Newsletter for the week ending Friday 28th April
28 April 2023

A very busy week for all classes (see below in Around the Classes) that also included two morning visits from Devon County County. One for them to learn more about our curriculum and how we teach it and the other was also requested by us to audit our safeguarding procedures. Both were very positive and those who visited were very impressed by the all the children they met and the quality of our provision.

And significantly, Annemarie Bettis, who many (if not all of you know!), attended her last governors’ meeting this week which brought down the curtain on her 30 years plus service to this school and all its families as she retires. Annemarie has been a driving force in the school and is already greatly missed. We have a started a collection for her and if anyone would like to contribute please contact the office. If you are reading this, thank you so much Annemarie. With love from us all.

Trainers are beginning to appear and please be aware these are not school uniform. If you are unsure of the required uniform, please click here.

Please can pupils in years 3-6 bring a piece of fresh fruit to school each day for their mid morning snack. We are noticing a large number of children are eating from their lunch, eating items that don’t help their concentration and that littering is on the rise. Please can pupils in years 3-6 bring a piece of fresh fruit to school each day for their mid morning snack. We are noticing a large number of children are eating from their lunch, eating items that don’t help their concentration and that littering is on the rise. Teachers have spoken to the children and your support is needed please.No cereal/fruit bars or dried fruit please as a substitute.

Wishing you all a super 3 day weekend and we look forward to seeing you on Tuesday.

From Jeremy Cooper and all the children and staff

Diary Dates

  • Children can wear red, white and blue clothes on Friday 5th May to mark the coronation.
  • Sarah Weston is hosting a meeting Friday 5th May @5pm in the hall – meeting for anyone who would like to volunteer for the parade dressed as characters in the theme of Matilda and/or for decorating the float.
  • Castle Hill Creatives Art & Crafts Spring Fair which will take place on Saturday 13th May 2023 from 10 am until 4 pm at Castle Hill Community Center in Great Torrington, EX38 8AA
  • Sports Day is Tuesday 23rd May (weather permitting!). Please click here for the details and please be aware that changes to this plan could be required and potentially at short notice – hopefully not though!
  • For girls and boys half term football clubs in Barnstaple and Bideford, please click here



The children have been helping out with lots of jobs around the microreserve. A donation of trees from Northam Town Council has been planted around the boundary and the new pond. Year 6 have reintroduced the Flag Iris to the pond and some new species to help oxygenate the water, and provide refuge for wildlife. Over 100 Newts were returned back to their habitat along with some leeches, and pond skaters! The group have added a wetland wildflower mix to the pond edge so fingers crossed in a few months the pond will be surrounded by some beautiful and wildlife friendly species. The pond itself has been dug and relined with funding from the ANOB and funding and muscle from The Friends of Appledore has allowed a new pond dipping platform which is waiting to be installed – we are all very excited to be able to use! Hope fully you’ll agree it’s looking more open, accessible and engaging already!

Eco Rangers and ambassadors have been busy in the Polytunnel and WW2 garden getting the ground ready, weed free and planting early crops – we’ve already harvested some winter lettuce, peas carrots and early broadbeans and are looking forward to getting some produce ready to sell again in the last half term of summer.

We fired up the pizza oven at Eco Rangers this week too and enjoyed a successful wild garlic pizza bread – foraged from our own woodland! Thanks for all the help and support from everyone and if anyone has any odd seeds they don’t want anymore or half bags of compost lingering around that won’t get used- we are grateful for any donations.


This week in Turtles and Dolphins we have continued learning about castles. On Tuesday we celebrated St George’s Day. We read the story and we changed our role play areas into castles so that we could act out the story. We also made St George’s cross flag. We have painted pictures of the castles and had a go at making a tall princess hat. We also talked about whether we would like to be a knight and whether we would like to live in a castle.

