School News Nov 2013

School News no.290

If you receive your school news by email, please make sure that you still pop in to check your pigeon hole as often as you can, as you may miss other important messages – and it is so lovely to see you by the office too!

27th November 2013

Dear Parents,

Dare I say that it is less than one month until Christmas Day? Probably not!

But that does mean that we only have about two weeks until our Fair on 13th December (3-6pm).  Stephanie has been busy planning for this event and needs you to contact her to offer help.  All parents are expected to give hours on the day to work on a stall, set up or tidy up and/or cook a yummy for the café, hosted by Mark’s class.  There is a lot to do so please offer as much time as you can - see her message below and the Sign Up Sheet under the covered way to see how you can help.  I know we still need more craft activities – if you have these skills, please offer them. The children would like to have a Games Room in Early Years again.

We will be having our Christmas Lunch on Monday 16th December.  This will be a delicious vegetarian meal with ice-cream to follow.  If your child doesn’t usually have a lunch on Monday please order and pay by 6th December.

Also on 16th December we hope to have a visit in the form of a red-suited gentleman.  Please bring a “you know what” (£5 maximum) to the Quiet Room upstairs by 11th December at the latest (check with the office if this doesn’t make sense!). Early Years children who are normally here on Mondays are invited to attend at 1pm to join the party!

We will have an internal Christmas card post box in the hall from 2nd December and Mark’s class will deliver the cards.  Please ensure children’s names and class names are clearly written on the front!  Last post is 9am on 20th December.

Please see other important dates at the end of this newsletter.

Time to apply for a Primary School place in Devon

If your child was born between 1st September 2009 and 31st August 2010, you can apply for a primary school place at until 15th January 2014, or call 0845 155 1019 for a First Step booklet.

Parent View

If you haven’t already done so, please visit Ofsted’s websites to give your views about our school: PUPILS:


Paper copies of the pupil survey can be obtained by phoning 0300 123 1231 or emailing

Digital Age

I went on a course recently about Safeguarding, and they were giving away a magazine on how to look after children in our digital age.  I collected one for each family and hope you will find it useful – please retrieve it from your pigeon-hole.  For older children, the website may be useful. Please have a look at it first so you can make a good decision about how appropriate it may be for your child.

Mark’s Class

Mark’s class have been learning about poetry recently.  They have read a selection of poets, including Michael Rosen and have also been writing their own poems.  They even went for a sensory walk down to the river, through the woods and past the beautiful ploughed fields with clipboards, writing down interesting and descriptive phrases.  The poems they wrote from this experience have been so inspiring:

I can hear the rustle of the leaves

like giant crisps.

The leaves are moist

like squishy sponges.

The rough,tough bark

like sandpaper.

The holly, green as grass

like emeralds.                    By Will

The wind rushing, flying through the crimson leaves, passing over the land, through yellow fields.

The spirit of Autumn.

The river, rushing over the rocks, flying over waterfalls, twinkling in the sunlight, glistening in the moonlight.

The spirit of Autumn.

The leaves, flying off the trees, swooping through the air, down, down, to the root of the earth.

The Spirit of Autumn.          By Jacob

They looked at Onomatopoeia poems, and Adelaide and Lara wrote a poem each:

My poem loves pinkMy poem loves writing with inkMy poem loves skipping with a ropeMy poem loves meeting the Pope

My poem eats cheese

My poem eats peas

My poem eats cake

My poem eats steak

The power of my poem is enough to make you levitate

My poem hates wasps

My poem hates red spotty tops

My poem hates fast food

My poem hates being in a bad mood

My poem likes dogs

My poem likes logs

My poem likes flowers

My poem likes cooking for hours

My poem is called Fluffy

By Adelaide

My poem eats sweetsMy poem easts treatsMy poem eats blue jellyMy poem eats a green welly

My poem likes pink

My poem likes cuff links

My poem likes dancing

My poem likes prancing

My poem wants the moon

My poem wants a balloon

My poem wants Mars

My poem wants jars

The power of my poem can blow up Parliament.

My poem enjoys getting money

My poem enjoys eating honey

My poem enjoys going to the park

My poem enjoys meeting Mark

My poem hates cheese

My poem hates peas

My poem hates mice

My poem hates rice

My poem is called Victoria.

By Lara


The class have also been looking at how hydraulics work by creating moving toys.  Do have a little play with the selection Martin has put in the main hallway.

They have been doing lots of experiments to understand how the ear works, and doing some detailed drawings of ears.

The addition, subtraction and times tables work they have covered came in handy this week when mark held an auction for things they needed to buy to survive on an island for six months (the battery operated i-phone was a top item!)

The dance sessions that were held over five weeks were a real success, with the children performing their dance titled “Unity” to their parents and to Dartington Primary School.  Stephanie, who went to watch, told me that she was “very proud to watch a group work so well together and support each other”!

The class also made some stunning puppets and performed “The Gunpowder Plot” to Ben’s class and Early Years.

Ben’s Class

Ben’s class have also been writing some fun poetry, which you will find on his class wall – well worth a read!

They have been planting lots of daffodils to pot up outside the classroom, which is something to really look forward to.

They have also been studying Islam as part of the RE curriculum this term and the children have made little books.

Early Years

The Early Years children have been looking at all the signs of our beautiful autumn.  They have even created their own autumn art area where they can paint on the walls with all the autumn colours they can see.


All the main school children have been learning how to make rope out of wool, with Martin in the Forest School sessions, and making seaweed salt with Olya.  They have also been doing lots of weeding and digging in the gardening sessions, preparing the beds for spring planting.

