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Posted on: April 30th 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 children

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Welcome Back! Posted on: 3/09/2021

Welcome Back!

  Dear Parents and Carers,   We hope you’ve enjoyed a restful summer and that your children are ready for the new school year - we can’t wait to see them again!   The government has now officially removed all the previous restrictions on social distancing, consistent groupings and isolation of close contacts (‘bubbles’) for schools. This allows us more freedom in how we operate, however we are mindful of the uncertain nature of the pandemic as we move through the autumn term into the winter. Infection rates in Somerset are currently high and it is likely that there will be further spread in the months ahead. Children (and staff) who test positive for Covid-19 will still be required to self-isolate for 10 days and so to ensure the smooth running of the school, it is still very much our intention to do all we can to reduce transmission of the virus, whilst prioritising education for all our children.    Arrival at and departure from school   We continue to recommend face coverings on site during busy periods, but as with the national guidance, this is now a matter of personal responsibility.   As the one-way system has worked so effectively this year, we will be continuing with this from September 2021. The school day will start at 08:45 for all children and end at 15:15 (nursery will continue to be 9am-3pm). Parents/carers will be able to drop off and collect their child/children as per normal arrangements. Just as a reminder, the school register is taken at 0855 and children must be punctual in keeping with our school policy.    These arrangements have worked well to ensure a calmer start and end to the school day, whilst fostering greater independence in the children.   If you give permission for your KS2 child to walk home by themselves or to be collected by someone other than main parents and carers, please make sure you have updated this information with the main office during the first week of the term..   Other arrangements   We will of course continue to ensure that frequent hand washing and education on the importance of good hand and respiratory hygiene remains in place. Classrooms will be well-ventilated throughout the school day as part of our normal practice. We are looking forward to returning to some shared assemblies with the children. We will also be resuming our range of extra-curricular after-school activities - more information on this to follow next week. The first day of term is Wednesday 8th September for all year groups excluding Reception (please see Year R-specific letter for your details).   Wrap-around care is available from 7:45am until 5.30pm every day. This can be booked, along with school meals, through your Parentmail account.   Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to working with you for our children in 2021-22. We will write to you again next week detailing our Covid-19 outbreak management plans and what this might mean if cases in school rise. If you have any questions or you need to speak to us about your personal situation, we are here for you - please do not hesitate to get in touch.   Yours faithfully Steve Morton                           Head of School                                    Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A message from Mr Nation Posted on: 16/07/2021

A message from Mr Nation

As we near the final days of this school year, I’ve been reflecting on the relentless efforts from the staff that ensured we provided the children with opportunities and experiences beyond the ‘expected’ for a Primary School. The list of enrichment activities for the children over the past weeks and months is endless. It has been so wonderful to see and hear about visits to Dillington Woods for Forest School, the amazing day the children had with ‘Fizz Pop’ and the mini ‘Schools Against Waste’ project we did with Carymoor Environmental Trust to name a few. A huge thank you to the children for representing the school and themselves so wonderfully. A huge thank you to the team for ensuring these events could happen in such a successful way.  After four years at Castle Primary School, I would like to thank all the parents and carers for their support and their recognition of how the school has grown in strength over the years. Mr Handscomb did an excellent job at ensuring the school was in a strong place 4 years ago and I feel honoured to have been able to build on these key strengths of the school. Mr Morton will be an asset to Castle Primary School and Mrs Liddell will continue to have such a positive impact on the children and staff thanks to her amazing skill set.  I hope you and the children have a well deserved rest over the summer holidays and cherish the memories that you build together whatever you choose to do.   Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
Castle - Bringing learning to life through arts and culture. Posted on: 17/06/2021

Castle - Bringing learning to life through arts and culture.

Castle Primary School – Are delighted to be bringing learning to life through arts and culture. Castle Primary School’s staff and pupils are delighted to have been successful in securing £1500 funding from Artsmark SPARK for developing their arts and cultural learning at the school. Castle will be using the funds to support their arts and culture curriculum to boost teaching, learning and creativity and to increase the wellbeing of staff and pupils, especially during these challenging times. Artsmark SPARK is an opportunity for Somerset schools to access additional funding, CPD and support. Other schools that are part of The Redstart Learning Partnership will also be applying and hopefully benefitting from the scheme. Ethne Staniland, the Trust Lead for Art isn’t stopping there, she has also submitted a bid for £360K from the Arts Council National Lottery Development Fund. This is for a Creative Collaboration pilot project: Teaching for creativity. Ethne has submitted the eligibility questionnaire and an expression of interest application. If this is successful the school will progress to the full application stage and she will have 4 weeks to submit a full application for the Trust.  Ethne Staniland from Castle said: “We are delighted to have been successful in our application to Artsmark spark to secure the match funding of £1500. We will be using this to help organise and enhance our current approach to our teaching and learning of the arts. The Artsmark award and the match funding will play an important part in enhancing Castle Primary School's exciting journey.” A spokesperson from The Redstart Learning Partnership said: “This is absolutely fantastic news for Castle Primary school. We are delighted that they have secured £1500 for the school to develop their arts and culture provision at the school. We will be fully supporting their application to the Arts Council and will be keeping everything crossed that their application is a success. We can’t wait to see the impact this will have on the school, the pupils and the staff.”  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
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