Our School Newsletters
15th October 2020
Dear families and friends,
We are nearing the end to another week and thank goodness we've seen some fine weather! I know we were all fed up with the continuous rain that's hampered all our school activities and outdoor learning. The children have loved their forest school sessions and Class 3 are winding up the first sessions in our school year. Children in Reception class will be able to enjoy Forest School in the summer term.
Please read the following message from Mrs Liz Rolfe regarding the lovely Christmas cards fundraiser:
PTFA CHARITY CHRISTMAS CARDS
The sample Christmas cards are back and will be handed out this week together with a new style order form envelope. So please remember to check your child’s plastic wallet. You can order the following items:
- Packs of 12 cards (with envelopes) for £5.00
- 11 Gift Tags for £2.25
- Mug (complete with box) for £6.00
- Full Colour Tea Towel for £7.50
- Full Colour Bag for Life for £8.50
Please check that your child's name is spelt correctly on the sample card and write any corrections in the space on the order form. Also, if you prefer not to have a greeting inside the cards, please write BLANK on the order form too.
DEADLINE: Completed and sealed order form envelopes, containing the correct full payment, must be returned to the school no later than Thursday 22nd October 2020.
We cannot complete orders without payment in full by this date, so please double check before sealing the envelope.
Cheques must be payable to INSTOW SCHOOL PTFA and not to the school.
If paying by cash, please enclose the exact amount. Any overpayments will be accepted as a donation to the PTFA.
Thank you for your continued support and we hope you love your child’s Christmas picture.
Mrs Liz Rolfe, Instow School PTFA
Thank you for organising this Mrs Rolfe!
FRIDAY 16TH OCTOBER HARVEST FESTIVAL DAY
Tomorrow your child can wear non uniform (or sporty non uniform if they are due to have PE - Class 2 and Year 4). In exchange we are asking for donations of dried or tinned foodstuffs or new toiletries, which will be donated to Harbour and Bideford Food Bank. We will have boxes on the school garden that you can place your donations on arrival into school tomorrow. Many thanks in advance for your generosity in these difficult times.
Tomorrow, we will also share our Harvest Festival film on the school website, for you to enjoy. It's our first time creating a film like this and I'd like to thank everyone for making the effort. Please look on the Children tab, then Gallery 2020 2021 page for the video.
I watched it with our Year 6 young leaders yesterday and we are all agreed that there were a wonderful range of videos, but we want to raise funds for an outdoor boom microphone! Unless anyone out there has access to one that works?! All done with love!
If you haven't made an appointment with your child's class teacher yet, for a phone consultation, instead of our usual Parent's Evenings, please find their email and respond. Teachers are making additional time to contact you via phone currently, in order to discuss your child's educational strengths and developments. We are also updating any My Plan documents for the times when we might be supporting your child with some extra support.
THURSDAY 22ND OCTOBER 2020 - SCHOOL PHOTOGRAPHER
The School photographer will be taking individual or school-sibling photographs on Thursday 22nd. For children in Class 3 and Year 6 this is a PE day, so we ask that they start the day with their upper half in school uniform and bring a PE top to change into on that day. Thank you. On this occasion we cannot invite pre-schooler siblings into school - sorry.
FRIDAY 23RD OCTOBER - PTFA FUNDRAISER AND CAKE SALE
Next Friday PTFA will be holding a non-uniform day (£1 voluntary donation) and are asking for cake donations. On this occasion please send in a small box of pre-packed cakes for the children to buy (they will then need 20 pence each to buy one) during the school day.
There will not be a further sale at the end of the day as we will need to avoid any crowded situations for your safety. For all the H&S reasons this is the fairest way - all the cakes need to be ones that are pre-packaged, so that no child feels under pressure to make a choice other than their favourite flavour when buying them. We appreciate your support to donate pre-packaged cakes when perhaps you would normally make them. Thank you.
PUMPKIN PHOTOGRAPH COMPETITION - PTFA
If your family likes to carve pumpkins, then why not take a final photo of your child with pumpkin and upload it to the Instow PTFA Facebook Page. This is a closed group. Judging for fun will be made on Monday 2nd November, with a range of small prizes!
SINGLE AND MIXED YEAR GROUP CLASSES
We made the decision back at the end of the summer term to try and work with Year 4,5 and 6 in single year group classes for the first half of the Autumn term, because of partial school closure. We have reviewed the benefits and costs. This is able to continue until the Christmas break in December and following that break we will return to our usual grouping of the three year groups across two classes. It has been a substantial additional costing to our modest school budget for high quality teaching in order to support and begin to close gaps in learning for these pupils and I would reassure all parents that schools see this as a two year journey of closing any gaps and working on your children's emotional well-being in these difficult times. In order to help with transitions for January, the children will begin some group work together after the half term break.
From January we are then planning to offer some year group learning for Years 1, 2 and 3 for two mornings a week in the Spring Term, working on core subjects like reading skills, maths and english. We hope you understand that we make decisions with the children's well-being at the heart and that we work to enable them feel happy and supported in their learning in school.
The Year 5 split is between March and April birthdays. Children in Year 5 who have a birthday between 1st September and 31st March will learning in Trinity Class with the Year 6s. Children with a birthday from 1st April to 31st August will learn in Lundy Class with the Year 4s and they will all see their friends at break times!
Our school is typical of many small schools across Devon, with mixed year group classes. Our county has more smaller school of under 150 pupils than other counties. Other local schools I work with have three year groups in one class in North Devon. We try our best with limited buildings and your children make us very proud with their resilience, kindness to all age groups and sense of family. Our attainment data is usually better than National and Devon averages and your children make wonderful ambassadors for this community when they move to secondary school. A testimony to the home and school teamwork that we value so much.
Unless the Government change our plans in the next few days, we are planning half term break after Friday 23rd October, returning to school on Monday 2nd November.
FAMILY SURVEY - please complete the Family survey if you haven't done so already. Follow the link on this email. It should take no longer than 5 minutes and helps us to continue to improve our school.
I think that's all for now!
Have a lovely weekend ahead. If there are major government changes we will email you again with further details.
Mrs Knight and team x