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!
FONTS update (Sorry it’s a long one, but it’s all very important 😊 )
Thank you to everyone for your support in 2021. We’ve not been able to do some of the things we
would have liked to but this hasn’t stopped the Friends of North Tawton School raising money for our
The most recent events we’ve had have been very successful. In total you’ve raised over £800! All of
this money raised goes straight to FONTS and is spent providing extra curricular activities such as
trips and outings, as well as purchasing much needed resources that children will all benefit from. We
have plans to purchase some exciting new resources in January!
The most recent non uniform day enabled FONTS to gift each class with an amount of funding to plan
their treat day for the end of term. We’re sure you’ll all agree, they thoroughly deserve it!
Philippa Sims has been very busy recycling last years Christmas cards into wonderful Christmas tags,
gift boxes and cards. She was given a target of £65 from the school for Christmas Performance
resources and, unsurprisingly, Philippa has exceeded this amount and raised £73 (going up daily) for
the school. Thank you Philippa, that’s amazing, and thank you to the Merry Go Round for kindly having a
basket by their till. P.S we all know where to take our Christmas cards when we take them down!
It’s the last day on Friday and if you’re wondering what to do over the festive
period why not spend some family time going on The Great Christmas Elf Hunt.
Santa has lost ten cheeky elves and we’ve heard they’re hiding in North Tawton!!
Pop to the Post Office and pick up a sheet of clues for £1 and see if you can find
them all. Once you’ve found each elf’s hiding place write it on your sheet and return
it to the Post Office (in the decorated box) by Friday 7th January. Three winners will be chosen at
random and announced on this day. Happy Hunting!
🎄 Don’t forget Santa Claus is coming to Town this Saturday from 4.30pm 🎅 Listen out for the
Christmas music 🎶
Merry Christmas 🎄 and Happy New Year 🥳 from FONTS
Or message FONTS on Class Dojo
Dear North Tawton Families,
Please see the email sent yesterday and the update on the website regarding our latest Covid guidance and measures. As always, we remain vigilant and have the health of the community as a top priority.
It was wonderful to see the crafts, arts, and produce of our local community at the North Tawton Christmas fair on Saturday. Topped off of course by a delicious hot chocolate from the gelato shop!
Each day beautiful wreaths have been brought in to school. I have enjoyed displaying them in the corridor outside my office. It is going to be a very hard task to choose winners as they are all creative and stunning. They will all be returned on Wednesday so you can display them at home for Christmas.
No clubs next week as staff are busy preparing lots of extracurricular activities for classes.
We will have a new programme of after school clubs starting again in the new year, week beginning 10th Jan. Watch this space!
A little visitor
This week my dog Bruno came to visit. He stayed in my room in his cage but popped out to visit children outside on his lead with me. Reception class learnt how to care for a pet and what to do if you want to stroke a dog you don’t know (ask the owner) In a race of class verses dog, they got to see how fast this old boy, and his old owner, can run!
We will be very sad to say goodbye to Sarah Dennis at the end of term. She has been working in our nursery for 12 years. She has supported many, many families during their first years at school, and has particularly supported children with additional needs settle in to school. She will be missed but we wish her all the very best in her new full time role and hope she will keep in touch.
Please see the leaflet from Rowena Ford regarding new group for younger children.
We are looking forward to our Christmassy week ahead – keep an eye on Dojo for updates!
Sunday 12th December 6.30 Church Carol Service.
Christmas lunch on Wednesday
Any last minute wreaths MUST be in to me first thing Monday (some children have been away.)
With very best wishes for the weekend,
It’s cold outside... why not spend the weekend decorating your wreath ready to bring back to school by the end of next week!
Congratulations to our November 100 Club winners -Kate Keast, Phil Woods and Lucy Barzotelli.
Don’t forget the Virtual Christmas market is still running, if you haven’t had a look, don’t delay, you’ll be missing out. And make sure you get your raffle tickets too. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ll be selling tickets next Friday, before and after school, at the gates.
The next few weeks are busy ones so here are some ‘December dates for your diary’
❄️January ~ Elf hunt winners announced
Or message FONTS on Class Dojo
Dear North Tawton Families,
It’s been another busy week for the staff and children at North Tawton, never a dull day, or minute here!
This week we had a school wide Maths audit by two of our Dartmoor Trust colleagues Adam Hill and Brian Simber. They saw lessons, spoke to children and staff, looked at work and concluded that we are doing very well in our maths across the school! Children have positive attitudes towards maths and staff have very good knowledge of the children they teach and their needs. We do need to keep stretching our most able and give all children more opportunities and encouragement to present their work neatly in their maths books. The White Rose programme is beneficial to all children and we have invested a lot of money in new resources and all children have access to counting aids to help them with number work. A huge well done to our children and to our teachers led by our maths coordinator, Mr Foreman.
This week we were also visited by Simon Snell from the NSPCC who came with our Dartmoor Trust Safeguarding Lead Barbara Manning and our Governors Emma Neath and James Warner to audit safeguarding. They looked carefully at our training, record keeping and work with other agencies and they spoke to children and staff. I am delighted that they were all extremely impressed with the knowledge children have about how to be safe both on and off line, and that our curriculum is robust in teaching children to look after themselves and others. They were impressed that our staff are well trained and go above and beyond to make sure children are physically, psychologically and emotionally safe in school. Simon Snell said if his children were still of school age, he would want them to be at North Tawton. What a compliment!
Suzie Stevens our DMAT early years lead also visited and enjoyed a morning with our youngest classes. She has been supporting Early Years staff across the Trust with the new curriculum and assessments. She is really pleased with how well our team have adapted to the new ways.
We have lots of exciting new resources arriving each week thanks to the very generous fundraising FONTS have done over the years. The building work is progress quickly now and I am still hopeful we will have our new space in January.
Thank you for your ongoing support while we ride this Covid storm. Please do see the letters and information on the website. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. We have two staff isolating and as always, our fabulous staff team have stepped up to the plate to support where needed.
Don’t put the Christmas jumpers away! We have a fun run on Monday organised by OCRA. Children will need their running shoes and a warm jumper and coat.
Next week is our assessment week, so we will be expecting children to do their very best work for our end of term assessments.
We have lots of fun activities planned for the last week, do see the class blogs and Dojo to keep up to date with the hard work and fun!
Christmas Lunch will be Wednesday 15th December.
I hope to see lots of you tomorrow in North Tawton for the Christmas Craft fairs.
Wishing everyone a super weekend