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Posted on: March 8th 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. 


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Also in the News

A message from Mr Nation Posted on: 26/03/2021

A message from Mr Nation

Welcome to the final newsletter of the Spring Term. It is amazing how quickly this term has passed! It has been wonderful to see the children return to school and settle so quickly. New routines and procedures are underway, Forest School is going brilliantly as is the PE enhancement being provided by Premier Sports.  We wanted to ensure that the children returned to school with a full range of experiences, are being taught the full breadth of the curriculum as well as accessing many enrichment opportunities. As you know, the 3 Forest School trained gentlemen from ROAM commenced their work with classes from week 1 and Premier Sports are providing focused PE opportunities for physical exercise. Prior to welcoming the children back to school, we had in depth discussions around supporting the children’s mental health and wellbeing as well as assessing the children’s current knowledge and understanding in reading, writing and maths. Furthermore, we needed to ensure that the teaching plans for the rest of this academic year were in line with the priorities for the children’s learning; ready for the subsequent year of 2021 - 2022. The teachers have been working relentlessly to ensure we are providing the very best education for your amazing children.  A quick update/reminder regarding School Uniform. School uniform (for day to day and PE) is so important when maintaining standards and expectations. The children come to school well-presented and the following list serves as a reminder of Castle Primary School’s uniform. You will also find this information on our school website: / School Day Royal blue Jumper/cardigan (Castle logo optional) Royal blue and gold tie (KS2) Grey trousers/shorts/skirt White shirt  Blue Gingham Dress  Black school shoes PE Plain white t-shirt (Castle logo optional) Daps/ Trainers Black/ grey tracksuit bottoms for the winter Forest School  Suitable outdoor clothing for Forest School is essential. Children must also have wellies and a spare pair of indoor shoes. For health and safety reasons, children cannot walk around in bare feet so any children without the appropriate clothing and footwear will have to miss Forest School. In addition, please ensure your child has a pair of wellies (labelled in a bag) in school so that they can use the field regardless of the weather. Finally, Mrs Downes has been working hard to ensure that we’re supporting your children to develop as confident readers with a love of books. I’m sure you’ll agree that this is a vital life skill. Reading 4 times a week at home with your children makes such a difference so please keep this up over the Easter holidays. Have a well deserved break and fingers crossed for some sunny weather!  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A message from Mr Nation Posted on: 26/02/2021

A message from Mr Nation

I hope you all had a lovely Half Term (despite the wind and rain, the fact that we couldn’t travel anywhere or visit anyone). My children were pleased to have a break from their ‘usual’ routine but it made me reflect on the importance of routines and the many challenges we all face in this current situation.  I recall a  book I once read called ‘Arthur’ by Mikael Lindnord. Mikael is an adventure racer who stumbled across a dog on one of his races covering 435 miles. It’s a story about resilience, perseverance and teamwork. A story about facing huge challenges and overcoming them with grit and determination. Throughout the book, it becomes apparent that to be a professional adventure racer you need to not only embrace change, but welcome changes and adopt new routines to overcome and conquer.  Establishing new routines when we’re experiencing changes beyond our control is not easy, yet so important. No matter what our circumstances have been throughout this turbulent period, we have all overcome and conquered and finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Arthur, the dog that eventually became such a dedicated companion of Mickael’s, illustrates how we can support each other in times of need and how we can find hope and support in the most challenging of times.  Everyone at school is looking forward to welcoming the children back with all of the necessary measures in place to keep staff and children as safe as we possibly can. I know this remains an anxious time for all of us but you know we’re all here to support each other in the best interests of your wonderful children. More information will follow about the return of all primary school children from 8th March 2021.   Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A message from Mr Nation Posted on: 29/01/2021

A message from Mr Nation

Whenever I compose my introduction for the newsletter, words such as commitment, dedication, and compassion seem to come to mind. Now more than ever are those words necessary to describe the team effort of Castle Primary School in such challenging and difficult times. However, those words are also relevant to all the parents and families that are working relentlessly to support their child/children with Home Education. In addition, a special mention to all the children of Castle School - you’re doing brilliantly and we miss each and everyone of you.  Over the past three weeks, the staff have carefully planned their provision for children in line with government guidance and expectations as well as responding to the latest (national) research and evidence. All the monitoring and surveys to date demonstrate that this hard work has paid off. Consequently, the children are accessing quality education and continue to make progress. The children’s Health and Wellbeing remain the most important aspect of all we do at Castle School and we’ve been working hard to ensure we support everyone as best we can. Next week it is Children's Mental Health Week and this will feature in work planned. This year's theme is 'Express Yourself' and on Friday we are encouraging children in school and at home to wear bright colours or something that helps them to express themselves. Across the week we will be encouraging children (and adults) to explore the different ways we can express ourselves, and the creative ways that we can share our feelings, our thoughts and our ideas. Regardless of individual staff situations, everyone is working relentlessly to maintain the highest of standards of education. Furthermore, our team of TAs have once again stepped up and we’re grateful for all their commitment to our children and school. A special mention to Mrs Abbott and Mrs Morris for their continued support and to Mrs Mayes who is providing Spanish lessons for all children across the school. Miss Gosney has once again proved her commitment to our children with her flexibility and willingness to adapt in a variety of situations, roles and expectations! The admin team has been unstoppable. Mrs Oliver and Mrs Purchase have been absolute bedrock. I could list everyone for their individual efforts, whether working from home or in school, you’re all doing a fantastic job and play such important roles in the family of Castle Primary School. Thank you again to parents/carers for your support and efforts at home, please continue to maintain regular communication with the school and contact me via the school office if there is anything further we can do to support you. Staff 'Home Testing' kits have arrived at school and the team are voluntarily taking part in line with government guidance. Please continue to play your part by following the rules and guidelines around social distancing etc.  My thanks to those who attended the Parent Zoom sessions. I hope you found these informative and took some practical solutions from the session. I do not underestimate the challenging situation we’re all in and we all need to support each other so do get in touch.   Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
Castle Primary School – Display their art for the Octagon Theatre visitors Posted on: 18/12/2020

