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Posted on: March 26th 2021

A message from Mr Nation

Welcome to the final newsletter of the Spring Term. It is amazing how quickly this term has passed!

It has been wonderful to see the children return to school and settle so quickly. New routines and procedures are underway, Forest School is going brilliantly as is the PE enhancement being provided by Premier Sports. 

We wanted to ensure that the children returned to school with a full range of experiences, are being taught the full breadth of the curriculum as well as accessing many enrichment opportunities. As you know, the 3 Forest School trained gentlemen from ROAM commenced their work with classes from week 1 and Premier Sports are providing focused PE opportunities for physical exercise. Prior to welcoming the children back to school, we had in depth discussions around supporting the children’s mental health and wellbeing as well as assessing the children’s current knowledge and understanding in reading, writing and maths. Furthermore, we needed to ensure that the teaching plans for the rest of this academic year were in line with the priorities for the children’s learning; ready for the subsequent year of 2021 - 2022. The teachers have been working relentlessly to ensure we are providing the very best education for your amazing children. 

A quick update/reminder regarding School Uniform. School uniform (for day to day and PE) is so important when maintaining standards and expectations. The children come to school well-presented and the following list serves as a reminder of Castle Primary School’s uniform. You will also find this information on our school website: /

School Day

Royal blue Jumper/cardigan (Castle logo optional)

Royal blue and gold tie (KS2)

Grey trousers/shorts/skirt

White shirt 

Blue Gingham Dress 

Black school shoes

PE

Plain white t-shirt (Castle logo optional)

Daps/ Trainers

Black/ grey tracksuit bottoms for the winter

Forest School 

Suitable outdoor clothing for Forest School is essential. Children must also have wellies and a spare pair of indoor shoes. For health and safety reasons, children cannot walk around in bare feet so any children without the appropriate clothing and footwear will have to miss Forest School.

In addition, please ensure your child has a pair of wellies (labelled in a bag) in school so that they can use the field regardless of the weather.


Finally, Mrs Downes has been working hard to ensure that we’re supporting your children to develop as confident readers with a love of books. I’m sure you’ll agree that this is a vital life skill. Reading 4 times a week at home with your children makes such a difference so please keep this up over the Easter holidays. Have a well deserved break and fingers crossed for some sunny weather!

 

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A message from Mr Nation Posted on: 30/04/2021

A message from Mr Nation

Life is certainly beginning to feel a little more ‘normal’ in school. Clubs are now up and running, Forest School and Premier Sports are in full flow and the school is buzzing with energy and excitement.  As I’m writing this, I can hear 22 EYFS/KS1 children taking part in a drumming session (their first of many) and others are on the school field participating in their sports club. Bikeability will soon be taking place for some of our older children in KS2 and it couldn’t be more timely. I’ve had some parents express their concerns over children cycling in large groups in the middle of the road through the village. We’re not sure who these children are but if your child cycles around Stoke-Sub-Hamdon, can you please remind them the importance of staying safe.  During assemblies, we’ve been focusing on our School Vision, ‘Together We’re Stronger’ as well as ‘equality’ and ‘diversity’. As a team, we are passionate about supporting the children to understand the importance of acceptance and have been discussing how we feel ‘safe’ around those who are similar to us. We’ve paid particular attention to accepting those who may look, speak, behave or sound different to us. Please help your child to understand the meaning of the words ‘equality’ and ‘diversity’.  Earlier this week, we had an external review of our school conducted by an education consultant with over 42 years of experience. He was very complimentary about many aspects of Castle Primary and recognised the journey of improvement we have been on since our last OFSTED inspection. Well done team Castle. We now have some clear actions for us to grow in strength.  Can I gently remind everyone that KS2 children must wear a tie. Some of the children have returned without them. Several children are also wearing trainers. Again, this is not part of our school uniform. School uniforms must be worn whilst at school. Many thanks in advance for your understanding with this. As a school, we have taken several measures to ensure the safety of our children and staff. Please ensure you are wearing a mask when on the playground, this includes those who drop off / collect their children from Camelot Club.  Finally, we are continuing to ensure the children understand the importance of reading and that it is key to accessing everything in the world. You can support your child by letting them read to you at least 4 times per week and by reading to them. Your support and understanding with all of the above is greatly appreciated and most importantly, has a positive  impact on your wonderful childrenCategories: 1 CategorySchool News
A message from Mr Nation Posted on: 26/02/2021

A message from Mr Nation

I hope you all had a lovely Half Term (despite the wind and rain, the fact that we couldn’t travel anywhere or visit anyone). My children were pleased to have a break from their ‘usual’ routine but it made me reflect on the importance of routines and the many challenges we all face in this current situation.  I recall a  book I once read called ‘Arthur’ by Mikael Lindnord. Mikael is an adventure racer who stumbled across a dog on one of his races covering 435 miles. It’s a story about resilience, perseverance and teamwork. A story about facing huge challenges and overcoming them with grit and determination. Throughout the book, it becomes apparent that to be a professional adventure racer you need to not only embrace change, but welcome changes and adopt new routines to overcome and conquer.  Establishing new routines when we’re experiencing changes beyond our control is not easy, yet so important. No matter what our circumstances have been throughout this turbulent period, we have all overcome and conquered and finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Arthur, the dog that eventually became such a dedicated companion of Mickael’s, illustrates how we can support each other in times of need and how we can find hope and support in the most challenging of times.  Everyone at school is looking forward to welcoming the children back with all of the necessary measures in place to keep staff and children as safe as we possibly can. I know this remains an anxious time for all of us but you know we’re all here to support each other in the best interests of your wonderful children. More information will follow about the return of all primary school children from 8th March 2021.   Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A message from Mr Nation Posted on: 29/01/2021

