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Posted on: April 20th 2018

A message from Mr Nation

Welcome back, I hope you all had a lovely Easter Holiday. The children have returned in high spirits; it was pleasing to see them slip seamlessly into the routines and expectations of school.

We’ve had a wonderful start to the term with Forest School fires, den building and tree climbing. The Year 1s have been making some interesting alien creatures out of clay and some of the Year 3 girls have set up a ‘Vote for Women Campaign’ courtesy of Mrs Downes. Tiny Turrets Nursery have their new Mud Kitchen up and running - I look forward to seeing their wonderful creations! A special thanks to Mrs Abbott for organising its installation and thank you to Ben Jones of RNM Ltd for all his hard work. We had a whole school PE session this week and I witnessed my first game of Quidditch thanks to Mr Penn. Next week, we hope to access the recreation ground for Big Rec PE.

All we need now is some more sunny weather!



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Also in the News

A Message from Gareth Nation Posted on: 30/11/2018

A Message from Gareth Nation

Our Poppies and Peace exhibition was so popular and so impressive, that FOCS members and parents have very kindly moved it to the URC. I would like to thank all the children and their families for making such fabulous work, the teachers for taking the time and effort to display it so impressively and of course all those who are continuing to ensure it is displayed in the village. Thanks also to the URC for the use of the space. Well done to Dartmouth for a successful cake sale last week. It was lovely to see so many of you supporting. As you are aware, clubs have now stopped until the Spring Term. Can I remind everyone the importance of teaching the children about commitment. If your child/children sign up to a club, it is important they commit to it. Teachers give up their time to ensure the pupils access these extracurricular activities and it’s only worth doing if they have a sufficient number of children attend. Can you also please inform the teachers if your child is unable to attend a session for any reason, otherwise we have to chase to ensure they are home safe and sound. This week, the Ethos and Welfare Committee met at school to discuss the outcomes for pupils and to review the effectiveness and impact of various aspects of school life. We aim to meet three times each academic year (termly). It would be super to have more members on the panel. It is our school and your input is vital and valued. Please contact the office if you are interested in joining the team! On the final page of the newsletter, you’ll find a summary of your responses to the parent survey. It’s pleasing to see you all recognise Castle School continues to grow and improve. Finally, our attendance is also improving and I’m thrilled to say it is currently 96.3%.  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Gareth Nation Posted on: 16/11/2018

A Message from Gareth Nation

Welcome back. I hope you all had a restful and enjoyable half term break. Last Tuesday, the majority of children from Castle Primary School went to visit Bovington Tank Museum and it was a hugely successful trip. A big thank you to Mrs Downes for organising and to all staff for their assistance with the trip (especially those who attended voluntarily). The ‘education lead’ at the museum said the children were wonderful and we’re welcome back anytime! Well done children - I expected nothing less. It was a timely trip. Class Drogo had a quiet, peaceful and productive day at the school! On Friday, we gathered in the school hall to remember those who gave their lives for our freedom. The children have created some marvellous artwork based on Armistice and it served as an ideal center piece to our mini-service in school. I’d like to thank all those who attended the Remembrance Service at Ham Hill on Sunday. A special thank you to Lola, John, Amiyah and Zac for laying our wreath on behalf of Castle. It was lovely to see so many of you there. This week, most classes have visited the exhibition in the village and we’re proud that some photographs of the homework created by the children is on display. I was thrilled to see so many of you at you parents evening this week, these sessions are crucial to inform you about your child’s progress in school and how hard they are working. Thank you to all of you for your feedback via our survey. The parent feedback shows the school has made improvements in all areas and we’re endeavouring to further improve reporting on your child’s progress and ensuring consistency of homework. Finally, well done for everyone’s kind donations towards Children in Need.   Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Gareth Nation Posted on: 12/10/2018