Castle Primary School – Display their art for the Octagon Theatre visitors

Castle Primary School – Display their art for the Octagon Theatre visitors Castle Primary School pupils in Stoke sub Hamdon (part of The redstart Learning Partnership) were delighted to be invited to take part in an exhibition being displayed at the Octagon theatre to celebrate their reopening following lockdown.  Corfe, Totnes and Dunster classes all provided artwork which has been put on display in the foyer areas.  The theme of the children's artwork is very apt at this time and is entitled 'The Show Must Go On'.  The Duty Manager & Arts Engagement Assistant, Katherine Hoskins said: “Thank you to the Castle Primary School pupils for providing us with some artwork to display around the Octagon for our reopening! We are absolutely delighted with the amount and quality of artwork which we received and it has really brightened up our venue!” Pupils have been encouraged to visit the venue (where safe to do so!) and when the venue is open.  Information regarding the Octagon opening times over the Christmas period are on their website. The artwork can be viewed here: A spokesperson from The Redstart Learning Partnership said: “We are absolutely delighted to hear about this great partnership and opportunity for the pupil’s at Castle Primary School.  We’d like to thank the pupil’s for their fabulous artwork and to the Octagon for allowing our pupil’s to display their artwork for public display”.     Notes: Please see attached photo’s Castle Primary School: / Castle Primary School is part of The Redstart Learning Partnership: Contact: Beth Souster:       Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A message from Mr Nation Posted on: 18/12/2020

A message from Mr Nation

Welcome to the final newsletter of 2020. The staff and children have achieved so much this term despite the challenges we have faced.  Christingles, nativites, performances - you name it, but all in bubbles and shared virtually! In addition, Mrs Knobbs and the members of FoCs organised a ‘Nativity Walk’ around the village where parents and children decorated their windows for advent. Our Discovery topic focused on Design and Technology and has taken a different angle on 'Performance' to ensure the children still have such experiences, albeit in a different way this year. While learning the craft of designers they have been busy planning innovative and appealing products to meet their design briefs while utilising new skills linked to woodwork, electricity, music, cooking and nutrition. The children are very proud of their outcomes, and so they should be. We have seen over 30 different bread rolls, watched wonderful theatres come to life and listened to a range of musical instruments made from everyday items. Most importantly, the children have enjoyed their learning experiences and have been eager to share what they have been up to which is credit to the adults in their classes. Rev Annie has provided the school with wonderful acts of Collective Worship which we have shared on a weekly basis along with Values Assemblies and Celebration Assemblies. Life is certainly different and virtual assemblies are commonplace. The children also enjoyed a visiting pantomime of Dick Whittington organised by Mrs Liddell, it was lovely to see the children getting in the festive spirit...oh yes it was! We are also hugely grateful to FoCS this term who have been busy finding new ways to fundraise. They have still managed to raise money for our school through new ventures along with making some regular school events safe to continue. This has meant we have been able to invite professionals in to the work with the children and have been able to put on a pantomime to help get children in the festive spirit. Finally, my thanks to you as parents/carers for your continued support of the school. I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A message from Mr Nation Posted on: 20/11/2020

A message from Mr Nation

What a busy week! My thanks to those of you who joined the teachers for parents evening. I appreciate these were a little different to normal but no doubt you managed to gain a good insight into your child’s education and how you can support at home. I've already received some positive comments which is lovely to hear. As you know, we had to close the Drogo / Corfe ‘bubble’ earlier this week. The admin team were fantastic and communicated quickly and effectively, the teachers ensured that they followed the Home Learning Agreement immediately and Mrs Liddell worked relentlessly to assist with the closure of the ‘bubble’’. My thanks also to those who remained 'on the ground' and supported accordingly. Fortunately, all is well and we were able to safely reopen the 'bubble' on Wednesday 18th November. Since our last newsletter, the children have been working on their new Discovery project which focuses on 'Design and Technology’ through the gateway of Performance. From woodwork theatres in Key Stage 1 with stage lighting provided by Year 6, nutritional Great Bread Bake offs in Totnes, musical instruments in Dunster, and electronic moving Christmas decorations in Tintagel. Based on the successes and impressive outcomes from last term's Discovery project in Art, I’m sure the standard of work will be just as strong if not better. You will see from the picture at the top of this newsletter that we are celebrating the childrens’ work by displaying it as a large installation in the school hall. Thanks to Mrs Staniland and Mrs Morris for ensuring this was displayed so beautifully. Please take time to look at some of the latest developments on our website. Under the ‘About Us/Curriculum’ section, you will find our Curriculum Statement of Intent as well as further detail of how and what we are teaching at school. Some of these sections are still under development but please enjoy learning more about the work we are doing to enhance the full curriculum we offer the children. Finally, my thanks to those parents who've sent messages of support to me and the team. I cannot emphasise how hard every member of staff is working in these exceptionally challenging times. Despite the obviously difficult situation, your child's/children's safety, wellbeing and learning remains at the heart of everything we do. Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
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