Dear North Tawton Families,
It was a pleasure to take part in the beautiful candle lit service at St Peter’s church last Sunday. Do come along to the Christingle Service on Sunday 19th December at 11am and the Christmas service on Christmas Eve at 4pm, you will be welcomed. I look forward to working more closely with the church over the coming year as well as lots of other local community groups.
This week has been a wonderful week of arts, crafts, singing, performing and of course learning about the really important messages of Christmas. Do see the class blogs and Dojo for photos and videos of our Christmas lunch, carol singing, Y6 Christingle service, our nativity and our class parties.
Congratulations to everyone who took part in the wreath decorating competition. The wreaths looked absolutely stunning and it was a shame to take them down and send them back home!
Our 2021 winners are:
Nursery - Poppy Jones for her cotton wool snowman with twig arms!
Reception Class - George Sheepy for his bright and cheery holly design.
Year 1 - Henry Forsey for his traditional design, with delicious smelling oranges.
Year 2 - Ned Jones for his Christmas train wreath, with clever peg train track.
Year 3 - Ralph Clatworthy Edwards for his intricate festive drawings.
Year 4 - Jessica Reynolds for her wintery snow globe design.
Year 5 - Rebecca Sims for her unique halo mobile design, with crocheted icicles.
Year 6 - Oliver Horn for his illuminated prickly holly creation. Ouch!
A big thank you to FONTS for organising this and to RL Taylor for providing the prizes.
This term the teaching staff have had meetings and training to adopt a new curriculum called Real PE for Physical Education, and the Voices Foundation for music. Both of these will enhance our current work and give us more resources and opportunities for our pupils. We are also developing our Forest School with Miss Prince leading us in safety and innovation. We really look forward to using our outdoor spaces in the Spring for lots of risk taking and problem solving adventures.
Coach Edwards and Coach Stronge from Saints Southwest have been teaching the classes sports skills this Autumn term. Read more about Saints Southwest here Saints Southwest Newsletter
During our INSET day (In service training day) on Tuesday 4th January, the staff will be working on line from 8am developing our Base Curriculum with staff across the Trust.
This Autumn, 29 of our children have had to isolate as they have contracted Covid – this is 16% of the school population. Many parents and older siblings have also had the virus over the past three months. We have also had a lot of absence due to children waiting for test results as well as other illnesses. This obviously has an impact on school life and much more so on family life. Thank you to all parents who have kept in touch with us regarding this. A particular acknowledgement to all of you who have been ill yourselves, or needed to take time off to look after your children or, as has been for many families, both. I am sure looking after poorly children while you are not well yourself has been no mean feat.
We have also had nine members of staff off this Autumn with Covid. Our staff team have really pulled together by taking on additional break and lunch duties, working extra hours, covering each other’s responsibilities and supporting one another. I am so pleased that we have managed to stay open this term (many schools across the country have closed classes, year groups and entire schools) A huge ‘thank you’ to the staff for their hard work going the extra mile each and every day for our children, this really is a fantastic team.
I hope we will not have so much disruption in the new year, but with the new variant, we do need to continue our measures. I will be in touch before we start back to school with an update. Please do let me know by email if any you or any of your children contract the virus over the holiday as I will have to consider this for the new term arrangements.
This week we said a fond farewell to Sarah Dennis and thank her for her outstanding work here. She will be missed.
We hope to be able to hold clubs in January, We will let you know at the start of the term what our Covid contingency plan looks like. If we are able to, clubs will start the week beginning 10th January.
Back by popular demand: Netball and Saints Sports. Introducing a construction club for our youngest children; mindfulness where children can have some quiet time doing yoga, visualisations and mindfulness coloring; gardening, girls football, science and sewing. We will open bookings on the first day back, if covid contingency plans allow.
Looking forward to 2022
We look forward to our new Early Years outdoor classroom being completed in early January. We will have a grand opening with ribbon cutting!
Our older children will start their swimming tuition at the pool in Okehampton.
We are planning lots of trips out to support our curriculum, developing our forest area and working with Devon Wildlife Trust.
With very best wishes for a merry Christmas, I do hope you and your families have a safe healthy festive holiday.
I look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday 5th January. Don't forget the North Tawton Elf Hunt!
Merry Christmas to you all!