In Year 1 this week the Sea Lions have been using adjectives and conjunctions in their writing to improve their sentences. We are also working really hard on our handwriting at the moment and making sure we are taking the time to form our letters correctly. In Maths we have been looking at volume and capacity and have enjoyed comparing the capacity of different containers. In topic we recapped the names of the 5 oceans and then learnt about the different layers of the ocean. The children remembered so much of this learning from Dolphins, we were so impressed! We then learnt facts about the layers and looked at some animals that might live in each layer. We have been practising some songs that we are learning for the KS1 Music Morning happening on 18th May at The Big Sheep. Miss Carr is finding out if parents can get tickets to come along to this. A letter will be sent home next week to let you know if it is possible to come along.

Year 3 thought about something they enjoy doing in their free time and how they would feel if they had to give it up. This helped them to understand how the disciples felt when they were first called by a Jesus. They also had their first piece of whole class ensemble teaching which was linked to their work in a French. They sang frere Jacques in four parts and then learnt the fingering for the notes on the recorder so they could play the tune. Year 5 considered the meaning of the parable of the wise and foolish builders. They also began some whole class ensemble teaching and began to recognise notes on the stave. Year 6, looked at what kind of king Jesus was and continued with their unit of work on dance by finding different motifs to express the changing mood of the music

Year 2 have been working on fractions this week in Maths and have been finding a half, quarter and third of different amounts. We have been impressed with how well some children have persevered even though they found it tricky – well done! In English, they have been writing stories based on the Dragon Machine using brilliant imagination. For their Geography work, they have been looking at maps of the UK and naming England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as their capital cities. In the Art Studio, they have been very excited to work with clay as part of the sculpture work they are completing this half term.

Seahunter class (year 3) have had a busy week! We have planned and started writing a poem on an imaginary journey, based on the book ‘A River’. In maths, we have been learning all about mass and this week we focused on learning all about grams and kilograms. We learned that there are 1000 g in a 1 kg and used this knowledge to work out equivalent masses and also had a go at comparing different masses. In science, we designed our own experiment to find out a plant’s requirements for life and growth. In geography, we explored the journey of a river from the source to mouth. We learned lots of new vocabulary and made our own glossary of new words. We also created our own river scene out of different materials and then labelled the different features of a river.

This week in HMS Echo (year 4), we have begun our new Science topic of Electricity – it was great to see what the children already know about it and they’re very excited to build their own circuits next week. In Geography, we have looked at what it means by ‘virtual water’, and how much water is used to produce and make things, such as a piece of beef steak, which uses a staggering amount of water! We are continuing with swimming and tennis this week for PE. In English, the children have learnt about using interesting nouns and verbs, a variety of adverbials to show when, where and how and also figurative noun phrases, such as ‘a doorway of destiny’, and the children are going to apply this to writing their own circus setting description. In Maths, we are continuing with decimals, where we will be looking at partitioning decimals in different ways and ordering and comparing decimals with tenths and hundredths.

Year five have continued writing about Shackleton’s journey to the South Pole.  They have been finding out about how The Endurance became stuck on an ice floe, how the men and dogs survived the cold dark days and eventually how the ship was crushed and sunk.  In maths we have continued to measure and draw angles with accuracy, making sure we understand how to use a protractor correctly.  In science we have looked at plant life cycles and planted different beans to see if we can see the stages of growth in the classroom. Half the class have visited the Burton Art Gallery to look at the current exhibition as part of their Arts Award; the other half will visit next week.  Everyone enjoyed the tennis session and we are looking forward to starting cricket coaching very soon.  Outdoor learning will take place next Friday so please remember to send in appropriate clothing for this session.

Another busy week for Year 6. They have been refining skills and revising knowledge in Maths, Grammar, Spelling and Reading. They enjoyed the welcome break from the Brass Band on Thursday and have been earning time outside for working hard too. Dance has been going well, textiles in art is coming together and they have been writing up final copies of about half of their ‘Tempest’ stories. Homework this week has links to resources that they may find useful – sorry in advance for the songs they may burst out singing as they work on retaining knowledge.

Website by Cosmic