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Posted on: September 8th 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

 
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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
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
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: 20/12/2019

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.   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
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