Upcoming Events

Oct
7
Mon
15:00 Pre-Loved Uniform Sale
Pre-Loved Uniform Sale
Oct 7 @ 15:00 – 16:00
Pre-Loved Uniform Sale
A wide range of uniform available in most sizes and house colours. Some PE kit, book bags, ruck sacks and shoes also available. Available in  the cafe after school.
Nov
4
Mon
15:00 Pre-Loved Uniform Sale
Pre-Loved Uniform Sale
Nov 4 @ 15:00 – 16:00
Pre-Loved Uniform Sale
A wide range of uniform available in most sizes and house colours. Some PE kit, book bags, ruck sacks and shoes also available. Available in  the cafe after school.
Dec
2
Mon
15:00 Pre-Loved Uniform Sale
Pre-Loved Uniform Sale
Dec 2 @ 15:00 – 16:00
Pre-Loved Uniform Sale
A wide range of uniform available in most sizes and house colours. Some PE kit, book bags, ruck sacks and shoes also available. Available in  the cafe after school.
Feb
3
Mon
15:00 Pre-Loved Uniform Sale
Pre-Loved Uniform Sale
Feb 3 @ 15:00 – 16:00
Pre-Loved Uniform Sale
A wide range of uniform available in most sizes and house colours. Some PE kit, book bags, ruck sacks and shoes also available. Available in  the cafe after school.
Mar
2
Mon
15:00 Pre-Loved Uniform Sale
Pre-Loved Uniform Sale
Mar 2 @ 15:00 – 16:00
Pre-Loved Uniform Sale
A wide range of uniform available in most sizes and house colours. Some PE kit, book bags, ruck sacks and shoes also available. Available in  the cafe after school.

‘Sommerfest der Deutschen Sprachen’

On Wednesday 3rd July, Mrs Hogan was very fortunate to be invited to the German Embassy in London (along with about 200 other teachers from around the country) to the ‘Sommerfest der Deutschen Sprachen’ and presentations of the 16th German Teacher Award.  Mrs Stocker accompanied Mrs Hogan and this is what she had to say:

“It was a great day, and provided opportunities to meet other teachers with German links as well as meeting people from the ‘UK-German Connection’ with whom we have had funding support on a couple of occasions since our partnership began with Evanglische Grundschule Babelsberg in Potsdam, Germany.  It was so rewarding to hear that the organisation were so pleased with the last 4 years of our relationship with Evangelische Grundschule Babelsberg and they said we were one of their key primary schools!

During the afternoon we listened to a speech from the German Ambassador and then followed the keynote speakers, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (best known for their many books but especially ‘The Gruffalo’) – which was fabulous!  Julia spoke of her childhood and links to Germany especially through her father (and Axel is German).  She then acted out ‘The Gruffalo’ in German, with the German Ambassador narrating, Julia’s husband as the Gruffalo and a few secondary German teachers being recruited to be the other animals in the story!  Later Axel Scheffler drew a large Gruffalo whilst talking about his illustrations and other stories. 

It was then time for the Ambassador to present the awards, followed by a German food buffet and drinks in the courtyard.

The whole day was a very different experience which was memorable and inspiring.”

Mrs Hogan, Year 5

Farewell Year 6!

….and so comes the end of term, which means a sad farewell to our year 6 children. The annual leavers’ service took place on Monday 22nd July which is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements, successes and personal growth of all the year 6 children. As the hall filled up, the screen displayed photos from the children’s journey at Bluecoat. Giggles were heard as children recognised themselves from years gone by. The service started in style with a performance from the children of ‘When I Grow Up’ and ‘Revolting Children’ from Matilda. The proceedings included songs, a bible reading and children recalling their memories all the way through from Nursery to Year 6.  Each child was awarded a Headteacher’s Award, presented by Ms Fleming and Mr Newall, recognising their individual achievements and then followed the presentation on the special Year 6 Awards. It was noted that the decision of who should receive the awards was particularly tough this year, with so many of the children worthy winners. However, the awards were presented as follows:

Denys Yonge Award for Achievement – Lakota
Dave Hickman Award for Sport – Chloe M.
Pointon Award for Humanities – Aidan
Maud Hodge Award for Citizenship – Frankie & Caitlyn
Spirit of Devon for Engagement in Learning – Macie & Natasha
Bluecoat Award for Excellence – Rowan & Josie

Congratulations to them all, and indeed to each and every child in year 6. We wish you well for your transition to secondary school.

