubs will begin next week and bookings can be made via this online form: https://forms.gle/UZ3VnGdsa8bnHf586
It is very important that you complete a new form for each child, for each club they want to attend as the results generated by the form make up registers to ensure your child’s safety.
As previously, all clubs should run every week unless staff have unavoidable commitments. We therefore expect your child to commit to attending their chosen clubs as they could be taking the space of another child. All clubs except for the Monday sports clubs are run voluntarily by staff and governors and there is no charge for attendance.
|Ukuleles with Mr Cole||Mondays 3:15-4:15||Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6|
|Football with Sports Coaches||Mondays 3:15 – 4:15||Y5, Y6|
|Running Club with Mrs Farmer||Mondays 3:15 – 4:15||Y4, Y5, Y6|
|Eco Club with Mrs Kersey||Mondays 3:15 – 4:15||Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6|
|Lego Club with Mrs Oyarzabal||Mondays 3:15 – 4:15||YR, Y1, Y2|
|Dance Club with Siobhan||Tuesdays 3:15 – 4:30||All Year Groups|
|Attack & Defending Games with Mr Davies||Tuesday 3:15 – 4:15||Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6|
|Choir with Mrs Morrison and Mr Cole||Fridays 3:15 – 4:15||Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6|
Life Education Visits with Sunflowers, Cranford, Alminstone and Ashmansworthy Classes
Clubs begin (apart from Ukuleles)
Life Education Visits with Burscott and Stroxworthy Classes
New Phones being installed – may be some disruption
Alminstone Class in Burford Woods all day
Mrs Kersey out all day – meeting
|Thursday||Pixies Holt Parent/Child meeting (online) 4pm|
Tasty Tuck resumes – 50p per item
Mrs Farmer and Mrs Morrison out all day – meetings