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Posted on: September 27th 2019

A Message from Mr Nation

The term is well underway! Children at Castle School have made a fantastic start to the school year and are demonstrating our core values: Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Perseverance, Courage and Tolerance. 


Classes are working hard on their Discovery Project of ‘Wellbeing’. They’ve been taking part in yoga, making worry dolls and various other ‘mindfulness’ type activities. The teachers devised this ‘Gateway’ based on the ‘Intent’ that was explored last academic year. Parents, staff and children all contributed their thoughts on what should form the foundations of learning at Castle School to help prepare the children for the next stage of their lives. 


Can I please remind parents the importance of ensuring their children come to school in full school uniform (this includes school shoes). If for any reason your child does not have the full uniform, they must come to school with a note explaining why. In addition, there are an increasing number of elaborate hair bands, earrings and nail varnish. Children must only wear stud earrings, a plain hair band and no nail varnish. Thank you all for your support and understanding with this. 


Finally, I would like to thank Mrs Morris, Miss Dodge, Ms Counter and Mrs Abbott for assisting so marvellously with Forest School sessions. Dartmouth were busy outside collecting leaves, sticks and found items to build houses for the three little pigs! In the afternoon, they made some wonderful art and craft pieces. Well done to everyone involved. 



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A message from Mr Nation Posted on: 20/11/2020

A message from Mr Nation

What a busy week! My thanks to those of you who joined the teachers for parents evening. I appreciate these were a little different to normal but no doubt you managed to gain a good insight into your child’s education and how you can support at home. I've already received some positive comments which is lovely to hear. As you know, we had to close the Drogo / Corfe ‘bubble’ earlier this week. The admin team were fantastic and communicated quickly and effectively, the teachers ensured that they followed the Home Learning Agreement immediately and Mrs Liddell worked relentlessly to assist with the closure of the ‘bubble’’. My thanks also to those who remained 'on the ground' and supported accordingly. Fortunately, all is well and we were able to safely reopen the 'bubble' on Wednesday 18th November. Since our last newsletter, the children have been working on their new Discovery project which focuses on 'Design and Technology’ through the gateway of Performance. From woodwork theatres in Key Stage 1 with stage lighting provided by Year 6, nutritional Great Bread Bake offs in Totnes, musical instruments in Dunster, and electronic moving Christmas decorations in Tintagel. Based on the successes and impressive outcomes from last term's Discovery project in Art, I’m sure the standard of work will be just as strong if not better. You will see from the picture at the top of this newsletter that we are celebrating the childrens’ work by displaying it as a large installation in the school hall. Thanks to Mrs Staniland and Mrs Morris for ensuring this was displayed so beautifully. Please take time to look at some of the latest developments on our website. Under the ‘About Us/Curriculum’ section, you will find our Curriculum Statement of Intent as well as further detail of how and what we are teaching at school. Some of these sections are still under development but please enjoy learning more about the work we are doing to enhance the full curriculum we offer the children. Finally, my thanks to those parents who've sent messages of support to me and the team. I cannot emphasise how hard every member of staff is working in these exceptionally challenging times. Despite the obviously difficult situation, your child's/children's safety, wellbeing and learning remains at the heart of everything we do. Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
Parents' Evening Information Posted on: 23/10/2020

Parents' Evening Information

Dear parents/carers,    Due to Coronavirus restrictions, we will hold the forthcoming Parents’ Evening via Zoom. We would like to encourage everyone to book an appointment with their child’s/children’s teacher so that we have a chance to discuss how your child is progressing in school and how we can work together to do the very best for them. If it is difficult for you to join via Zoom for any reason, contact the school office for the attention of your child’s class teacher.    These meetings are a vital part of your child’s education and contribute towards their happiness at school and their progress in education. If you would also like to speak with Mr Nation (Executive Head of School), Mrs Liddell (Assistant Head of School) and/or Mrs Sandiford (School SENDCo), please contact the school office.    In keeping with our Risk Assessments and Home School Agreement, all sessions will be recorded and we ask you to ensure that if you choose to have your camera on, that the environment is suitable and non-offensive.    Below is a link to a Google Form. Please follow the corresponding link for your child’s class and complete the form. You must enter your child’s full name and choose 3 preferred time slots. We will do our best to accommodate a time close to your selection. Please complete one form per child, even if your children are in the same class. All Google Forms must be completed by Monday 2nd November 0800. You will then receive a message with the link to the Zoom Meeting and your approximate meeting time by Friday 6th November. For those classes with more than 30 children who are fully subscribed, teachers will contact you to arrange a suitable time.    Parents of Nursery children will receive information about parents evenings after half term.    As always, should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me via the school office. ( / 01935 822342)    Drogo   Corfe   Totnes   Dunster   Tintagel  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Mr Nation Posted on: 23/10/2020