(NB. Individual photos of children receiving their Headteacher Award are available on request, however are not published here as full names are identifiable on many of the certificates in the photos)

Potato Growing Presentation

The annual Potato Growing event in year 4 has become a hotly contested competition with pupils battling it out for the heaviest crop and the largest single potato. The competition is organised in partnership with the Torrington in Bloom Association and RHS Garden Rosemoor and is co-ordinated by Nigel Stark.

This year’s presentation took place on Tuesday 9th July. Nigel Stark, accompanied by Rosie Treharne, Miriam Petry and David Quire, all representing RHS Garden Rosemoor, had the pleasure of announcing the winners. The results were as follows:

Heaviest Crop:

First Place – Lottie Waghorn – 1.995kg

Second Place – Evie Hill – 1.876kg

Third Place – Bella Thorne – 1.545kg

Largest Single Potato:

Winner – Lottie Waghorn – 273g

 

Congratulations to all the winners and a thank you to all year 4’s as without them, there would be no competition!

Thanks also to Torrington in Bloom and RHS Garden Rosemoor, and of course Nigel Stark.

‘How to be an Archaeologist’ Dig

More than 400 years of history unearthed in archaeological dig

A selection of pupils from years 4 and 5 took part in an exciting archaeological dig within the school grounds as part of a History curriculum enrichment initiative, kindly supported by Emily Wapshott, a professional archaeologist, who lives in Great Torrington.

Emily introduced the children to techniques involved in a professional dig and guided them to make accurate recordings and observations of finds across the week. Three test pits, each one metre square were dug in the Forest School site, which sits just within the boundary of what was once Torrington Castle’s famous gardens, each of which was carefully explored by pupils keen to unearth lost treasures!

Despite heavy rain and lots of sticky clay soil, the children were enthusiastic in their efforts, working well together to unearth a selection of finds which have provided a story of life in Torrington across more than a 400 year period. The earliest finds of pottery included a jug handle and also a base of a cup or shallow bowl from the later 16th century, some smoke-blackened kitchenwares of the 17th century and typical 18th and 19th century North Devon ware. The children also uncovered some some Victorian porcelain, cream-glazed ware and various glass bottle fragments. These finds have really helped to illustrate the range of domestic activity taking place in the town. The children also discovered an interesting range of evidence to illustrate a range of more industrial activities, including an interesting shard of glazed decorative roof tile, a fragment of lead window glass, chunks of lime mortar, metal tacks, handmade nails and some iron slag.

Wayne Bennett, Teacher and History Coordinator at Bluecoat Primary School explained:

“It’s proved a tremendous opportunity for the children to get some hands on experience under the skilful guidance of Emily. She has enthused everyone about the history of our town and shown how we can all get involved in bringing our history to life. What a great week!”

Emily kindly donated her time to the project as part of her work for non-profit organisation, ‘Archaeologists Engage’, which aims to promote greater engagement between professionals and local communities.

Future Cyclists in the Making Thanks to Town & Lands Charity

The children in Chapter One would like to give their grateful thanks to the GREAT TORRINGTON TOWN & LANDS CHARITY who supplied a grant allowing us to purchase new trikes with sidecars, rickshaws and larger bikes for our children to use.  This is a vital part of our Early Years curriculum as we seek not only to develop our children’s physical skills, but also their personal and social skills as they work together as a team.  These new trikes also provide a natural opportunity to talk about safety whilst taking managed risks and are an excellent way to practice concentration, determination and perseverance.  It is great to see the children setting their own goals to achieve using these fantastic resources.  Thank you so much for your support and generosity.  The children are enjoying every moment possible using the new trikes. 

We were also able to purchase another tandem trike with money raised by families after our Reception Christmas show.  Thank you to everyone who supported this event and made a donation.

Who knows… we may be fuelling a love of cycling that sees one or more of our children competing at a future Olympic Games or Tour de France!

Year 4 Adventures at PGL Beam House

On Wednesday 15th May, children from year 4 and the accompanying staff made their way just down the road to the PGL activity centre Beam House. They had a full itinerary with a variety of  activity sessions led by well trained, enthusiastic PGL instructors. The activities, specially designed to motivate, build confidence and encourage development in pupils, included: 

• Blokarting
• Trapeze
• Fencing
• Surfing and Street Surfing
• Rifle Shooting

In addition, they also enjoyed  fun evening entertainment including Wacky Races and a Campfire. 

The children all had a wonderful experience and displayed excellent perseverance, resilience and teamwork. Thank you to the all the PGL staff for making Bluecoat feel so welcome and to all the accompanying adults that made the visit possible.

