Upcoming Events

Fire Fighting Fun in Reception

A big thank you to the Torrington Fire Brigade fire fighters who gave up their own time to come and visit the Reception children as part of their learning about ‘Real Life Superheroes’. The children learnt so much about being safe. They enjoyed exploring all the equipment fire-fighters use, with special attention paid to how the hose works. The cars in the car park were very clean by the end of the afternoon!

Mrs. Harris ‘volunteered’ to try on the fire fighters protective clothing and decided it was not the job for her! A lot of joy and laughter were had by all as we learnt potentially life-saving information in a sensitive and fun way.

Thank you again to our Torrington heroes.

Anyone for Mud Cakes?…

The children in Reception are absolutely thrilled with their fantastic new mud kitchens. They couldn’t wait to start using them and have even made potions to catch the Joker who stole their superheroes!

Research has shown that mud kitchens have great benefits for children, such as:

  • Creative expression and invention (mud can become anything!)
  • Problem solving opportunities (e.g. how to make soup thin or thick, how to make mud meatballs stick together)
  • Cooperative play possibilities (e.g. let’s cook dinner, let’s have a restaurant, let’s feed the baby—you be the baby)
  • Stress reduction (being outdoors in nature helps children relax)
  • Building stronger immune systems (research indicates that some exposure to dirt helps build resistance to bad bacteria)
  • Growing affection for the stuff on our earth—soil, stones, sand, and growing plants (leading to care for our planet)

The kitchens were kindly built by two Reception dads, and it is safe to say they did an amazing job. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to them for all their hard work and generosity. As the photos show, the children are really getting stuck in.

The Sun Had His Hat on for Sports Day!

On Tuesday 20th June, Bluecoat was a sea of red, blue, yellow and green t-Shirts as pupils prepared to battle it out for their house team to be crowned the champions of the annual Sports Day.  It was a beautifully sunny day and measures had been taken to ensure plenty of shaded areas for children to wait in between events and plenty of drinks on hand to stay hydrated. Parents and family were invited to come and be part of the day to cheer on their children, and year 7 pupils from GTS came along to to offer their support.

Year groups were split into boys and girls, and individuals within each group competed in the various events on a rotation; sprint, hurdles, tennis ball throw, high jump, javelin, spring jump, shot put and target shooting.  There were also two events where each group worked as a team – basketball and team relay. After each event a runner delivered the score sheet to the data team who input the all important numbers into the spreadsheet. Only they could see who was in the lead, and it is fair to say the team on top changed several times throughout the morning!  As the heat of the day rose the decision was made to draw the events to a close slightly early at 1pm but the sterling effort displayed by all involved meant the majority of the events were fully completed.

Such fantastic team spirit was displayed by the pupils; cheering each other on, congratulating the winners, and showing genuine support to each other. They were a credit to their families and the school and made the day what it was.

So who reigned victorious – Tamar, Torridge, Tavy or Taw?

1st – Tamar – Yellow (25955 points)
2nd – Tavy – Red (25355 points)
3rd – Taw – Green (24803 points)
4th – Torridge – Blue (24590 points)

Individual Results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It may have been Tamar that took the crown overall, but the results above clearly show that all teams worked fantastically well and deserve to feel proud of their achievements. There was some very close scoring too, and some in 4th place only missed out on a medal by a mere handful of points!

Much preparation went into the arrangements for the day, and particular thanks must go to Mr Tennant for the huge amount of co-ordination undertaken to ensure its smooth running. He commented, “it was a good day, and I’m looking forward to next year!”

Around the World with Reception

The Reception children have been ‘travelling’ around the world recently.  Each class has studied different countries and put stamps in their passports to remember where they have been.  Families were invited to come on a ‘tour of the world’ with the children as the tour guides.  As they visited each ‘country’ (table of artefacts and photos) the children shared all about their learning.  They visited Romania, Cambodia, Australia, Peru, Latvia, Poland, The Gambia, Scotland, India, France and England. 

M and his Mum came to speak to us about Latvia, Ewa and B told us about Poland and Z and his Mum told us about Mauritius.  We also learnt about Scotland with Mrs. Flower and The Gambia with Mrs. Harris.  Come and speak to us about what we have found out about these countries. 

A fantastic time was had by all!  Thanks to everyone who supplied information and artefacts for the ‘countries’ and to everyone who came along.

