School News November 2011!

School News no.260 Wednesday 16 November 2011

Dear Parents,

As the autumn leaves come tumbling down and the dark evenings draw in I sense Christmas in the air.  I can’t really believe that the Fair is only 4 weeks away!  I really love this fair because it always feels like a party.  Stephanie has written a wonderful letter to inspire us all.  I just wanted to add that we need a Christmas decorating team to decorate the classrooms and the undercover way on 8 December-please sign up on the green board and if you can’t make it yourself please bring greenery to help them and leave it next to the green notice board.

As usual the gorgeous non-perishable hamper for the raffle needs your donations to make it fantastic!  There will be a box outside the office shortly so please leave as many organic goodies as possible.

All good quality toys and books would be welcome for a stall and can be left in the boxes provided.

I love the children to be as involved as possible at the Fair.  They are invited to bring a game to play in the children’s games room (Early Years construction room).  However an adult must be able to help them to gather all the things they need and to help them clear it all away at the end.  I know that they love these games so much.  We will be discussing ideas in class and in school meetings.

Please remember to take your child’s bike home in advance of the Fair or ensure that they have the key to their bike lock in school so that bikes can be moved out of the way for the event.  Please also remember to lock bikes at the end of every day as they are not insured by the school’s insurance.

Sarah had some great material put into her bucket to make bunting.  Please contact Sarah if you are able to join her for a bunting-making evening.

I am sorry that the painting weekend did not happen.  Ruth is trying to organize another one this term.  This would be a great way to fulfill you 12 hours minimum contribution.  Can I remind you that time given for Fairs and Work Days do not count towards contribution hours and have always been part of what parents do for the school.  We need everyone to get involved to make it work so please sign up on the sheet as soon as possible.  I really do appreciate all the time you do give the school – it all makes a big difference especially as we have a relatively small parent body at the moment.

The children have been very busy in their weekly Forest School Gardening at the moment.  Mark and Ben’s class mix together so there are all different ages working alongside each other.  They are in the middle of creating a new willow tunnel for the Early Years and have made a great job of weeding the herb garden.  Last week they collected leaves to put into our leaf compost and were shown the insides of our other compost bins.  They found out what was happening to their leftover dinners and all the weeds – and discovered ‘tiger worms’.  It is so great to see the children excited, interested and in touch with the earth.  I know that Dyane will start planting up the bulbs that you have kindly given over the next two weeks with the children so if you have any more please pop them in the tub by the green notice board.

We have an author coming into school on 18 November.  He will be visiting Ben and Mark’s class and signing books.  He is Jack Trelawny and he will read from his fantasy adventure Kernowland series and present a slideshow all about writing.  It should be fun!  Parents of children in Ben and Mark’s classes please see the form in your pigeonhole should you like to pre-order any books or to check out his website.

Mark and Ben’s classes have been on a trip to the Plymouth Aquarium.  They were given a special tour and then worked in the laboratory there doing various experiments and activities around water.  This will be used to enhance the science, art and literacy covered in class when they get back.  Sands School kindly lent us their mini-buses for the trip.

Thank you for helping your child to make a Christmas Shoe Box to send overseas to children.  We had about 15 in total this year.  Talia’s Granny (Jill), kindly collected them for us.  The children seemed to really enjoy making the boxes and talked about them with great enthusiasm.

Last week Mark and Ben both attended the Totnes Transition Town Conference about how education could help this movement last week.  They listened to an inspiring talk by Rob Hopkins (Cian’s dad) and attended workshops.

Dates: Please see full dates in school news in pigeon holes. Not all dates are here for child protection reasons

  • Work Party  Please sign up for lunch.
  • The school Christmas Post Box will be in the hallway from 1 December.  Please put the child’s name and which group they are in on the envelope.  Post will be delivered daily to the children in class.
  • We are having an Early Years Nativity play  and stay on for the main school Carol Concert 2.30-3 in the Quiet Classroom, followed by decorating the school for Christmas and eating mince pies!
  • Christmas Fair 9 December 3-5.30 Please arrive by 3pm to collect your child as there will not be the usual supervised break for the children at the end of the day.
  • Christmas Lunch and Santa arrives! 13 December.  Sacks with class names will be upstairs in the Quiet Room from 1st December for parents to put a named ‘you know what’ (up to £5) to be given to your child by ‘you now who’ at the party.  Please ensure they are in place by 9 December at the latest.  (If this cryptic message means nothing to you please have a word with your class helper or the school office!!)
  • 14 December term ends.
  • 15 December - Invitation to the Big Noise Concert at St. Mathias Church, Torquay (directions to follow).  Children from Ben and Amanda’s class to arrive at 6.30pm and the concert should finish at around 9pm.  It should be a wonderful event!  Come along even if you just want to watch.  Please fill in the attendance slip if you want to bring your child.
  • Applications for local authority run Primary schools for next year’s rising 5s – children born between September 2007 and August 2008 open on 7 November at

www.devon.gov.uk/admissionsonline and close on 15 January 2012.  Places are offered to start in September but parents can choose to defer until the term of the child’s fifth birthday although applications must still be made before the closing date of 15 January.  Further information is available from the school office or the Education Helpline 08451551019.

A reminder regarding Whooping Cough.  As per our letter of 1 November we have been advised of several probable cases of Whooping Cough in pupils at our school.  If you suspect your child might have Whooping Cough please contact your GP.  The requirement is to stay away for 5 days after starting antibiotics and if antibiotics are not given the person will remain infectious for longer and advice must be sought.  Your co-operation in not bringing them in to school to ensure that other children are not affected would be much appreciated.

Music Lessons

We have a few more spaces for children who want to take up an instrument.  Lucina is arranging for children to have a free taster lesson before Christmas with a view to beginning piano lessons in January.  Please pop into the office if you are interested or contact Lucina or James (Drums) via their pigeon-holes.

I am very sad to tell you that our lovely school cook, Shona, is leaving at the end of this term.  We have really appreciated the time, energy and heart that she has put into the job.  She has decided to start an MSc in Biodiversity Wildlife and Ecosystem Health and needs more time to study.  We are in the process of training a new cook who is called Tabitha.  She currently cleans the school and has experience in catering.

Thank you for parking in the car parks when you drop off and collect your child.  The pavement outside the school should not be parked on at any time.

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Best wishes,

Amanda Bellamy (Teacher in Charge

NewsAmanda