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Posted on: December 20th 2019

A Message from Mr Nation

I cannot believe how quickly this term has passed. It has been an incredibly busy and successful Autumn Term with much to celebrate. 

I’d like to start with a huge thank you to parents, carers and loved ones for your continued support of our wonderful school. The school’s attendance figure for this term is 97.01%, the highest in at least three years. This means much more consistency for the staff and children of Castle School and clearly has a direct (positive) impact on your child’s/children’s learning. Let’s keep this up for the Spring and Summer terms.  My thanks to Rev. Annie Gurner for her support at different events this year. Whether it was coming into school for assemblies based on our values, supporting at community events or welcoming the Year 1 children to church for their project, we’re grateful for her time and effort. Rev. Annie led a wonderful Christingle for our Year 5 and Year 6 children at St Mary’s Church and the local Co-Op were kind enough to provide us with oranges for our Christingles having received letters from the children. 

Earlier this term, the Year 5 and Year 6 children attended Stanchester for a drama workshop. I was told that the children were exemplary and had an amazing experience. Their skills were put to the test for their end of year Christmas play which was written by Mr Penn. It was a significant piece of work that helped teach the children the importance of Christmas; to spend time with family, loved ones and help those in need. 

This week, the children had their Christmas lunch, Christmas parties and attended the recreation ground in readiness for a visit from Santa via Helicopter. Unfortunately, the weather did not permit a safe landing. Nevertheless, my thanks to the parent who helped organise this for the children (and staff!) and to those who assisted walking the children to the (nearly) landing zone!

Finally, my thanks to the Friends of Castle School  (FoCS) who have helped with potting plants, have supported at Christmas performances, provided discos for the children as well as organising and running our annual Christmas Fayre. Well done FoCS for all you’ve done for Castle Primary School this term. 

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Enjoy spending time together as a family and cherish those dear to you. 


School News



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A Message from Mr Nation Posted on: 31/01/2020

A Message from Mr Nation

It’s been lovely to see the children return to school in high spirits and full of enthusiasm.  Classes have been busy working on their ‘Gateway’ of Explorers. From role playing as Christopher Columbus, attempting to create their own successful settlement in Year 5 and 6 and even stepping onto the moon and learning what it was like for Neil Armstrong as a space explorer. It has been lovely to see the excitement and buzz around this new learning. If you haven’t already, please take a look for yourself on Seesaw! Mr Allington very kindly organised for a GB athlete to come to our school this week. On Monday, Rich Parker (a British professional ‘vert’ skater) visited Castle Primary School, led a circuits session with all the children and showed us his skills - by jumping over three members of staff! My thanks to Mr Allington and Rich Parker for such a fantastic morning. A quick reminder about lunch boxes, please can we ensure children have enough in their lunch boxes to fuel them through the day and that these are well balanced, avoiding too many sugary snacks.  Finally, we have a wonderful opportunity for you to become an integral part of Castle Primary School. We’re seeking to increase the numbers of our (currently known as) ‘Ethos and Welfare Committee’. We meet regularly throughout the year and discuss the School’s priorities. If your interested, please get in touch via the school office.   Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Mr Nation Posted on: 22/11/2019

A Message from Mr Nation

It’s amazing to think we’re three weeks into the second half of Autumn Term already. The children have returned full of energy and school is in full swing. We’ve all started our new project for this half term and our ‘Gateway’ is ‘Celebrations’. Last week was ‘Inter-Faith Week’ and Mr Penn utilised this opportunity to organise several visitors to Castle School and talk to us about their religion. It’s so important we provide the children with such experiences to increase their awareness of our diverse culture. Well done Mr Penn for organising.  My thanks to parents/carers for supporting Children in Need. We raised a fantastic ‘£124,46’ towards this important cause. Raising the awareness of such charities and issues in the world is crucial and clearly has a direct link to the values that underpin all we do at Castle School.  It was lovely to see so many of you at Parents Evening last week. For those of you who didn’t manage to complete the survey, please scan the QR code on the back of this newsletter and answer the questions. On Wednesday 27th November, I will collate the responses and share with everyone before the end of term. There have been so many positive comments about Castle School and it is clear, for the vast majority of parents/carers and children, you’re overwhelmingly positive about all that we do. As always, if you have any queries or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me via the school office. Your feedback is valued and has already guided much of the work and efforts to date.   Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Mr Nation Posted on: 25/10/2019

A Message from Mr Nation

A message from Gareth Nation I have spent time in classes this term, teaching the children, watching them make great progress in their learning and demonstrating our Values. I have to say that the school feels very settled and focused. Having shown several visitors around, it’s been a pleasure to hear their positive comments about Castle Primary School.  Our project based around ‘Wellbeing’ has been a successful one. The work displayed on Seesaw, in classes and in books identifies the hard work the children and staff have put into the project. The exhibition was well attended and I thank parents and carers for coming along and appreciating the children’s work.  I would like to thank those who came along and supported the Harvest Festival. It was lovely to see so many parents, family and loved ones in attendance. I’m sure you’ll agree that the children were all fantastic and showed such confidence and enthusiasm when performing to a large audience. Unfortunately, some of the children struggled to hear the entire performance due to noise at the back of the hall and they questioned if everyone heard their presentation. It takes huge amounts of courage to perform on a stage, especially when so young. May I gently remind everyone that when attending such events, please bear this in mind and come in support, giving your full attention to efforts made by all.  Bake for Books is working brilliantly and classes are raising a fantastic amount of money. Thank you all for your kind contributions and donations. ‘Crazy Glasses Day’ was also a success - we raised £105. Your contributions will help support families affected by retinoblastoma, a rare eye cancer which mainly affects young children.  Mr Allington is assisting the children taking part in cross country. We’re trying to encourage more children to take part in these fantastic events, if your child/children are in interested please let the school know. Finally, as you know we’re advertising for a Forest School Lead at Castle Primary School. During this interim period, Mrs Abbott, Mrs Morris, Mrs Counter and Miss Dodge have been fantastic at teaching the children outdoors as well as arts and crafts. We look forward to this continuing next half term.  Half Term Challenge—On the back page of the newsletter, you’ll find a challenge for the next few weeks - happy designing!   Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Mr Nation Posted on: 27/09/2019

