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Posted on: February 15th 2019

A Message from Mr Nation

The first half of the Spring Term has flown by. Well done to our runners who took part in the Cross Country event last Wednesday and thank you to Mr Allington for going along and supporting our small but dedicated team. It would be lovely to see more children running at the next event. Mrs Knobbs and the team have been committed to setting up intra-school sporting events and last week we held tag rugby matches. See our Sports Journalists comments in this week's newsletter for further details.

Thank you to those who came to school on Wednesday to meet Mrs Lancey. I’m excited about the next phase for Castle and look forward to utilising her skills and expertise to help lead our wonderful school. It was lovely to hear so many positive comments about how hard everyone is working at Castle School and the positive impact it is having.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the teachers, parents/carers and of course children for their hard work and dedication this half term. Everyone has worked relentlessly at Castle School and you all deserve a jolly good rest, ready to return and work hard once again for the second half of Spring. I wish you all a wonderful week.

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A Message from Mr Nation Posted on: 3/05/2019

A Message from Mr Nation

Welcome back. The children have returned with focus and enthusiasm. It’s wonderful so see them settling back into routines after the Easter break. Earlier this week, we had two visitors and I was proud to show them a typical day at Castle School - Forest School, ‘drop everything and read’, a book swap session as well as all the teaching and learning in class. So many varied and exciting activities and crucially, all the children were polite, friendly and well mannered.   Thank you to Mrs Downes and everyone who’ve helped organise Castle Book Week. The children have taken part in a variety of activities centred around reading. It’s been lovely to see everyone so engrossed in a book.   Thank you to our families for ensuring holidays are not taken during school term-time. A reminder regarding Term Time Leave can be found in the school’s Attendance Policy can be found online on our website: /966/policies. In line with government expectations and local county guidance, unauthorised term time absence equating to 10 or more sessions will likely incur a Penalty Notice of £60 per parent/carer per child.   By ensuring your child is in school on time, every day you are helping them to achieve their best.   If your child rides a scooter / bike to school, can you please talk to them about riding at speed along the path and showing respect to others. A few parents have come to see me about children ‘shooting past’ them and nearly hitting them or their young children.   Finally, I’m grateful to those who came along to the curriculum session at the school on Wednesday evening. I hope you found it insightful. I believe it vital that Castle School’s curriculum reflects its local community and your input is valued.  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Mr Nation Posted on: 22/03/2019

A Message from Mr Nation

Last week, I showed two visitors around Castle School. One is a head teacher of a school in Somerset and the other, the Chair of Governors. As always, I felt immensely proud listening to some of the wonderful comments about how courteous and polite the children are and what a great atmosphere there is around the school. Thank you to those who came along to meet Mrs Liddell on Tuesday. For those of you who couldn't make it, we will be available to meet you in the school hall on Wednesday 27th March at 9:00 am. Mrs Liddell has spent time at school this week getting to know the staff and children as well as teaching Drogo. I’m looking forward to her support as we continue to improve the standard of education we offer at our wonderful school. We are currently below our attendance target for the year. Please ensure your child is arriving at school on time and is in class by 8:55 am. If you wish to discuss your child/children’s attendance, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me via the school office. Can I remind parents/carers not to smoke outside the school gates. It sends the wrong message to the children and is unpleasant for everyone. Thank you all for your understanding with this. Thank you to Mrs Morris for taking the time to make pancakes with all the children in the school. They have thoroughly enjoyed their time and the pancakes smell delicious!  Finally, I'm delighted to inform everyone that a Year 2 child's writing of Castle School has been chosen to be included in a 'Year 2 Assessing Primary Writing Exemplars Report'. This is one of 15 texts out of thousands that will be used to help schools across the country in their teaching and learning. The child will remain anonymous but this is a fantastic achievement!   Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Mr Nation Posted on: 8/03/2019

A Message from Mr Nation

I know all the parents, carers and children will have noticed all the extra effort the Castle Team have put in over the past two weeks. They always go over and above and it doesn't go unnoticed. They have organised and attended many after school events that it is easy to forget that they too have families at home! Cross Country, Stargazing, Youth Speaks, Bikeability, training and courses that were held after school hours, clubs and Castle's very own performance of Peter Pan - all in two weeks! That's as well as their day job! Thank you Castle Team on behalf of everyone.  What a busy start to the second half of the Spring Term. Bikeability was a huge success last week. The children represented Castle School brilliantly and were a credit to themselves. Not only were the children inspired to cycle more, Mrs Abbott and Miss Dodge were also full of joy having spent two days on their bicycles! Thank you to Mrs Knobbs, Mrs Abbott, Miss Dodge and Mrs Szarmach for organising and assisting with this important event. Mrs Szarmach has also been busy behind the scenes organising Forest School sessions with the Ham Hill Rangers. Some of the children have the opportunity to go to Ham Hill and carve their initials into a wooden leaf to finish their project on the natural playground near Fairy Glen. What a great way to make their mark for years to come! Mr Penn organised for a company to come to Castle last week and hold a performance based on e-safety. It was an engaging and thought provoking session. Please continue to support your child to be safe online, even when they’re playing games with their friends. Finally, a huge thank you to all who supported and attended the Stargazing evening last Wednesday. It was a fantastic event and the staff went over and above as always. A BIG THANK YOU to Mr Main for all his help this week. As you all know, Charlie gives up much of his time for the children (and staff) at Castle and we're very grateful.   Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Mr Nation Posted on: 17/12/2018

A Message from Mr Nation

Christmas has arrived at Castle! We have post boxes located throughout the school for the children to post their Christmas cards for friends and staff. All classes have been busy rehearsing their performances and I’m particularly impressed with the children’s confidence when standing on stage in front of a live audience - what confident and competent children they are! Thank you to parents and carers for supporting the children learn their lines and lyrics. Staff have put in lots of additional time to ensure these performances go smoothly for the children - thank you! In addition, I would like to thank Mr Main for all the support he has given the school this term - he is a valued member of the Castle team. Finally, thank you FOCs for coming along and serving tea, coffee and mince pies. We look forward to the Year 5 and 6 performances next week. Last Friday, we welcomed a member of staff from Carymoor Recycling Centre to Castle School. He led an assembly to all children and then visited some of the classrooms where the children participated in a workshop based on recycling and caring for the environment. This was an important message for all the children and they were very energised to ensure we do all we can to help the environment. As always, our visitor had nothing but positive things to say about our super school. We have a busy final week of term before the Christmas break. Next Monday we will be holding a Christingle Service in the school hall for Year 5 and 6 and their parents. Thank you to those of you who have replied. If you haven’t yet done so, this is a lovely opportunity to spend some quality time with your loved one/s at school. I’d like to take this opportunity to notify you of a recent update to the school’s website. Under the ‘safeguarding’ tab, there is an ‘e-safety’ section. You’ll find several useful resources which provide guidance and information to help keep children safe online. Finally, I would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.  Categories: 1 CategorySchool 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
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