A Message from Mr Nation

I’d like to thank every member of staff at Castle Primary for their unwavering commitment to the children at our wonderful school. The children’s positive and encouraging start to 2020-2021 is down to the team’s determination to make the return to school a positive experience for each and every child.  Thanks to Mr Heath-Coleman (Estates and Contracts Manager), Castle had a new boiler, pipework and radiators installed throughout the school building during the summer holidays. Despite the expected disruption this caused, the class environments are looking wonderful. They’re clean, tidy and organised with lots of evidence of learning that is taking place across the curriculum. The teachers and support staff have worked tirelessly to ensure we hit the ground running in 2020 and we have certainly accomplished our goal!  Forest School is in full swing as is quality PE provision for all of our children at Castle Primary School. Life in bubbles is certainly different but it has not stopped the children and staff striving to achieve excellence in everything we do.  Our Discovery Project this term has been focusing on art and I have to say there is an impressive array of artwork across the school. Mrs Staniland is Art Lead across the Trust and she has ensured we have all the necessary materials to allow the children to develop their skills and expertise as ‘artists’. The children have once again excelled themselves.   Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
Message From Mr Nation Posted on: 25/09/2020

Message From Mr Nation

Welcome to the first Newsletter of 2020 - 2021. A warm welcome to everyone who has joined us this year and also to those familiar faces, families and friends.  I can’t emphasise enough how lovely it is to see the children return to school full of joy and positivity. We’ve had a fantastic start to the school year thanks to the efforts of the team at Castle Primary School and my thanks to you as parents/carers for your understanding with some of our new procedures - which are working fantastically.  As you are aware, Forest School is firmly in place and the children have had a super time working with the Ham Hill Rangers. They have taken part in walks through Jubilee Woods and were ‘nature hunters’ during their session. In addition, Premier Sports are providing quality PE sessions for the children as well as supporting groups at lunchtimes and throughout the school day. Classrooms have a real ‘buzz’ and are hives of activity. The range of tasks the children have taken part in has been fantastic and we’re underway with our Discovery work ‘How are we a Community?’ As a father of two, I fully appreciate the logistics of staggered drop off / collection times, the reduction of After School Clubs and the concerns regarding the current situation. I understand the importance of supporting the children to adapt to these new routines and help them to feel safe and secure when things around them are slightly different than before. As a school, we are here to support you and your family as best we can. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I’ve received some lovely positive comments from parents/carers about all we’re doing in school which has been wonderful to hear. ‘Team Castle’ have been invaluable in ensuring the start to 2020 - 2021 has been so successful.   Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Mr Nation Posted on: 8/09/2020

A Message from Mr Nation

Dear parents/carers,  It's lovely to see the children returning to school looking so smart and full of excitement. Any anxieties were soon eased and we've had a brilliant start to the school year. All the parents I've spoken with are pleased with the new arrangements and said that overall, things are working well. However, I'm aware that the logistics of dropping off and collecting some of the children from school needs refinement.  To this end, I write with details of new arrangements for drop off and collection which come into effect from tomorrow, Wednesday 9th September 2020. Mrs Liddell will be present to assist but please ensure you read these instructions to ensure a smooth transition. There will now be a one way system in place.  1. All parents enter via the gate that leads to the main reception, walk along the front of the school building and walk onto the playground.  2. Cones with class names will be positioned near the entrance to each class. (Nursery + Drogo as per normal, Corfe next to the classroom door, Totnes entrance will be at the bottom of the steps near the 'clamber stack', Dunster and Tintagel will have cones placed in front of the swimming pool fence). 3. Once you have walked onto the playground via the 'new' entrance, please take your child to their designated cone and wait for the class teacher to collect. We encourage the older children to access the school grounds independently  4. After the class teacher has collected your child, please leave via the main gates at the top of the playground.  5. Signs will indicate the new one way system to guide you on and off the playground.  6. If you have children in different classes, please move between cones to collect/drop off each child at the allotted time.  7. Upon collection your children will be waiting at the designated cones at the collection times.  Drop Off / Collection Times Nursery: 0845 – 1445 Drogo + Corfe 0850 – 1505 Totnes 0855 – 1510 Dunster+Tintagel 0900 - 1515 Wherever possible, we encourage parents to walk/cycle their children to school. Bike racks are available on the playground at the entrance and exit; please use the one closest to your child's classroom. We expect all parents to socially distance themselves whilst on and near the school grounds.  My thanks to you all for your positive comments over the past two days and recognition of the efforts the school has gone to. I'm grateful to the team for their continued commitment and to your children who have, as always, been an absolute delight. Gareth Nation  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Mr Nation Posted on: 14/07/2020

