Dear North Tawton Friends and Families,
What an end to the term! With so many children, and staff off with illness, we made the sad but sensible decision to postpone the nativity. Messages on Dojo have been sent to explain the exchange of tickets should you need to. Performing a nativity in January will be a first for me!
I didn’t write a newsletter last week, so this is a bumper edition!
Last week our assembly theme was peace. The second candle of advent. We remembered that Jesus was born to bring peace to the world. We thought about what peace means in our world today, but also how we can bring peace to our school, homes and our friendships. Children were encouraged to consider making peaceful choices over the coming exciting weeks when it can be easy to get over excited and not think about others as much as we should.
This week we celebrated the third – Joy, by planning class parties for Friday.
The last candle is Love – representing the love that Jesus, and all new babies, bring to the world.
Last Tuesday we had a very exciting surprise, Father Christmas came to our school! He brought presents for the children and wished us all a very happy Christmas! Thank you to FONTS for booking him as we know this is an extremely busy time of year for him.
A huge thank you to our brilliant caterers Mandy and Nikki who cooked and served a fabulous meal last Wednesday. We had crackers supplied by FONTS and all the staff joined in serving and eating with the children.
We also collected money for Save the Children by wearing our Christmas jumpers!
Last Friday we had our KS2 Christmas Carol Concert. We sang our favourite carols and songs, KS2 classes played the handbells, Jumbie Jams, sang in rounds and had piano and violin accompanist too. Even the parents joined in! Huge thanks to our Music tutors Miss Boyce, Mr Bryant and our volunteer tutor Mr Arnold – our children sounded great!
Year Six led a very sombre Christingle service at the church, telling the story of the nativity and parading their Christingles. They really do see this as a rite of passage and enjoy the seriousness of the responsibility. It was very moving and enjoyed by the congregation of pupils and parents and locals. Year 5 joined in to make up numbers!
Winners of the Bauble Competition
This is always a hard decision! I looked carefully for baubles made by children who had worked alone, done something different or original or just caught my eye.
Nursery – Felicity
Reception – Henry
Year 1 – Freddie G
Year 2 – Charlie T
Year 3 – Finley A
Year 4 – Sofia
Year 5 – Matilda
Year 6 – Georgia
A huge thanks to RL Taylor for supplying fabulous prizes, again!
Did you see this article about the North Tawton Community Fridge?
North Tawton celebrates opening its Community Fridge in time for Christmas | LiveWest
The Community Fridge is in Merry Go Round and is open to all North Tawton residents to donate to and to take what you need.
We have rather a large collection of lost property collecting in our hall! Please pop in if you think some may be yours! And a reminder for the new year, please, please label clothes!
A message from our Three Hares Local Stakeholder Board
With the lead-up to Christmas, we have been quite busy these last couple of weeks, but in a really wonderful and positive way. Our thanks to our three schools for inviting us in over a frantic period in the school year, so we can appreciate the fruits of the children and staff’s labour! I have just returned from North Tawton’s Carol Concert at the school which was utterly joyful! I absolutely loved the mix of music and singing, and particularly loved “Oh come all ye faithful” when they started the chorus quite loudly (when it’s meant to be quite quiet) and I was thinking “Goodness, how are they going to get any louder?” but sure enough, by the third repetition, they were raising the roof! One of the best parts of being a governor is seeing the children being themselves in a safe environment at school, and it was so clear to me how much the kids were enjoying themselves. David Spence, our new governor based in North Tawton, also attended and was able to see the school “in action” (as well as applauding his own children!).
Another great part of our role is being recognised by the children… Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited on the joint Chagford / North Tawton Year 6 school trip to the Energy for Waste plant in Devonport, Plymouth, so I spent all day with twelve of the Y6 North Tawton pupils. If you’re a parent of any of those children, I have to say what an absolute delight they were to hang out with. And it was even nicer to be recognised by them today at the school, as they called out to say “Hi!” to me.
In the meantime, all of our governors have attended the “Ringfenced Funding” training, which helps us to understand what additional monies the schools receive for Pupil Premium, Sports Premium etc, and how that is spent for the benefit of the children. We are booking meetings with the Principals and Sports Leads for each school early next term to monitor how those funds are being spent in each school, and the impact of those spends.
Liz has also managed to visit South Tawton a couple of times, where she was impressed with the great progress Early Years have made with their reading using the Read Write Inc platform, and this was reinforced by one of the children telling her how happy they were that they could “read words now!”
We hope to see you at one of the school’s festive events – between us, we are hoping to get to as many as possible.
Mel & Liz
As always, please look at the class blogs to see what the pupils have been learning about this week.
Wishing all of our children, staff and families who are ill a very speedy recovery,
With very best wishes for a happy and healthy Christmas