Here are some comments from the children:

“I was proud of Molly on the trapeze. She got to the top but then started crying and said she was scared – but she tried and did it!” – Kaci

“I persevered turning on the street surfing board” – Connor

“I was proud of myself because I tried to get to the top, I was really scared. The best bit was surfing” – Sienna

“When I got to the trapeze I got scared, but Jacqui (our TA) encouraged me to go on. She set me a target and I climbed up” – Alfie F.

“I think Maciej persevered and did not give up when we were doing street surfing. Me and Connor helped Maciej get his balance and after a while he was really good at it” – Arlo

 

The Red Box Project

We are delighted to announce that Bluecoat are participating in The Red Box Project!

The Red Box Project is a community-based, not-for-profit initiative, which aims to support young people throughout their periods by providing red boxes filled with free period products to local schools. There are over 200 projects across the UK as well as several overseas.

“We believe that every child should have equal access to education, regardless of gender. This is their fundamental human right. It is completely unacceptable that any young person should miss out on their education because they have their period. That is why we are calling on the Government to provide funding for free menstrual products for schools and colleges across the country.”

A press release published on 16 April has confirmed that the Government are to offer access to free sanitary products in England’s primary schools from early 2020.

How does it work?

The Red Box is located in the Inclusion Room and girls are free to access the sanitary items when needed. There is a supply of sanitary towels, tampons and clean underwear. We support the #freeperiods movements and have already seen the box being used and making a difference to the girls in our school.

 

Art Exhibition at The Plough Arts Centre

Next week, The Plough Arts Centre will be displaying artwork by nationally renowned Cornwall-artist Richard Cook, who has previously held solo shows at Tate St. Ives and Galerie am Savignyplatz – Berlin. He’ll have a tough act to follow though, as for one week only, a selection of artwork from Nursery, Year 6 and Sketching Club is on display in the cafe below!

With charming line drawings and paintings of cats from Nursery, charcoal flowers from Sketching Club and World War silhouettes from Year 6, the exhibition is guaranteed to be a talking point for any visitors. Also on display to steal the show are Year 6’s carnival masks which are vibrant and colourful, showing wonderful creativity and imagination.

The artwork will be on display until Monday the 6th May, meaning that anyone popping in to Torrington for May Fair celebrations will be able to see the children’s work on display while they are there.

Emergency Landing at Bluecoat

As some of you may be aware, last Sunday the Devon Air Ambulance landed on the school playground in response to a local emergency. We are pleased to be able to report that the casualty arrived safely in Bristol and was treated successfully.

Many thanks to Mrs Flower for her prompt response to the situation, opening the gates to allow medics access to and from the playground. We are currently exploring strategies for a common passcode for the gates that could be shared with the Air Ambulance Service to prevent any unnecessary delays in the future.

Thanks also to John Insull for sharing the wonderful photographs which captured the moments on camera.

The Devon Air Ambulance

In 2018, it cost £7.5 million to keep Devon’s Air Ambulances flying. As an independent charity that receives no external funding, they rely solely on the support of their lottery players, regular donors, those who pledge money in their wills, those who shop or donate to their charity shops, those who fundraise or participate in fundraising events, and those who pop spare change into their collection boxes. Every contribution truly does make a difference – for more details on how to donate please visit their website at https://www.daat.org/Appeal/donate-now

Empowering Children at Bluecoat

During Empowerment Day at the end of March, all of the children across Chapter 2 and 3 joined together to make classes of different ages to work on building their self-esteem and celebrating their individuality. All classes took part in some very exciting team challenges, physical activities and creative art work to demonstrate and empower their own strengths. The atmosphere across the school was vibrant.

Easter Service

Chapter 2 & 3 attended St. Michael’s Church for the annual Easter Service. The church was ringing once again with the very enthusiastic singing and many children took part in leading prayers and presenting Easter readings.
Thank you to all who took part, including Father Peter who spoke about the Easter story.

Eco Ambassadors Take to the Streets

Bluecoat Eco Ambassadors discussed in a recent meeting how devastating the level of general ‘rubbish’ lying around our local community is. During the meeting they also highlighted opportunities which Bluecoat could do to help reduce the problem. This included some of them donning the high vis vests and heading out on a Great Big School Clean.

Class 5GH wanted to contribute to this incredible initiative and decided to spend the morning on the Commons collecting and recording the variety of rubbish collected. They set off on a Thursday morning after a Maths lesson on planning a suitable data collecting sheet. They predicted what ‘rubbish’ would be most common between the options of crisp packets, general plastic, plastic bottles, plastic bags, paper/cardboard and glass.
Immediately they were struck with how much ‘rubbish’ was in the school grounds and so they enthusiastically collected the rubbish into allocated bags. They wore protective gloves and used litter pickers to keep themselves safe.

