Coronavirus statement

You will no doubt be aware of the Coronavirus that originated in China, but has now reached the UK. While there is no formal guidance for schools from Public Health England we are monitoring the outbreak, which has been described as a “public health emergency of international concern” by the WHO. Please be assured that we will take any appropriate action swiftly should it be required in order to maintain the health and safety of children, staff and public.

Olympic long jumper inspires pupils

The school hosted a very special guest on Wednesday 27th November, when long jump athlete Ezekiel Ewulo visited us to inspire budding young athletes.

The dual nationality Nigeria and Great Britain athlete is on course to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. ‘Zeeks’ started the morning with an inspirational whole school assembly, where he talked about his training regime and the healthy foods he needs to eat to be a top long jumper. Staff and pupils were able to watch Ezekiel’s standing long jump and had the opportunity to ask questions about his athletic career.

Following the assembly, each class from reception to year six was put through its paces with circuit training. Ezekiel finished the circuits by challenging pupils to fit such exercises into their daily or weekly routines.

Demelza Higginson, Headteacher said: “We raised a fantastic amount of money for the event which will be split between the school and providing funding for young Olympic hopeful athletes.

“Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to this truly great event. We will certainly all be looking out for Ezekiel in the 2020 Olympics representing Nigeria!

All aboard the values TRAIN – pupils get creative

Pupils have been getting creative with a competition to design brand new posters which showcase the school’s newly-established values.

Over the last year, we have worked on our behaviour policy, which included discussions with staff and pupils about what values were important to the school. Together, we developed a list of values which spell TRAIN – representing being on a ‘learning journey’ and brain training through learning:

Teamwork
Respect
Aim High
Independence
Never Give Up

Further discussions between staff and pupils helped to identify specific learning behaviours for each value. The pupils were then asked to design a poster to promote the values around the school – with teachers shortlisting 10 top designs based on how clearly the values were presented. Staff then voted for their favourite design, with 2 winners being chosen – Thomas and Sophie, both in year 4.

Miss Higginson says: “We were really impressed with all of the poster designs that we received, and the winners’ submissions were bold and eye-catching.

“We are looking forward to seeing the posters displayed around our school and to begin implementing these values across everything that we do.”

Year 6 students on BBC Radio Devon

On Wednesday 3rd September, some of our Year 6 students were featured on BBC Radio Devon, as part of the 80th anniversary of the start of World War 2.

Students were asked about their knowledge of the war and what it might have meant to be a child at the time.

Well done to all who were interviewed – you can download the clip to listen by clicking the link below (clip will download automatically).

Year 6 on BBC Radio Devon 3.9.19

Outdoorsy octet complete Exmoor challenge

exmoor challenge
Well done to eight students from Year 6 who have completed the arduous Exmoor Challenge – with a pair of top 20 finishes.

They took part in the prestigious annual event of the Exmoor Challenge on Saturday 4th May 2019. The 16.1 mile unsupervised endurance walk over the challenging terrain of Exmoor tests teamwork, map reading and navigational skills.

Despite the initial cold and windy weather the two teams set off and successfully completed the challenge with smiles on their faces, and among the leading groups to finish. Many thanks to the staff, parents and of course children contributed to the training and logistics, and ensured the hard work was worth the personal challenge.
exmoor challengeexmoor challenge 2

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: https://youtu.be/6hvPFuU_ZDk

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!