Bramble meets ITV

On Tuesday 26th, ITV Westcountry met our new Federation of Tiverton Schools ‘school dog’, Bramble. They were able to hear about the benefits of having Bramble in lessons, and spoke to Mrs Crook about how she will be used to help students across the Federation schools with anxiety or mental health issues.

Raising awareness for WDSD

The whole school came together to raise awareness for World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) on Thursday 21 March. Everyone wore odd socks to raise awareness, and two children made biscuits to sell in the staffroom to raise money for Down Syndrome Association.

We also have one very talented parent who has written a song, dedicated to one of our pupils. You can watch the video here:

Below are some images from the day – well done everyone!





Introducing new School Dog ‘Bramble’

Students facing challenges around learning and emotional development will soon be given support through a working ‘school dog’.

The Federation of Tiverton Schools is set to train and work Bramble, a Blue Border Terrier, across all key stages of learning, and she will become an integral part of the Federation providing evidence-based support to students.

Working across Tiverton High School, Heathcoat Primary and Rackenford Primary, Bramble will be trained through a registered charity to become a fully qualified ‘school dog’, employed to improve wellbeing and reduce anxiety or stress, as well as listening to children read.

Extensive research has proven that reading to dogs can help children to develop literacy skills and build confidence, something which Federation Head, Sammy Crook, believes is an important factor. She said: “There is an issue nationally with many children progressing from primary school to secondary below the expected national standard in reading. While we have many initiatives in place to combat these issues, Bramble will be able to work with students to build their literacy skills from primary school, right through to secondary school, bridging the gap and improving reading ability.”

A number of schools across the UK have also employed school dogs for the cognitive and emotional benefits, and Bramble will be used to help children who may suffer from any mental health issues. “Research suggests that having a school dog can improve self-esteem, teach compassion and respect, and relieve anxiety or stress,” explains Mrs Crook. “We are confident that having Bramble in school will aid students who can sometimes feel overwhelmed, and motivate students through interaction with her.”

Bramble will have her own crate in the school offices where she will have downtime in between lessons, and her overall care and welfare will be the responsibility of Mrs Crook. Before Bramble’s appointment, a thorough risk assessment was undertaken, and all staff and students will be made aware of how to behave around the new school dog.

Mrs Crook added: “We understand that there will be some students who are allergic to dogs, or may have fears of dogs or other animals. Bramble is here to support and encourage our students and we hope that many will experience the benefits of having her in school, but of course students don’t have to interact with her if they do not wish, and we will ensure that this is monitored closely.”

Bramble has already started her training, and will slowly be introduced into each of the schools before taking on her full-time role as the Federation’s School Dog.

If you would like to see the School Dog Policy, it can be found on the Policies page here.

Pantomime workshop

Today we were delighted to welcome Lisa Hudson, Creative Learning director of the Exeter Northcott Theatre, who led two drama workshops with children who are going to see the pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk next week.  She helped children to explore the themes of panto, including suspending belief, noticing that the ‘baddies’ and good characters enter and exit from different sides of the stage, discussing characters and creating their own ‘It’s behind you’ scenes.

The children all thoroughly enjoyed their hour with Lisa and produced some impressive freeze frames and drama scenes. Thank you to Lisa and well done to all children.

Bronze award for young Karate champ

Oliver bronze karate medal

On Saturday 17 November, Oliver competed at the South West Regional Karate competition, held at Uffculme School. Oliver is currently a purple belt, and competed against other children of a similar age and different gradings.

Our talented young athlete reached the finals and was awarded the Bronze medal for all his hard work. Well done!

Family Xmas Workshop

It was great to see so many families at the workshop last Wednesday. Lots of wonderful xmas decorations were made, the creativity of everyone always amazes us and each decoration is so individual. Thank you to everyone who attended and to all the staff who helped make the workshop happen.

Year 1 Multi-Skills workshop

On Wednesday 21st November Mrs Soper and Carla Isaac took 20 Y1 children to a multi skills workshop at Tiverton high School. The children were not only exemplary with their manners and behaviour. But they also showed all their building learning powers persevering new skills taught by the young leader at THS, being reflective how they could improve their performance, collaboration working together to achieve the varied activities from throwing and shooting at a target to balancing and jumping over obstacles. The children were praised for their effort and behaviour and feedback their enjoyment and couldn’t wait to show off their new skills back at school.

Wellington Maths Challenge

On Saturday 24th November a group of children went to Wellington to take part in the Maths Challenge. Heathcoat Primary joined 44 other schools for the day of challenges, which included various activities and questions on a range of topics, including one challenge which was to guess how many sweets were in a bottle. All of the children enjoyed taking part as a group, and there was lots of fun had by all.

Anti-Bullying Week 2019

We have been celebrating Anti-Bullying Week this week, taking part in a number of activities that focused on ‘choosing respect.

Just some of the things children have been doing is wearing odd socks for the day, and creating an action for ‘#chooserespect’.

Everyone did really well at taking part in all the activities, and it was great to see all the children get involved.