A message from Mr Nation

Whenever I compose my introduction for the newsletter, words such as commitment, dedication, and compassion seem to come to mind. Now more than ever are those words necessary to describe the team effort of Castle Primary School in such challenging and difficult times. However, those words are also relevant to all the parents and families that are working relentlessly to support their child/children with Home Education. In addition, a special mention to all the children of Castle School - you’re doing brilliantly and we miss each and everyone of you.  Over the past three weeks, the staff have carefully planned their provision for children in line with government guidance and expectations as well as responding to the latest (national) research and evidence. All the monitoring and surveys to date demonstrate that this hard work has paid off. Consequently, the children are accessing quality education and continue to make progress. The children’s Health and Wellbeing remain the most important aspect of all we do at Castle School and we’ve been working hard to ensure we support everyone as best we can. Next week it is Children's Mental Health Week and this will feature in work planned. This year's theme is 'Express Yourself' and on Friday we are encouraging children in school and at home to wear bright colours or something that helps them to express themselves. Across the week we will be encouraging children (and adults) to explore the different ways we can express ourselves, and the creative ways that we can share our feelings, our thoughts and our ideas. Regardless of individual staff situations, everyone is working relentlessly to maintain the highest of standards of education. Furthermore, our team of TAs have once again stepped up and we’re grateful for all their commitment to our children and school. A special mention to Mrs Abbott and Mrs Morris for their continued support and to Mrs Mayes who is providing Spanish lessons for all children across the school. Miss Gosney has once again proved her commitment to our children with her flexibility and willingness to adapt in a variety of situations, roles and expectations! The admin team has been unstoppable. Mrs Oliver and Mrs Purchase have been absolute bedrock. I could list everyone for their individual efforts, whether working from home or in school, you’re all doing a fantastic job and play such important roles in the family of Castle Primary School. Thank you again to parents/carers for your support and efforts at home, please continue to maintain regular communication with the school and contact me via the school office if there is anything further we can do to support you. Staff 'Home Testing' kits have arrived at school and the team are voluntarily taking part in line with government guidance. Please continue to play your part by following the rules and guidelines around social distancing etc.  My thanks to those who attended the Parent Zoom sessions. I hope you found these informative and took some practical solutions from the session. I do not underestimate the challenging situation we’re all in and we all need to support each other so do get in touch.   Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
Castle Primary School – Display their art for the Octagon Theatre visitors Posted on: 18/12/2020

Castle Primary School – Display their art for the Octagon Theatre visitors

Castle Primary School – Display their art for the Octagon Theatre visitors Castle Primary School pupils in Stoke sub Hamdon (part of The redstart Learning Partnership) were delighted to be invited to take part in an exhibition being displayed at the Octagon theatre to celebrate their reopening following lockdown.  Corfe, Totnes and Dunster classes all provided artwork which has been put on display in the foyer areas.  The theme of the children's artwork is very apt at this time and is entitled 'The Show Must Go On'.  The Duty Manager & Arts Engagement Assistant, Katherine Hoskins said: “Thank you to the Castle Primary School pupils for providing us with some artwork to display around the Octagon for our reopening! We are absolutely delighted with the amount and quality of artwork which we received and it has really brightened up our venue!” Pupils have been encouraged to visit the venue (where safe to do so!) and when the venue is open.  Information regarding the Octagon opening times over the Christmas period are on their website. The artwork can be viewed here: https://www.octagon-theatre.co.uk/news/community-artwork-display-for-the-octagons-reopening A spokesperson from The Redstart Learning Partnership said: “We are absolutely delighted to hear about this great partnership and opportunity for the pupil’s at Castle Primary School.  We’d like to thank the pupil’s for their fabulous artwork and to the Octagon for allowing our pupil’s to display their artwork for public display”.     Notes: Please see attached photo’s Castle Primary School: / Castle Primary School is part of The Redstart Learning Partnership: http://www.theredstartlearningpartnership.co.uk/ Contact: Beth Souster: bsouster@redstartpartnership.co.uk       Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A message from Mr Nation Posted on: 18/12/2020

A message from Mr Nation

Welcome to the final newsletter of 2020. The staff and children have achieved so much this term despite the challenges we have faced.  Christingles, nativites, performances - you name it, but all in bubbles and shared virtually! In addition, Mrs Knobbs and the members of FoCs organised a ‘Nativity Walk’ around the village where parents and children decorated their windows for advent. Our Discovery topic focused on Design and Technology and has taken a different angle on 'Performance' to ensure the children still have such experiences, albeit in a different way this year. While learning the craft of designers they have been busy planning innovative and appealing products to meet their design briefs while utilising new skills linked to woodwork, electricity, music, cooking and nutrition. The children are very proud of their outcomes, and so they should be. We have seen over 30 different bread rolls, watched wonderful theatres come to life and listened to a range of musical instruments made from everyday items. Most importantly, the children have enjoyed their learning experiences and have been eager to share what they have been up to which is credit to the adults in their classes. Rev Annie has provided the school with wonderful acts of Collective Worship which we have shared on a weekly basis along with Values Assemblies and Celebration Assemblies. Life is certainly different and virtual assemblies are commonplace. The children also enjoyed a visiting pantomime of Dick Whittington organised by Mrs Liddell, it was lovely to see the children getting in the festive spirit...oh yes it was! We are also hugely grateful to FoCS this term who have been busy finding new ways to fundraise. They have still managed to raise money for our school through new ventures along with making some regular school events safe to continue. This has meant we have been able to invite professionals in to the work with the children and have been able to put on a pantomime to help get children in the festive spirit. Finally, my thanks to you as parents/carers for your continued support of the school. I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
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