They were a little presumptuous that they would make it to the commons in the time frame they had; in an hour and a half they only made it along the lane and to the local doctors surgeries!

On returning, they discussed the data collected and found that Noah’s group were correct in predicting that general plastic would be the most common variety found – with 540 pieces being collected. They decided this is because it is the worst pollutant in our modern world and it is the hardest to recycle all the different types of plastic.

Riley’s group predicted that the least amount found would be paper or cardboard. They thought this is because we, as a community, already recycle a lot of paper and not a lot of items come in paper packaging.

The children really enjoyed this learning experience, so much so it was suggested that the litter pickers are loaned out to families to use when they could.  

Class 5GH

Spreading joy to those less fortunate

We are delighted to say that the wonderful selection of toys and games donated by our children at the annual Toy Service have made their way the almost 1700 miles across to Romania. During her visit this Easter break, Mags Zaharia ensured the safe delivery of several large boxes of gifts which were met with great delight and appreciation. Bianca, a friend of Little John’s House, will arrange for the toys and games to be distributed to several rural kindergartens around Sibiu, Romania. We hope to share some photos of the children receiving the toys soon. Thank you for helping those less fortunate than ourselves.

 

 

 

Reception Egg Drop

Having read ‘Egg Drop’ by Mini Grey, Classes RH and RM took on the Egg Drop Challenge!

Parents and carers were invited in and the children had a wonderful time working with their grown-ups to design and make something that would protect the egg when it tried to fly off the balcony. Everyone had lots of fun and quite a few of the eggs survived!

Thank you to all the grown ups who were able to come in and be part of this egg-citing activity!

‘Play Phonics’ Parent Workshop

Thank you for all the lovely comments about how useful the ‘Play Phonics’ Letters and Sounds session for parents and carers has been. We are so glad you enjoyed it and the children were very excited to have their ‘grown ups’ stay and learn with them.

Here are some photos from the session to remind you of the games that you can try at home. Pick and choose activities that your child really enjoys and adapt these to their learning needs and use as you wish. Remember your child will learn more and remember more when he/she is engaged and interested so let’s make it as fun for them as we can.

Learning to read and write is very complex as you will have heard at the recent workshops; so let’s keep encouraging them and congratulating them for their effort as they develop in these areas. If you have further questions or would like more support please see your child’s teacher. Thank you again for making the time to attend this event.

 

Chinese New Year – Year of the Pig

The children in Reception have been learning how people celebrate Chinese New Year. They have tried Chinese writing; traditional foods; found out about China; tried using chopsticks; learnt the story about how the animals were ordered for the Chinese Zodiac; and much, much more. They presented all of this to their families in a fantastic assembly which began with two very large and ‘many legged’ dragons entering the hall!

They were all amazed by the information the children had discovered and remembered and thrilled at the respect and joy they showed as they learnt about this colourful and exciting celebration.

If you want to find out more, come and talk to us and look out for those dragons in the lower school library!

Children’s Delight at New Bike for Reception

We would like to thank everyone for their generous contributions after the Reception Christmas Show last December. So generous were the donations, that we have been able to purchase this new larger 2 wheeled bike to add to our collection for outdoor learning. This has been very well received by the children and has presented a real challenge. This area of learning is so important and especially so in the Early Years where muscle development; coordination; stamina; strength and control are part of their necessary physical development. These are also key skills that facilitate writing and the ability to focus in other learning activities.

Here are some of the children’s comments:

“Oh! I love this new bike, but it is so tricky. It’s like a balance bike you have to balance and do the pedals and it’s hard to think about it.”

“I have a bike like this at home, but I’m still learning; I won’t give up.”

“Wow! Where did it come from? I like riding it, thank you!”

Year 1 Visit to Tiverton Castle

This term in Year 1, the children have been learning about Castles and life in the past. They have investigated the history of England in 1066 and explored the Battle of Hastings. Learning has focused on what life looked like in the Medieval times, especially life in the castles. The children were very lucky to bring the learning to life during a visit to Tiverton Castle where they were shown around by Mrs Gordon.

Mrs Gordon was so explicit and flawless with her expert delivery that the children could clearly imagine where the kitchen, the main keep and the secret passages once stood. The children were able to see how the old ‘garderobe’ (toilet) worked and were able to test the old helmets from the armoury; they were very heavy! 

