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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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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
A message from Gareth Nation Posted on: 13/10/2017

A message from Gareth Nation

A message from Gareth Nation   We have had a fun filled two weeks since our last newsletter and the children have enjoyed taking part in a range of activities. Clubs are in full swing. Running Club were put through their paces the other week - well done to all the children who took part and thank you to the parents who continue to give up their time and support the children. Craft Club have produced some lovely art work, homework club are always settled and focused, netball club have been enjoying the lovely weather whilst Lego and Press Club have been busy inside the classrooms.  A special thank you to one of our LAB members, Mr D Edwards, who kindly donated some new playground equipment. The children have absolutely loved playing with all the new items. Some of you may have noticed that older siblings from Stanchester come to Castle to collect their brother/sister. If you wish to discuss anything regarding this please do not hesitate to come in and see me. I continue to keep in contact with Stanchester for a range of reasons. At the beginning and end of the school day, some children are playing on the ‘trim trail’ and with the playground equipment. Today, the children were informed of some new school rules and these areas/resources are out of bounds during these times. Please remind your children not to play with or on the equipment - this is for yours and your children’s safety. Thank you everyone in advance for your support. Gareth Nation, Head of School  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A message from Gareth Nation Posted on: 29/09/2017

A message from Gareth Nation

What a fantastic two weeks. Castle School has hosted visits for staff from surrounding schools to come and see the teachers and children hard at work during their maths lessons. In addition, one of our governors has toured the school with me. Forest School has been to visit the Ham Hill Rangers; assisting them with planting seeds surrounding an archaeological dig. Corfe Class have been busy making Iron Age Bannocks and the whole School have started learning their songs ready for the Harvest Festival. Feedback from all who have visited over the past couple of weeks has been very positive. It has been a pleasure to see the children so engaged in their lessons, the teachers ensuring that the children are supported and challenged in their learning as well as our teaching assistants working so effectively in class. Thank you to all the staff for making our school a welcoming and friendly place to learn. In assemblies, we have been learning about ‘respect’. Every Monday, we explore the different meanings of respect and its importance. Please discuss this with your child/children at home and see if they can tell you all about ‘respect’. Communication between home and school is vital and we are keen to share the children’s wonderful work on a more regular basis. Mr Penn has been working hard to set up Seesaw for children in Years 1 -6. It’s great to see this in use already. If you’re not yet familiar with Seesaw don't worry - parent invitations will be coming home soon. Mrs Knobbs will be emailing pictures of the children at the end of the half term as well. Gareth Nation, Head of School  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
Message from our local Brownies and Guides Posted on: 20/09/2017

Message from our local Brownies and Guides

As your local Brownie and Guide units, we wanted to do something for our community and tie it into Remembrance day.   We have therefore invited locally based Petty Officer Sean Gaffney to come to one of our meetings on Tuesday 7th November at the Memorial Hall, Stoke sub Hamdon. 6.30 - 7.30pm. The talk will be gauged appropriate for the girls ages of between 7 & 14 years old and Sean will talk of his in service amputation injury, and his return to fitness where he has returned to the Navy, and even back to Afghanistan.  He has competed in lots of sporting events such as the Invictus Games and has won many medals. His talk is titled "OVERCOMING ADVERSITY" and should be pretty inspiring!  Sean has said that we can raise money for any charity, but we have decided we would like it to go for the charity "HELP FOR HEROES" . We would like to extend the invitation to everyone in our community to come along, of whatever age and have refreshments that the girls will provide and ask for donations to the H4H wristbands and pins to be on offer and listen to this awesome gent!   http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/see-the-difference/stories/si-tempy/ This is a video to realise how little things can make a difference!   Look forward to seeing a few of you and your families there.     If you have any opportunities to put this into a newsletter or your website for the parents information we would be very grateful.   Any questions to contact myself - Brown Owl! - Jackie Poole 01935 823606 Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
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