In Class RH they learnt about Cambodia, a country special to Mrs Harris as she lived there for many years.  They learnt about the food – eating spiders, Angkor Wat (temple), Buddhism, getting around on motorbikes and cyclos, houses on stilts, monsoon rain, weddings and bringing gifts of fruit (on your head), writing letters and numbers and the only river in the world that changes direction of flow during the year.

 They learnt about the boat races to celebrate the Tonle Sap (river) changing direction and made their own boats.  Then, moi, bee, buy saum jaul DTOW! (1,2,3, go) ១ ២ ៣ សូមចូលទៅ!  “Blow your boat as fast as you can to win the race!”  They had great fun and really enjoyed learning about the similarities and differences between our own culture and that of the Khmer people.  

A Chance to Quiz the Election Candidates

It was election fever on 6th June at Bluecoat C of E Primary School as a handful of pupils from the upper and lower school had the opportunity to grill candidates from four of the main political parties. The North Devon Gazette had invited the school to be part of an election feature they were running and had requested that the children come up with some questions they would like to ask. The school news team read the party manifestos and came up with some challenging issues that they wanted the candidates to address. Four year 6 pupils were then paired with year 2 pupils and each pair quizzed one of the parties. They even threw in a few fun questions to lighten the mood!

Belinda Roberts and Amber Schofield were first up as they met with Chris Jordan of the Green Party. 

 

Poppy Rooke and Emily Blease met with Independent Candidate, Robin Julian.

Tiegan Ager and Poppy Fry were up next quizzing David Chalmers of the Liberal Democrats.

Geoffrey Cox of the Conservative party faced questions from Harley Weston and Alfie Hooper.

It was a great experience for the children and the candidates tackled the questions well, especially some of the more obscure questions! Thank you to Sarah Howell at The North Devon Gazette for inviting us to be part of it.

#schoolsjustwannahavefunds

On Friday 26th May, Bluecoat C of E Primary School joined in with the National campaign for Fairer Funding for Schools #schoolsjustwannahavefunds. Events were being held all over the country as part of the ‘National School Assembly’ to raise awareness of the significant cuts that are being proposed to school budgets.

Before everyone left school to start their half term holidays, they gathered in the playground for a ‘bring and share’ picnic organised by the Friends of Torrington Bluecoat. Placards and banners were proudly displayed illustrating the important message. There was a fantastic show of passion from children, staff and governors all keen to make their voices heard and David Chalmers, Torridge and West Devon candidate for the Liberal Democrat Party joined the event and spoke about how the cuts are particularly bad in Devon and encouraged parents to have their say. Also in attendance were the Mayor of Torrington, Sue Mills, and several other local councillors.

We would like to thank everyone who supported the event. More information about the campaign can be found at http://www.fairfundingforallschools.org/

Year 4 River Walk

This term, year 4 have been learning about rivers. To start the topic off they visited a local stream, which runs into the River Torridge, to carry out a study. Once down at the stream the pupils carried out three tasks; a river walk to look at how different features of the stream had been formed, they measured the width and depth of the stream, and they found out which freshwater mini beasts were living in the stream sediment.

Back at school, they drew graphs to show the cross section of the stream at different points, used their mini beast data to find out how clean the stream is and wrote newspaper reports about their day. Look out for a display of all their work later this term.

Pollution Pollution Everywhere

Written by Max Goodman, Class 6M

The trees you see,
The sea you see,

Are nothing but natural things to be
BUT,
The humans come build factories and buildings
Which pollutes the air we breathe.
Now is nothing but smog and waste and slob
The coal and oil now taken from earth
Nothing left but pollution pollution everywhere!

A Celebration of Nursing at May Fair

On 4th May, the community of Great Torrington came out in force to celebrate the annual May Fair Day, a tradition that dates back many years and a day held in very high esteem by the young and old.  Following a burst of music from the silver band, the proceedings got underway with an open air service and singing from the younger members of Bluecoat C of E Primary School, leading onto the country dancing by children in years 3 and 4. Then the competition was on as the rousing tune of the Floral Dance got the community up on their feet, dancing round the Square all hoping to be chosen as the winning team.