They also had the opportunity to have a wander around Tiverton museum and explore all the unusual objects and artefacts from the past. The children tested some farming equipment, learned about the old ‘mangles’ that were used for washing and even examined an old TV set from 1960s. The weather was brilliant, the children were well behaved and the parent helpers were amazing. Everyone had lots of fun. 

Thank you to everyone who made this experience possible.

Germany Residential Exchange Visit 2019

On 11th March 2019, a group of 26 year 5 pupils and 5 adults embarked on the 4th annual Residential Exchange Visit to Germany.  The group flew from Bristol to Berlin (for some it was their first time on an aeroplane!) and then they travelled by train to Potsdam. They stayed in a youth hostel in the suburb called Babelsberg which is just a short walk to the exchange school, ‘Evanglische Grundschule Babelsberg’ who have been partnered with Bluecoat for four years.

Throughout the week the group worked alongside their German pen pals in the classroom on the theme ‘Building Bridges’. Classroom activities included a team challenge to ensure all pupils safely crossed the bridge across a ‘turbulent river’; building the tallest/longest/most creative bridge using restricted resources; a ‘Peace and Conflict’ role play, as well as a session learning circus skills. All the children in their German classes also visited the Allied Museum in the ‘American Quarter’ of Berlin to learn about post-war Berlin and the segregation.

Bluecoat pupils spent a rainy afternoon seeing some of the sights of Berlin including the famous Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag Building. Whilst in Berlin, the children enjoyed a trip to the ‘Ampel man’ shop which is now becoming a tradition of the trip. The ‘Ampel man’ is an iconic symbol stemming from the image used on the old traffic lights of East Berlin before the wall came down (during segregation) – in the shop, the image is now used on lots of items like pencil cases, bags and even sweets! They also enjoyed a trip to the centre of Potsdam and explored landmarks like the Church of St. Nickolas and the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Park Sanssouci.
The children had many opportunities to sample the German culture, especially the food. Food was sampled from local bakeries, whilst spending an afternoon visit to host families and also during the Global Evening held in the school. German pen pals brought traditional food to share as a buffet which was followed by playing games together. 

The trip was once again a great success with lots of fun and amazing learning opportunities had by all. Although the travellers returned late and and very tired, a fantastic, memorable and educational time was had by everyone!

Meanwhile at Bluecoat…..

Whilst the 26 pupils enjoyed their exchange visit to Germany, the rest of the year 5s got stuck into their enrichment week which mirrored the theme in Germany, ‘Building Bridges’, which focused on developing PSHE skills and learning to work together effectively.

Construction was literally the name of the game as the week began in forest school! Putting communication and problem-solving skills to the test, children worked together to create shelters – with only limited resources supplied. The rain arrived just in time to allow the children to celebrate their success and check just how effective the shelters actually were.

Working with the slogan ‘Build bridges, not walls’, they took the opportunity to delve into the history of the Berlin Wall and the issues facing those who lived on either side. Using art as a means to express themselves as well as invoke change, they then tried their hand at graffiti writing. Armed with their new lettering skills, they worked together in teams to create contemporary slogans and art in their very own graffiti wall, focusing on global and local issues that they would like to change. It was lovely to see lots of groups picking up on the issues of inclusivity as well as sustainability, showing awareness of the wider world too.

Sport is a great unifier, and in addition to PE during the week, children had a fantastic time visiting GTS to take part in the Dance Festival, where they were again able to develop another way of expressing themselves, listening to various songs and trialling some new moves to match. Similarly, Sophie from the Plough visited to help us explore drama with a ‘Play in a Day’, where we recreated some scenes from Tin Tin, Destination Moon.

The week ended with further exploration of German culture. After sampling and reviewing traditional German food, children worked together to create their own menus for a German restaurant (complete with translations for English visitors). This was followed by some traditional German music, which we then recreated on glockenspiels.

Children loved sharing their learning from the week with the rest of our year group when we took part in a quick Skype call to Germany too at the end of the week, showing that a great week was had by all!

Netball Victory for Bluecoat

Members of the Bluecoat Netball Club had their long awaited second league match on 7th March at home against Beaford after having to be cancelled on two previous occasions due to bad weather. The nine-strong team of Year 6, 5 and 4 players were Marnie, Frankie, Maisie S, Raven, Jess, Chloe, Matilda, James P and Calypso.

Sarah Hogan, Netball Team Coach commented “It was a competitive match; work is needed on our footwork, however we secured a clear win (4:0). We are now looking forward to our next league match which is away against Shebbear.”