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Posted on: June 30th 2017

A Message from Gareth Nation

A message from Gareth Nation

I am delighted to be appointed head of Castle Primary School and look forward to getting to know you, the parents/carers, as well as pupils and staff in the near future. It was lovely to meet parents of the new reception children last week and have the opportunity to introduce myself; I look forward to further visits to the school over the forthcoming weeks and meeting more of you.

Having visited Castle School a few times already, I’m aware of its strengths and am keen to work collaboratively with parents in the new academic year. My observations of the children so far are that they are courteous, polite and well behaved – a credit to the school and you as parents/carers. Through the leadership of Mr Handscomb, the school has a strong staff team, local advisory board, PTA as well as being part of Redstart Learning Partnership, who are dedicated to ensuring the children of Castle School receive a high standard of education. It is a privilege to join the team.

The education of children is a passion that I have had for years. I began my teaching career at a school in Yeovil and soon became interested in the strategic leadership and governance of schools. I completed my Master’s Degree at an early stage of my career and focused on human behaviour – an area of great interest to me. I then became Deputy Head teacher of Ilchester Community Primary School where I lead and manage 5 classes on daily basis as well as teach. Over the years, I have taught a range of year groups, been part of various governing bodies and been a key member of the senior leadership team. My determinations to ensure schools are innovative, inspirational and irresistible places to learn has taken me to schools in London as well as working alongside other local schools and schools in North Somerset. Primary Schools must immerse children in an environment where they can develop a growth mind-set and become determined, independent, resilient and confident learners. They must recognise that we are all individuals and each have unique talents, traits and personalities that should be loved, nurtured and supported to develop and grow.

Having been born in Yeovil and living locally for the majority of my life, I know and love the local communities and beautiful countryside in which we live. As a father of two, I know the importance of education as a parent and as a professional.

I look forward to meeting you all soon and working collaboratively with you to lead Castle School into the next exciting phase of its development. 


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A Message from Gareth Nation Posted on: 2/02/2018

A Message from Gareth Nation

A massive well done to all those who took part in Cyclo Cross, what a lovely opportunity for the children. Forest School will return to normal next week as there is no Cyclo Cross. Next Monday, it will be Tintagel South and next Wednesday will be Dartmouth class. On Wednesday of this week, Mrs Szarmach and her Forest School team took Tintagel North to Ham Hill for the day and planted trees with the Ham Hill rangers. What a fabulous job they did too! Well done to everyone involved and thank you to Mrs Szarmach for organising it all. A special thank you to Mrs Paget who dedicated her morning to supporting the children in their adventure. In total, they planted 100 trees!    I’d also like to thank all of the staff who have worked with Tintagel South in Mrs Legg’s absence. Mr Penn has done a wonderful job over the past few weeks and, along with Mrs Seaby, Mrs Downes, Mrs Staniland, Mrs Chant, Mrs Morris and Miss Fallon (one of our students) they’ve all ensured consistency for the children. Well done team! We welcome Mrs Legg with open arms next week. It has been lovely to see parents at Tiny Turrets Stay and Play sessions this week, don’t forget there is another session on Monday at 9am. Next Thursday we have our Star Gazing Evening, it was a huge success last year and we welcome back a familiar face this year (Mr Handscomb!). Please see our Facebook page for further details. It will be a wonderful evening so please come along - Mr Penn has been in touch with the Met Office for up-to-date knowledge of cloud coverage!   Next Friday, we will be having a ‘drop everything and read’ day so please ensure your child/children bring a book of their choice to school. There will be a drum every so often throughout the day where everyone (including staff) will stop what they’re doing and read. Also, don’t forget to send in your photos of ‘extreme reading’ for the class displays - thanks to those of you who’ve sent them in already. Finally, thank you to all children, parents and staff at Castle for making the first half of Spring Term such a successful one. Gareth Nation, Head of School  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A message from Gareth Nation Posted on: 19/01/2018

A message from Gareth Nation

Happy New Year to you all! Welcome back to a short yet busy term. The children have returned well rested and have settled back into school life wonderfully. Last week, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) delivered assemblies to all the pupils at Castle School, initiated a fundraising event for the charity through a maths challenge and have led workshops for the Year 5 and 6 children. Our Ukulele classes start next week with the Year 4 children, I’m looking forward to hearing their skills over the forthcoming weeks. The coaches from Yeovil Town Football Club did such a great job at coaching the children that I’ve asked them to return and run another set of lessons. Further details to follow. The after school clubs are up and running - Mrs Knobbs even perfected my country dancing skills this week (not an easy task!). We also had a British Cycling Go-ride coach come to school to start coaching for Cyclo Cross (year 5 and 6). Unfortunately, it was postponed due to the awful weather but let’s hope for fairer conditions next Monday. Please see separate letter for full details. Finally, our key value for this term is perseverance. In assemblies, we have been discussing the importance of setting goals for ourselves and persevering to achieve them; to encourage others to achieve goals and be encouraged by others to achieve our own. Please share the importance of this with your children at home. If your child/children have achieved something outside of school through perseverance, please come in and share their success so we can celebrate it in assembly.  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
Chard school trust leader elected to panel for improving education Posted on: 29/11/2017

