Dear North Tawton Parents and Families,
Another week has come to an end, and as to date (Saturday afternoon) there are no more staff or pupil Covid cases. We do need to proceed with caution, as I have said in my emails this week, and maintain vigilance to reduce the likelihood of spread. Please continue to wear masks at drop off and pick up. We will not have whole school assemblies this week but will keep reviewing our situation.
We will continue with clubs next week as they are either small enough to maintain distance or they are outside. Other than the very popular Craft Club! For some reason our limit didn’t work on the booking form and we have 48 signed up! To keep safe, next Wednesday (6th October) we will have R & KS1 only (Reception, Y1 and Y2) the following week, Wednesday 13th October, KS2 (Y3, Y4, Y5 and Y6) only. We will review for the final week.
Many families have had difficulty paying on line, we will sort this out and make sure no one has over paid.
If your child has a positive PCR test, please let me know. I do need to keep a record of this so we can follow the correct guidance in school to minimise risk of further spread. While I will not disclose names, I do need to let PHE (Public Health England) know numbers of cases and I will be letting parents know of classes where there has been a child or adult with a positive PCR test so that they can make decisions for their own family health needs.
I was hoping to have a whole school service at the church to celebrate Harvest. Again, it looks like we will have to forgo this, but we will have a gathering on line. Please put 2.30 Thursday 21st October in your diaries, you will need to use your child’s log in to access this. New children will be issued a log in next week.
We will be collecting donations for the Okehampton Food Bank. Canned and packed food and health items will be very much appreciated. Please bring them to school and we will arrange for them to be transported to the Food Bank.
We will go ahead with this meeting on Tuesday straight after school. The hall is well ventilated and I will monitor numbers for safety. Please see the message below from our FONTS Committee.
FONTS (Friends of North Tawton) Update
Thank you for supporting the school by buying all of the 100 Club numbers! An amazing £640 will be in the ‘pot’ for the school once all money is received. Brilliant! Thank you again.
FONTS AGM (Annual General Meeting)
Tuesday 5th October, straight after school pick up – in the hall. Everyone is welcome, children can come too (with something to occupy them if poss J)
FONTS faces closure without people to carry on the good work. We need to come back together after the last couple of disrupted years. Our school needs FONTS!!
The main committee roles are Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. In order for FONTS to continue there has to be people in these roles. However these are not the only roles, Class Reps for each class would be great too. Also, just knowing that the committee have people willing to help out is great.
Please talk to Julie Steward (Chair / Treasurer) Philippa Sims (Secretary) if you’d like more information about the roles, or send FONTS a message.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org/ message FONTS on ClassDojo
Top Tips for Spelling
Continuing the series of Top Tip for Homework – this week Spelling.
There are lots of fun ways to make spelling homework more like a game than a chore. Just testing at home is not actually helpful, what children need is to have many experiences of getting the spelling right so that when they have a test they are drawing on successful experiences.
You may be familiar with the ‘Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check’ technique where children look at the word, say it and spell it out loud, cover it, write it and finally check the written spelling. This can be done on pieces of paper you can fold – old receipts, and envelopes are ideal!
Many children enjoy ‘Rainbow Writing’ where they write the word in different colours. Repetition really helps. Joining writing also helps for learning spelling patterns so if your child can join, please encourage this at home.
This game is a fun way to interact with your child. One of you starts writing the spelling word on the paper by writing one letter. The next one adds the next letter. Since many word lists include words that start with the same sounds, it may be challenging to know which word your game partner started writing.
A classic I played at school was called ‘Hangman’ where one person draws lines for each letter of the given word, the other guesses the letters. For every incorrect letter part of the picture is drawn. If you google this you will find lots of other cuter versions such as butterflies and ships which are more appropriate images.
What Letter Is Missing? Game
Slightly different than ‘Hangman’ and similar to the Add-a-Letter game, this game is played by writing or typing the words, but leaving a blank space or two for key letters. Your child will have to put in the correct letters. This works particularly well to practice vowel sounds.
Writing the words on a grid for your child to find is a popular game, there are online versions too. One I have used is https://thewordsearch.com/maker/
When a child makes a mistake always give them the opportunity to write the word correctly. Acknowledge what they got right, it might be the first letter sounds, it may be that they only missed one letter or they made an error in the middle but got the beginning and end correct.
As always, please speak to us if you need support or advice with homework.
Black History Month
October is a month in which schools all over the country focus specifically on the lives, experiences and achievements of people from black and ethnic minority cultures and traditions, something we are aiming to make more prolific in our curriculum throughout the year.
Two of my heroes are Yvonne Conolly who became Britain's first female black head teacher in 1969 and Betty Campbell the first Welsh black head teacher who began the Black History Month tradition. I look to these two leaders for strength and inspiration as I champion equality, diversity and inclusion at North Tawton and across all of my work as a Trust leader.
Dates for your Diary
Tuesday 5th October 3.30 - FONTS AGM
Week of the 11th October – Parent Meetings
Monday 18th October - School Photos
Thursday 21st October 2.30 Harvest Assembly
Monday 25th October – Friday 29th October – Half Term holiday