Polytunnel and Garden

Ben and Martin are finalising the framework ready for the polythene cover to be installed after Christmas.  Lots of help will be needed so please look out for further info.

Thank you to Martin for the willow fence he put up over half term to protect the grass and bulbs leading down to the pizza oven.  Please make sure your child keeps off this area, as well as all school banks, as there are flower bulbs everywhere!

Drum Lessons

Our drum teacher, James Sharp, who comes to teach on Thursdays, has a couple of 20 minute lesson slots available.  In addition to the drumset, he is now offering lessons on cajon (box drum).  Please contact him on 01803 414151 / 07888 898925 if you are interested.

Christmas Cards

Thank you to Heidi, teachers and parents for contributing to the Christmas Card project.  The children had a lot of fun and Heidi raised just over £50 for the school.  It was so well organised and carefully thought through – well done Heidi!!


Many of you will have heard that Ben will be leaving for India on 12th December, for 3 weeks.  I wish him a wonderful holiday with his family.  The class have one of our favourite supply teachers called Tania, who taught for six years at Park when I first arrived.  I know that the children will have lots of fun with her and will meet her before Ben leaves.


Many, many thanks to Rich and Drum, who have been busy since the last school play putting together a DVD of “Narnia”.  Mark’s class had ‘an audience with the director’ before the showing, where Rich explained how he had to edit what Drum and he had filmed – especially when one microphone decided to give up half way in! DVDs should be ready for Christmas.


Thank you for all the kind comments and cards that you have given to me this week, regarding my husband’s operation.  I shall miss you all and I’m sure I will be in again before you know it!


Finally, we would like to welcome Luka, who joined Early Years last week and Aaron, who has returned to Park School and is in Ben’s class.


With best wishes,





Amanda Bellamy

Teacher in Charge


28th November: Amanda away
6th December : Tania visits to meet Ben’s class and deadline for Christmas Lunch orders
10th December : 10am: Carols in the Great Hall (order your free tickets from the Box Office)
11th December : Greenery Walk (parents’ help needed please) and deadline for bringing You Know What for You Know Who to the Quiet Room
12th December : Ben leaves for India!
13th December : 3-6pm: Christmas Fair
16th December : Christmas Lunch and Parties (and red-suited visitor)
16th December : Nitz Week
17th December : 1.30pm: Early Years’ Nativity and 2.15pm: School Carols
6th January: Education Day (staff only in school)
7th January : Children return to school
14th January: 3.30 :4.30pm: Mark’s & Amanda’s Class Presentation
15th January : 3.30 :4.30pm: Ben’s Class Presentation
14th February : Education Day (staff only in school)
17th-23rd February Half Term



From Stephanie:

Christmas Tree –Sid is coordinating this – please help if you can.

Delivery of Posters around Totnes - Kirsty and Candy are overseeing this; Rebecca has a new list of where to put up posters.  If you live outside of Totnes, perhaps you can organise to display a poster near where you live - you will find them in your pigeon-hole soon.  The posters are a wonderful way to advertise the fair, but also important for people knowing about the school.

Banners & Boards need to be up Friday 6th December & taken down immediately after the fair - Harriet will be overseeing this.

Fairy Grotto - for the fair and in readiness for Santa's visit on 16th December.  Gin will coordinate this and needs a team of helpers on the evening of Thursday 12th December to create some magic! Mandi, Martin's partner has offered to help create a character to whizz around the fair to bring children into the space.  Gin has offered to create her Silver Statue - when silver is given she can generate wishes, recite poetry and other festive cheer - which I thought would be great in the grotto.  Does anyone have any other thoughts?

Decorating Team – I will coordinate this between 2pm and 4.30pm on 12th December.

Raffle - Anita has offered to run this year's Hamper Raffle.  Please bring in your Hamper Offerings – organic and/or local please – to the basket outside the office.  Kirsty has already offered a pamper for the hamper by giving a Shiatsu voucher.

Fire - Shona has offered to oversee the fire this year, but a few parents are needed to be with her to help during the fair.  Kirsty and Ollie have offered to tell fire stories, but more round-the-fire offerings are.

Entertainment - Johnny has offered to play his guitar during the evening in the seated cafe.  More offerings very welcome.  Richard has offered to set up his PA for the evening.

Crafts - Sarah has offered her time to come into the school to create some crafts with the children to sell at the fair.  I shall be making a large batch of mincemeat which the children will be decorating the jars in readiness to sell at the fair.  More offerings very much needed.

Nearly New Toys & Book Stall - Kirsty has offered to sort and set up the stall – please offer to help run the stall during the fair.

Children’s Games - Each year the children create jolly games - we will need a parent helping to keep it all together – especially the tidying up bit at the end.

Pizza - Sian & Richard will be overseeing the Pizza-making arena. However, we need a team to help create the sauce, dough, prepared vegetables and cheese the day/night before.  If anyone isn't able to help on the day perhaps this is a good way of contributing. And of course help with the Pizza Oven which has to be manned during the the whole evening and help the children create their pizzas in the kitchen.

Café - will be run by Mark's Class - please remember to sign up for food contributions.

Mulled Wine - Heidi and Stephanie Simon (ex-parent) have offered to run and host the stall again this year.

Sign-Up Sheets – beautifully created on the green board, ready for you to sign up for something if you haven’t already.

Please keep your suggestions and offerings coming

Stephanie x


School NewsAmanda