Latest News

Posted on: October 12th 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.


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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
A message from Gareth Nation Posted on: 13/07/2018

A message from Gareth Nation

As ever, it has been a busy couple of weeks. Sports Day was absolutely fantastic - thank you to those who came along in support of  the event and for cheering your little ones along in their races! Thank you to Charlie for giving up your time to set everything up (and all the other ‘bits and bobs’ you’ve done this term). Transition Day was also a huge success. It was lovely to see the children working in their new classes and I have heard that our current Year 6 children represented Castle School (and themselves) wonderfully well at Stanchester.  Rev. Peter Thomas came to school this week and gave an assembly about change and the courage we need to embrace changes in our lives - it was a timely message indeed! Well done and thank you to FoCS for organising a super Summer Fayre and for all you’ve done for the children of Castle this year! As I was showing a prospective parent and her child around the school on Tuesday, we were delighted to see the swim gala in full swing. Music, splashing, swimming and cheering at poolside - what a wonderful experience for all the children involved. Well done staff for organising such a fabulous event. I’d like to say farewell and well done to all our Year 6 children. One more week and your primary education will come to an end! We wish you all the very best of luck in everything you do. I would like to thank all the parents, carers, family members and children of Castle School for making my first year here such a wonderful experience. To the staff at Castle, you have been a pleasure to work with this year and I look forward to embracing the changes, challenges and success in the years to come.  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Gareth Nation Posted on: 29/06/2018

A Message from Gareth Nation

Summer Term is flying by! Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve welcomed several new prospective parents (and children) to the school and I have to say how proud I am to hear their wonderful comments about our school and your lovely children. In addition, I have shown several professionals around for a range of purposes. They have all commented on your children's polite manners, perseverance and resilience. It is truly wonderful to hear - they’re a credit to you all! Camelot Club is thriving and growing in popularity - it is no surprise after all the hard work Mrs Fran Abbott and Miss Louisa Gosney have put in - well done team Camelot! Nursery is also increasingly popular thanks to Mrs Helen Rainford and her team, it is a hive of activity and the children are always bright, cheerful and full of energy when I visit. Thank you to all the staff for organising the wonderful trips over the past couple of weeks: Paignton Zoo, Ferne Animal Sanctuary and our residential to Pinkery. We’re lucky to have such a dedicated team of teachers and support staff who give up their own time and go that extra mile to ensure your children have these wonderful experiences. Also, I’d like to thank all staff who have supported at school in the absence of the class teachers. Miss Lisa Dodge has done a wonderful job in Class Drogo (covering for Mrs Knobbs and me!). Miss Vincent, Mrs Morris and Mrs Chant have done some lovely work with the remaining members of Team Tintagel! I am delighted to announce that Castle School will be gaining an extra class next year and we welcome Mr Keith Allington to the team. He is an NQT and will work alongside Mrs Ethne Staniland to teach Years 3 and 4. More details of the class structure for next year can be found in the accompanying letter that has come home today. Next week, we say farewell to our two students from Exeter and wish them well on the journey to becoming fully qualified teachers. Thank you to those of you who’ve responded to the parent survey. Can I urge those who haven’t to do so at your earliest convenience. It takes less than 3 minutes to complete and I use all the data to inform the leadership and management of our super school. Thank you all in advance for your support with this.   Enjoy the sun!  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Gareth Nation Posted on: 15/06/2018

A Message from Gareth Nation

A message from Gareth Nation Welcome back! It’s great to see the swimming pool up and running. The children have been having such fun; are already talking about how confident they are in the water and how much they’re enjoying the opportunity to cool off in this glorious weather! Thank you to everyone for ensuring the children come prepared for their swimming sessions - it certainly makes the day run smoothly.   At the end of last half term, the children produced some wonderful ‘maths-in-art’ work. They created patterns from times tables, used angles in art based on Kandinsky and we even had an aerial photograph of some large artwork on the playground.  This week, the current year 5 children have visited Tiny Turrets Nursery and Hamdon Playgroup so that our new reception children can meet their buddies. Well done Year 5s, you’ve done your school proud and thank you to everyone for making us so welcome. Stay and Play sessions have been very popular - it’s lovely to see so many of you accessing this wonderful opportunity to join your little ones at Nursery.   Castle School has achieved ‘Dyslexia Friendly Status’. Thank you to Mrs Sandiford for all her hard work. Our wonderful teachers know the importance of creating an inclusive culture and it’s lovely to be recognised for this. Well deserved all round.  Finally, if you haven’t done so already, please do complete the questionnaire using the email link or QR code on the back page of the newsletter. It is really important to get your opinion, thoughts and wishes about our School so we continue to improve.    Gareth Nation, Head of School  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
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