School News

Thank you for all your help making our Harvest Café such a huge success. The children sang beautifully and enjoyed you joining in our traditional ‘There was a tree’ song very much.  This year the children voted on sending the money to Water Aid.  Esther and Talia gave a very informative talk about why they chose Water Aid.   We raised £200 which we will be sending off to Water Aid within the next few weeks.  If you would like to make a donation but were unable to be at the café please give the money to the school office by Thursday 18 October.  Thanks for all of the delicious cakes and for helping to clear up so quickly at the end. Thank you also to those of you who came along to the Work Day.  We got so much done together.  Rabbit Wood got trimmed to keep the paths safe, the veg. garden had a lot of digging and path-making, the office upstairs had a paint makeover, the Early Years windows got cleaned, the toilet ceiling at last got finished, the playground bark got filled up, soup got made and eaten –(along with the delicious crumble), the herb garden had a spruce-up and the pond had a huge clear out – we can actually see it now!!!

The children have been working with an ex-parent called Olya in the gardening sessions.  She is a herbalist and has been helping the children make refreshing and energizing teas from all the herbs.  With Samhain coming up Martin has been busy making little brooms with the children and talking to them about this old tradition of welcoming in the spirits of the dead ancestors through story and art.  Dyane and Ben and Mark have been playing a variety of environmental games which help children to observe their world more carefully.  One I observed was walking backwards across the field using a mirror, which was lots of fun!The children in the main school took time on World Peace Day to talk about what Peace is about with the main focus asking them what they can do more peacefully in their lives.  We linked this idea of peace with spiritual leaders.  We have been looking at Buddhism and will go on to look at Christianity after half term to link with Christmas.  We will also be talking to the children about Diwali which is the Hindu Festival of Light.  The conversations that we have with the children around religion and belief opens them up to the awe and wonder of the universe and is taught in a way that they learn to respect and accept the difference in all people.

Carlos and Mark have been in once more to be with the main school children talking about Earth Medicine and Earth Wisdom.  The children worked in teams to make wonderful statues of earth, air, fire and water using materials gathered from around the grounds.  Gentle noticing of their world is so important if children are to be in tune with their environment positively.  If you would like to know more about what Carlos and Mark offer they are giving a short talk on 21 November 7.30-9pm.  The venue is not yet set but will probably be at the Schumacher College.Our new classroom planning permission has now been approved and the delivery date is 4 December.  The classroom is coming in two halves on two lorries and is being craned right over the lime trees!  This is so exciting.  This should be a great thing to watch.  I will be talking to Hamid about exact timings of this.  I know that we will need lots of help to supervise the children for this day.  If you know you can be available please talk to the office.A bit of work has to happen before there is space for it to arrive.  Mark has been busy moving resources upstairs and into the quiet room.  We still urgently need strong boxes- if you can find any, banana boxes are the best!  Hamid is working with Bowden House to come up with a plan to remove the old classroom to use at Bowden.  I am so glad that it will be of use to a local place.  There will have to be some new electrical and data cables put in as well as some foundation work.  Hamid is coordinating all of this and has been so helpful.  Thank you Hamid!A message from the Early Years and Childcare Service who are carrying out a survey of parents to find out about their Childcare needs:

‘Calling all parents!

Devon County Council are asking parents to tell them what age child you have and how many hours of childcare you require a week, so they can make sure there are enough childcare places for everyone.   If you are a parent please help by completing the simple 5 minute online survey even if you do not need any childcare. The survey can be found at

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the Early Years and Childcare team on 0800 056 36 66 or

Many thanks in advance for your co-operation,

The Early Years and Childcare Team, Devon County Council. ‘


Next Step Applications

The deadline for applications for children transferring to secondary school in September 2013 is 31 October 2012 for online applications (or 18 October if you wish to submit a paper application via school).  If you are unable to make an on-line application and wish to submit a paper application please pop in to the office for the paperwork as soon as possible.

Entry to Sands School and other non-state schools is by direct contact with the schools concerned.

Applications for local authority run Primary schools for next year’s rising 5s – children born between 1/9/08 and 31/8/09 open on 7 November at and close on 15 January 2013. 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.  Children attending a maintained school reception class full or part time will not be able to use the Early Years entitlement funding.  However if deferring school entry you need to make that clear to the school and then you can continue to get funding.


Dates-please see hard copies in pig. holes for complete details

Stay on –  November until 6.30pm.  Ben and Mark’s class and the older Early Years children are invited to stay after school to have supper and a play.  Cost £3.  Please put in a named envelope and give to class teachers with the permission slip attached to this letter.

Early Years Nativity – 13 December tbc.

Greenery Walk - 4 December

Carol Concert and Christmas Fair- 6 December 2012

Dartington Estate Carol Concert- 10 December

Children’s Christmas lunch and party with Father Christmas –  December

Barn dance/ Cabaret Evening – 9 March 6-9pm tbc.

Open Day-  Spring 21 March 2.30-4.30

Easter Egg Hunt –  March

Yurt up- week beginning 15 April.

May Day café and celebration –  May

Sports day June

Camp week  July

Jumble Sale – beginning of summer term t.b.c.

Strawberry Fair-  6 July 11-3

Class Presentations

Early Years Socials  November 3.30-4.30, 16 January 2013 3.30 – 4.30,  24 April 2013 7.30-8.30pm

Ben – 3.30-4.30 January 2013, 25 April 2013

Mark – 3.30-4.30 January 2013, 24 April 2013

Pizza Oven Days-  16 October, 12 February Pancake Day, 26 March, 21 May, 9 July

Work Days- 29 September 10-2,  March 10-2, June 10-2 Work day and camp. Key jobs will be done on work days so please prioritize these dates in your diary.

Nits weeks!- 15-19 October, 11-15 February, 20-24 May

Parent Teacher Meetings- Change of dates

Autumn –  November 3.20-5.30

Summer – June

Term dates

Autumn term –19 October is an Education day and half term is week beginning 22 October and also week beginning 29 October. Term ends on 19 December.


Please contact Stephanie to find out how you can help with the Christmas Fair.  She has just moved house so needs to be given lots of support with the planning of it all.  . If you still need to fulfill your contribution hours please look on the green notice board as there are several jobs that can be completed this term.


Operation Christmas Child

For the last few years our children have been making shoe boxes to give to children overseas.  They have filled a shoebox with small gifts from a carefully selected list for a girl or boy.  The school meeting said that they would like to do this again.  Your child will come home with a pack to explain how to do this.  Please return boxes to school by 12 November or to Tone Up Totnes, Dartmouth Close, The Plains, Totnes by 15 NovemberWe encourage the children to give some of their things away instead of just buying new things.


Blitz the Nitz week- 15-19 October

Please can we all check hair every day this week to try to eradicate these little beasties!  More information is available from the office.


Email addresses

There have been many discussions around how the school best communicates with parents.  Over the last 26 years the office and parents have used the pigeon holes to do this very efficiently.  This has encouraged parents to come into school to collect their post which means that they talk to other parents, staff, children and notice any sign up sheets or notices around the school.  This sense of being together on a daily basis is such an important part of what a community needs.  There have been a number of requests for dates and school news letters to be sent electronically over the years.  Council discussed this issue again this week and has decided that the dates and school news letter will be sent by email and will also be put into your pigeon holes.  Please make sure that you still come into school and check your pigeon holes daily as all other information and messages will be given in this way and also to keep building our sense of community.  There is a form attached for you to complete to advise the office of your email address and to give consent to hold your data.  Please return this asap so that we can get this new system under way.  Please make sure that you inform the office of any changes to email addresses in the same way that you do for phone numbers.