A Message from Gareth Nation

As ever, a lot has happened since our last newsletter! We have had a languages afternoon, during which the children moved to different classes and learnt either German, Spanish, Italian or French. The children then presented what they’d learnt in assembly at the end of the day. It’s amazing how quickly they pick up new words and phrases! Thank you to all the teachers and staff for assisting with this lovely opportunity for the children. Reverend Peter Thomas came into school this week and gave an assembly about the Lord’s Prayer. Thank you on behalf of Castle School. He is one of several visitors to the school over the past two weeks and I am constantly delighted to hear visitors making such lovely remarks about our school and your children. Words such as ‘calm, focused, polite, well-mannered and resilient’ children seem to be common place here at Castle. We also welcomed the team for Open the Book assembly this week - thanks to you all for your time. Finally, we had a fireman come to the school and gave a safety talk to the children in Year 2 and Year 5. Well done to our Cross Country runners on Wednesday. I hear you represented our school wonderfully. Unfortunately, we only had 4 children take part so not enough for a ‘team’ and therefore we won’t score on the leaderboards. Let’s aim for at least 15 children at the next event. Most of you will have noticed that Mrs Szarmach has been selling pumpkins and vegetable packs at the end of the day. Thank you Mrs Szarmach and the children for your efforts in growing and selling these items. Our winning class this week for attendance is Totnes. They received an extra playtime today. The class with the highest attendance for this half term will be able to wear non school uniform for a day. You will be notified who the winning class is soon.  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Gareth Nation Posted on: 28/09/2018

A Message from Gareth Nation

The school year is in full swing! I’m thrilled to say that our attendance figures are currently above our end of year target - lets keep it that way! Thanks to all of you for ensuring your child/children arrive at school on time. Well done to Drogo class who have the highest attendance in school - they received an extra playtime today. The winning class at the end of half term will receive a non school uniform day. This year, Castle School is aiming to achieve its Games Mark award and raise the profile of sport. So far, YTFC have given an assembly to encourage children to take part in the after school football club - if you’re child/children are interested, come to the office for an application form. Classes are starting the Daily Mile, we’ve registered for Bikeability (later in the year) and our netball team have played their first 3 matches (see our Sport Journalist Report). Well done to Castle School Netball Team and Mrs Oliver for training the players to win their first matches of the season! Cross country events are fast approaching (see separate letter). Please encourage your child/children to take part in these fun and important events. The swimming pool is still in use; we will notify you when we stop using the pool due to the cold weather. Last week, we had a number of teachers and heads of school come to Castle for some maths training. Once again, we were complimented for our polite, hardworking children and for a lovely school environment. Also, year 2 and year 5 had a fire safety talk from the fire brigade. Thank you to those who came in and gave the assembly and to the children for being so well behaved. I’m delighted that during the summer holidays, we had over 40 children sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge. Well done to all those children and thank you parents for supporting them to engage with this important activity. Thank you to Mrs Downes for organising. Next year, our target is for at least half of the school to engage with the Summer Reading Challenge.  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Gareth Nation Posted on: 14/09/2018

A Message from Gareth Nation

Welcome back everyone - I hope you all had a wonderful Summer Holiday.   What a fantastic start to 2018 - 2019 we’ve had. Several members of staff, children and parents have commented on our wonderful school hall which was decorated over the Summer Holidays and has a new floor! In addition, we have a bright ‘new’ classroom - Totnes. Welcome to Mr Allington who has settled in wonderfully at Castle School and all the children who have joined us this year. We’re fortunate to have you all. It has been lovely to see the children return to school looking well presented and arriving punctually. We’ve set the standard for the year and others are noticing what a smashing group of children we have... Last week, we had a visit from the Campaigns Manager of the communications team for the Prime Minister’s and Cabinet Office. I was thrilled that he commented on what  smart, polite, friendly and welcoming children we have at Castle School. I couldn’t agree more! I have to say, the staff and I have noticed an improved attitude and maturity in the school.  It shows the children are increasingly resilient, determined and willing to embrace every opportunity we give them. There has been a noticeable increase in parents requesting term-time leave. May I remind everyone that these will likely be unauthorised, and you may well incur a penalty fine. Finally, we have a revised governance structure across The Trust and we welcome enquiries from anyone who is interested in joining. Please come in to the school office for more details and/or an application form.    Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
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