A Message from Mr Nation

Dear Parents/Carers,                                                                                                     Welcome to the final letter for this academic year. And what a year it has been!    I would like to reiterate my thanks to the staff team at Castle Primary School for their sustained efforts and unwavering support for the children and our community that we serve. My thanks to you as parents for your patience and understanding with the challenges the school has faced and supporting us as we have navigated our way through a sea of guidance and guidelines. Finally, my thanks to all the children who have shown such commitment and determination to their learning. We are very fortunate to have such an outstanding group of children!    Castle Primary School will open to all children in September 2020. However, we must maintain certain measures that we’ve established this term to continue to keep the children and adults safe. In this letter, you will find further detail around these arrangements.    If your child is in Reception or Year 1, a separate letter accompanies this to give details on the phased transition from September.    What time will my child/children start and finish school?    All children will enter and exit the school via the main playground gate or side gate. We will continue with staggered start and end times. Unfortunately, no parents will be allowed on site unless there is a pre- arranged appointment / meeting. Please continue to contact the school via phone or email.    Nursery: AM session 0900 - 12:00 / PM session 12:00 - 15:00 (including lunch). Nursery times will be confirmed according to parent requirements.   Class Nursery Drogo (Year R / 1) Corfe (Year 2) Totnes (Year 3/4 Dunster (Year 4/5) Tintagel (Year 6) Start/ end time Entrance/Exit Main PG gate 08:55 – 3:00 Main PG gate 8:50 – 3:10 Main PG gate 8:50 – 3:10 Blue Door 8:45 – 3:05 Side gate (via Office gate) 8:45 – 3:05 Side gate (via Office gate) 8:55 – 3:15   Breakfast Club/After School Club arrangements will be communicated with those parents who have replied to the previous request for interest in this provision.        What happens if I’m late dropping off / collecting my child?    If you are late dropping your child off, this will have a ‘knock on’ to the other children being brought to school. Please ensure that you arrive punctually to avoid congestion and crucially, so that teaching sessions can commence on time and registers submitted.    If you are going to be late collecting your child please contact the office in advance so that we know and can make the necessary arrangements. We understand that in rare cases, there are emergencies which are unavoidable but these should be few and far between.    What happens if I have children in different classes?    We understand that parents do not wish to wait for great lengths of time for siblings to be released / welcomed into school. If you have children in different classes and there is a significant time gap that causes issues, please get in touch with the school office. Please be understanding if you have to wait for 5 minutes for a sibling as we’re trying to minimise the number of children on and off the school site in one time slot.    What must my child wear?   All children are expected to return in full school uniform and follow the agreed attire. No elaborate hair bands, nail varnish etc. in keeping with our school policy.    What will my child need to bring?    We are minimising the items brought to and from school. Please ensure your child has the following items on the school site at all times:    Wellington boots (or other outdoor footwear). We will be using the school field daily and making more use of the outdoor space. It is vital your child/children has the correct footwear for outdoors everyday Waterproof coat  PE kit (school PE kit - no branded sports clothing)    Your child/children must not bring other items to school such as pencil cases, toys, teddies etc.              Will my child take part in PE and Forest School?    We have arranged for trained professionals to provide additional PE for all children. In addition, we have organised Forest School sessions to take place once a week. Details and a timetable for this will follow in September.    What will the classrooms look like?    All children in Year 2 and up will sit facing the front of the class. Wherever possible, we are ensuring that classes have their own resources.    How often will the school be cleaned?    The school will have a deep clean over the summer holidays. It will be thoroughly cleaned every day and key areas / resources will be wiped half way through the school day.  Please note, there are significant works being carried out on the school site over the summer holidays. In September, these works will continue but will not impact the children’s learning/classroom environments.    What will my child be taught?    We will follow the full national curriculum and have deployed support staff so that we can focus on precision teaching and learning.    Will the school close if there is a confirmed case of Covid 19?   We have organised the school into ‘bubbles’ so that we minimise the impact on children (and therefore parents) if we have a confirmed case. We have a clear set of procedures to follow if this happens and you will be notified at the earliest opportunity.    I wish you all a wonderful summer holiday and look forward to seeing the children in September refreshed and ready for a new school year. As always, should you have any queries, please feel free to contact me via the school office.   Mr G Nation Head of School      Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Mr Nation Posted on: 28/02/2020

A Message from Mr Nation

Welcome back! I hope you all had a wonderful half term.  Our new ‘Gateway’ for this half term is ‘Citizenship’ and across the school, through Geography, the children will be learning about their role as a local and global citizen. From understanding our local geography and how we can support our local community in Year 1, to comparing our village to villages further afield by looking at India and closer to home with our European neighbours. Further up the school they will look more closely at the physical and human similarities and differences between such localities and how these impact on what citizenship involves in those parts of the world. We will also be considering the arising environmental implications of how we live and our responsibilities as global citizens to such issues. How are you an active citizen in the local or global community? Please share and discuss at home. I know you’ve all been patiently waiting for an update regarding Forest School provision. Rest assured we are in the final stages of organising quality outdoor provision for all of the children at Castle Primary School. In addition, we’re keen to further enhance the Physical Education for the children. To this end, we’re organising a company to work with us to enhance the PE we already offer.  We welcomed a film crew into school this week. They were filming for a project that will (hopefully)  be shared among various film festivals and centred around a key child/children. Permission was sought from parents of those children involved in the recording so please don’t worry - we only filmed those for whom we had permission!  We have a short but busy half term ahead. Please ensure you keep updated with the many events which can be found online and on this newsletter.   Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
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