With the better weather arriving, the school has spruced up its grounds and cleared the cobwebs. The school council organised a painting party of parents, staff and pupils to paint the playground equipment shed, while another group of volunteers planted lavender bushes and berberis around the grassed areas at the front of the school.
Miss Cornish's Nature and Gardening club will be exploring ways in which our site can be improved further for wildlife and the children.
In seeking to improve the communication with parents, we have given our website a major face-lift. It looks great now and offers a wealth of information to parents and other members of the community, keeping you up to date with activities around the school and links to other sites of interest. It also offers us the opportunity to save energy and resources by providing an electronic newsletter rather than a paper-copy. The website is a work in progress and further information will be added to it. Please have a look at it and see all the great things we do at the school. The web link is www.hemyock-primary.devon.sch.uk
Further, the school has been hosting a range of events to inform parents about SATS, our maths curriculum targets, the School Development Plan, Dyslexia and the Early Years Foundation Stage. Plans are in the pipeline to create large banners to adorn the outside of the school building, displaying the school aims developed in consultation with staff, parents and children. Already in place is a plaque stating the Healthy Schools Award that we have recently been awarded.
The Healthy Schools Award is an exciting long-term initiative that promotes the link between good health, behaviour and achievement that centres on a whole school approach.
The official opening of our extended Key Stage 2 classroom was celebrated by a special assembly in which children from the Key Stage 2 classes performed poems, sketches, songs and raps to parents which illustrated the improvements made. Parents stayed to help children make Easter Bonnets which were shown off during an Easter Bonnet parade later that week. It was a lovely event.
Sport: Children form Foxes class took part in the Year 3 athletics festival at Uffculme Secondary School and the Tag Rugby team, showing off their new team kit sponsored by Dobles Garage, took part in and won the Culm Valley Community Cup competition.
Our school was one of seven that took part in the Uffculme Cluster Athletics competition, where 12 year 6 pupils had to complete a javelin throw, a speed jump, standing long jump, speed trial, throw challenge, hurdles and hurdle relay. Our team did very well; we had the highest score for the speed jump, we were second in the speed trial and 2nd in the team relay. We succeeded in coming 3rd over all.
Congratulations are also in order for eighteen children from the school who took part in the Exmoor Challenge walking event run by the Rotary Club. Thirteen children successfully completed the grueling 16 mile course within the specified time, demonstrating great camaraderie, team work and map reading skills. It was a beautiful day, enjoyed by a large number of parents cheering on the teams by the banks of Tarr Steps and other check points along the scenic route. (Special thanks to Imi and Adele, ex pupils, who made up the team numbers).
Music: Instrumental tuitions are continuing at the school with the addition of a sequence of taster lessons on a variety of stringed instruments under the governments wider opportunities programme for the children (and teacher!) in Hedgehogs class. The children gave parents a taster of their skills during a recent celebration assembly and we are looking forward to hearing more from them.
PTFA: Parents, staff and pupils brought unwanted clothes, shoes and bags to the school for the PTFA 'Clothes for a Cause' fundraising collection. Over 200 bags were collected, weighing a staggering 1.29 tons, and raising an impressive £548.28 for PTFA funds!
The PTFA also organised an Easter Egg Hunt whereby each class had to find all the pieces to build a picture of a member of staff and rewarded each child with a large chocolate Easter Egg at the final assembly before our Easter break. The children found it hard to take in the sight of 149 chocolate eggs!
With SATS over, and the end of the school year approaching, a number of outings for the pupils have been arranged. The whole of Key Stage 2 will visit the Explore @Bristol Science Centre, Ducklings Class will visit the Sea Life Centre in Weston Super Mare, Foxes Class will have a 'Wild Night Out' overnight camping trip at Escot, while Rabbits and Deer Class will visit Rosemoor Gardens. A record breaking walking bus event and a whole school sports activity event at Blundell's School are being planned and preparations for Year 6's transition visits to Uffculme Secondary School are being made.
Last but not least, Mrs Arrowsmith will begin her maternity leave shortly and we wish her all the best for the birth of her first baby. We will miss her and await her return to our school early next year.
Have a happy summer everyone!
Hemyock - A Village on the Blackdown Hills