Chard school trust leader elected to panel for improving education

Chief Executive Officer and Executive Principal of The Redstart Learning Partnership, Suzanne Flack has been elected to the Headteacher Board for the South West region. Headteacher Boards provide advice and scrutiny for the Regional Schools Commissioner.  Members make recommendations for new multi-academy trusts, new sponsors for multi-academy trusts, and look at improvement plans where schools are not performing as well as they should. Suzanne Flack has led The Redstart Learning Partnership, a multi-academy trust based in Chard, Somerset since 2015.  It currently manages five schools, a mix of small rural and larger town-based schools across south Somerset. Suzanne said:  “It’s vitally important that the views and experiences of all kinds of educational backgrounds are considered when important decisions are being made about our nurseries, primary, secondary, special schools and colleges.  I’m delighted to be elected to the board and will use my background in the primary school sector, particularly with rural schools, to help guide local education policies.” Eric van den Barselaar the Chairman of The Redstart Learning Partnership stated: “Having our Chief Executive involved with the South West Headteacher Board will directly benefit all the schools and children in The Redstart Learning Partnership. The Headteacher Boards have already helped a growing number of academies to share expertise with neighbouring schools and within multi-academy trusts, driving improvement for thousands of pupils.”Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
Posted on: 10/11/2017

"This is a rapidly improving school" - Castle School is a 'Good' school

I am delighted to inform you that our Ofsted report is now available to view online on our website from today and will also be available via the OFSTED website from next Thursday 16th November 2017. The report recognises the school has made a tremendous improvement in the quality of education and care it offers our children and is now graded as ‘Good’.  It highlights the many areas of strengths across the school, recognising that we know our school well, identifying clearly the areas of development. Please find our latest report in our Attainment section of the Website or by clicking this link! The key strengths identified were as follows: This is a rapidly improving school. Since its re- opening in 2015, leaders have built trust within the community. As a result, parents recognise the positive changes of recent years and are overwhelmingly supportive of the school. The new head of school, along with the senior leadership team, are ambitious and provide clear direction for improvement. The school benefits from sharing good practice with other members of the Redstart Learning Partnership. This has a positive impact on staff development and pupils’ progress improves as a result. The school’s inclusive culture ensures the welfare of vulnerable pupils and those with particular needs. Pupils’ attitudes to learning are consistently positive and their behaviour reflects the school’s successful encouragement of high standards. Teachers plan work effectively for pupils who have gaps in their learning. As a result, they catch up quickly. Nursery provision is effective. It prepares children well to start school. Since 2016, the proportion of children achieving a good level of development has increased at the end of Reception year. Good quality teaching has led to improved standards in phonics. Pupils’ achievement in the Year 1 phonics check is now well above the national average. Current pupils are making good progress in English and mathematics. Careful monitoring of the performance of disadvantaged pupils contributes to a large majority of them making good progress. The school’s successful approach to the teaching of writing means that an increasing number of pupils achieve the standards expected for their age.                                    I have been enormously impressed with so many aspects of the school since I arrived and it is wonderful to see these reflected in this report. The support from The Trust, Mr Handscomb and staff’s excellent drive and direction since the last inspection have been invaluable. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the whole team of staff and governors who have displayed a fantastic level of hard work, dedication and commitment in order to ensure that we provide the best possible opportunities for the children of Castle School. This is an exciting time for Castle School. The team and I are dedicated to further raising the quality of education and provision we provide for the children; I look forward to continuing to work closely with you over the forthcoming years. Kind regards Mr G NationCategories: 1 CategorySchool News
A message from Gareth Nation Posted on: 3/11/2017

A message from Gareth Nation

The children have returned to school looking well rested and ready for a busy and exciting half term. The weather is definitely getting colder so please ensure your child/children have the necessary attire for the weather - including their Forest School day! As you are all aware, Ofsted visited our wonderful school last half term. Thank you to those of you who spoke to the inspector on the playground and left your feedback on Parent View. Your voice is vital to ensuring Castle School continues to adapt, improve and develop. As soon as the report has been published, you will all be notified. Thank you to those of you who are actively asking your children not to play with the equipment and on the trim trail at the start and end of each day. I understand it is enticing for the little ones but for their safety, and as the sign states, children must only be using it when supervised by a member of staff. Thank you for your co-operation with this. Last half term I organised for some visitors to come to school and talk to the children about raising money to help rebuild a school in Nepal. On Monday, Mr Luke Simon (Founder and CEO of School in a Bag) and Dr Michael Fernando  (Yeovil Rotary Club President and a Consultant Paediatrician at Yeovil District Hospital) came to visit us. They spoke to the children about an International Service Project that aims to rebuild a school in an area that was devastated by an earthquake in 2015. This is a wonderful opportunity for the children to organise and run events at school that will raise money to benefit others who are less fortunate than us. Further details to follow.  Our sporting opportunities are growing steadily, we have coaches from Yeovil Town football club coming to run a club on a weekly basis, a Football festival in which we’ll be entering a team and also, a cyclocross opportunity for some of the older children in the Spring Term (details to follow) as well as all our usual after school clubs. I look forward to seeing you all at parents evening next week. As ever, if you have any queries please do not hesitate to come in and see me.  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
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