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.     Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Mr Nation Posted on: 6/09/2019

A Message from Mr Nation

Welcome back everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful summer holiday. It’s lovely to see the children return to school looking so smart and full of energy. A warm welcome to new parents and children. As always, we have an ‘open door policy’ and our aim is to be a welcoming and friendly school. If you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in contact with me or your class teacher via the school office.   Communication This year, I will be writing a newsletter to parents / carers every fortnight and you’ll also receive a newsletter from classes  every month. We will send home a list of key dates for the year next week, please refer to this so that you’re aware of what is happening and when. Every newsletter will have upcoming dates and in addition, Mr Penn will continue to do a fab job updating Facebook. Our aim is to give you as much notice as possible should any changes to events arise and we thank you in advance for your patience with this. Letters will be sent home in keeping with previous years with further details of school events when necessary. All correspondence can be found on our school website which is updated weekly.  Following the survey last year, I’m looking to improve the communication between home and school. The above will address this area but we’ll also be having ‘parent drop-in’ sessions when you can come into school and look at your child’s work on the final Friday 2:45 pm - 3:15pm of each half term. Dates can be found on the School Calendar.  In addition, we will be providing you with a Mid-Year Report Card in the Spring Term providing you with information about your child’s attainment.    Playground Equipment  As you may have seen, we have new playground equipment. Mrs Liddell work relentlessly last year to get the equipment installed over the holiday. Our outdoor classroom will be used at playtimes, lunchtimes and also for Forest School / outdoor learning. This will be a huge asset to the school and the children are already enjoying using this as a quiet area at break and lunchtime. The Clamber Stack is designed specifically for the older children. We have Risk Assessed the new equipment and, similar to the Trim Trail, children are not allowed on these pieces of equipment before and after school. This is for the safety of your child/children. Anyone seen using this equipment at the beginning / end of the school day will be asked to stop. There will be consequences for persistent offenders. I appreciate younger children are naturally curious but please support us in keeping your children safe by not allowing them to climb or play on the equipment. Extended Care  Camelot Club is increasingly popular thanks to the wonderful work of Mrs Abbott and Miss Gosney. Please get in touch through the office if you wish to make use of this provision.  Clubs Clubs are not intended to be a form of child care. Teachers volunteer their time to run extra-curricular activities for the children of Castle Primary School. Please only send your child/children to these clubs if they show an interest in taking part. Clubs will always be communicated after the first few days/week of each school year. As I’m sure you’ll appreciate, there is a lot of organisation and preparation by the team and this gives us time to put everything in place. At the end of each half term, you will receive a letter with the clubs for the subsequent half term.  Absences Should your child be absent from school for any reason, please ensure you communicate this with the school office. Term time leave must be requested using the forms that can be found on the school website. Please refer to the Attendance Policy for guidance. Term Time Leave not only negatively impacts your child’s education but has a knock on effect to the teacher and the other children. Our expectation is that children attend school 100% of the time. Of course children are occasionally ill and there are valid reasons for them to be absent. Otherwise please ensure your child attends school regularly and is punctual. These are valuable life lessons for them to learn.  Our overall school attendance last year was 95%. This was below our target of 96%. Please support your child with their education by ensuring they attend school every day.  School Applications for 2020  If your child is due to start school in September 2020, the closing date for applications is the 15th January. The Admissions and Entitlements team will not be contacting parents individually as they have done in previous years. Please visit for more information.  I’m looking forward to the year ahead and working with you all to build on the many strengths of Castle Primary School.   Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Mr Nation Posted on: 12/07/2019

A Message from Mr Nation

2018- 2019 has been an incredibly busy and overall, successful year for Castle Primary School. Since the last newsletter, the children have had a variety of opportunities and experiences: Bristol Residential, water play at Forest School sessions, the Year 5 children attended the County Hall in Somerset for an Environmental Strategy Meeting (where they presented their ideas and opinions on how to improve travel and transport in regards to the environment) and some of our Year 3 children attended a Maths Quiz at Buckland St. Mary Primary School. Whether it was comments from the general public whilst in Bristol, or feedback from members of County Hall - it is apparent that the children of Castle School have been role model pupils no matter where they are. A huge well done to all the children for being so marvellous.  Sports Day was a huge success. Thank you to everyone for coming along and supporting your children. It was unfortunate that we had to pick up so much litter at the end of the session which had been left where spectators were sat. At school, we ensure we’re teaching the children about respecting our environment; can I please urge you all to model this at home as well. My thanks to those of you who tidied after themselves. I’ve been made aware that there has been some anti-social behaviour taking place at the recreation ground near the new developments. The police are aware. Please ensure your child/children are not involved. The new facilities will be available to the general public soon.  We have a huge amount of Lost Property. This is the final call before it goes to the local charity shop. Wishing you all a wonderful summer holiday.    Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
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