As the guard of honour assembled with children in years 5 and 6, the dignitaries entered the Square into position as the silver band played once more. The music quietened down and it was the moment everyone had been waiting for; the entourage appeared and theme for May Fair 2017 was finally revealed. The Mayor’s Consort, Diana Davey had a long career in nursing which inspired Dressmaker, Stephanie Fisher, to suggest the idea of a ‘Celebration of Nursing’. The entourage depicted nursing throughout the years with the May Queen as a Matron, the Crowner a Sister, the Heralds portraying medics from the Crimean War and the Attendants representing nurses from the Florence Nightingale era. Coincidentally, Diana began her nursing training 37 years to the day on 4th May.

Following the crowning of May Queen, years 5 and 6 danced the maypole. Paul Tennant, teacher at Bluecoat and entourage leader, said “I was immensely proud of the children on May Fair day. The Wednesday night practice didn’t go quite as well as I would have liked, however, on Thursday the attitude was completely different and the boys and girls performed much better. For the first time that I can remember, some year 6 boys were needed to help with the year 5 plait and I was impressed with the co-operation displayed by the boys who helped out.  I have been involved with 31 May Fairs and I still enjoy the day. Funny to think when I first arrived in the school I wasn’t particularly interested in maypole dancing!”

Bluecoat C of E Primary School would like to extend its thanks to the May Fair Committee, the Cavaliers, the Silver Band, Stephanie Fisher, Nick Wyke, Becki Driscoll and Sean Harrison, Jacqui Couch, Paul Tennant, the Entourage and their parents/carers..

Exploring the Senses at Rosemoor

On Friday 5th May, the year one children visited RHS Gardens Rosemoor to take part in an “Exploring the Senses” workshop. The children were given challenges involving looking, smelling, feeling and listening which really helped them to explore the gardens in detail and to talk about what they noticed.

They also had great fun exploring the rest of the gardens and, of course, the play areas!

Record Performance from Bluecoat Girls’ Football Team!

Report from Gracie Avery:

“On the 23rd March, eight girls from the Bluecoat Girls’ Football club played at a Primary School football tournament held at GTS. At the tournament there were eight teams, four of which were from this school. Being the only full girls team there, Bluecoat Girls had to be tough, but they managed to pull it off scoring a record amount of six points! The results were, the boys’ A team in 2nd place overall (losing out on penalties), the boys’ B team in 3rd place and the girls’ team and boys’ C team coming in 4th and 5th in their groups. Overall it was a great time and everyone was proud of their performance.

Finally, all the players who tool part would like to say a big thank you to Mr Tennant, Mr Bond and Phoebe Baker for making our trip possible”.

Back: Belinda, Gracie, Tia, Phoebe, Freya, Paige Front: Chloe, Bobbi

Reception Children Take the Egg Drop Challenge!

Having read ‘Egg Drop’ by Mini Grey, Reception children took on the Egg Drop Challenge. They worked with parents and carers to design and make something that would protect the egg when it tried to fly off the balcony. They had lots of fun and quite a few of the eggs survived!

Thank you to parents and carers for supporting the event.

Outdoor Learning: Forest School

Year Four

Year Four enjoyed the team building challenges during their Forest School sessions this term. Here they are playing the ‘Cross the Swamp Challenge’. The first group to get their whole team across the swamp, without touching the ground, was the winner.

They also made ‘fat balls’ to feed the birds and hung them around the Forest School site and experienced some campfire cooking – everyone enjoyed an end of term campfire feast of banak bread – even if it wasn’t Tracey’s best!

Year Five

Year Five also enjoyed the ‘Cross the Swamp Challenge’ as well as learning how to age trees by measuring the girth of the tree trunk.  They also went on a walk to identify the different mammals found locally.

“Gute Reise!” – Diary of the Year 5 Visit to Germany

Year 5 have been studying Germany as a topic because Evanglische Grundschule, Babelsberg, Potsdam, Germany is our Global Partner.  Since September we have been learning about the language, geography, history (especially WW1/2) and the German lifestyle. We have been fortunate to Skype every fortnight with our new pen pals and have also linked this to our Literacy and Maths work too.  On the 6th March, 11 Year 5 children and 3 staff began their exciting trip to Germany.  The rest of Year 5 did activities at school that related to what we would be learning about in Germany. It was a long Monday  travelling on a variety of modes of transport – coaches, planes, trains… We were met by Sabine and Irina who were our leaders from the school during our visit. Eventually we arrived at the Youth Hostel late in the evening and settled in. 

Tuesday was the children’s first experience of a German school and we had great anticipation before meeting our pen-pals for the first time face to face.  After some ice-breaker activities we all set off (by train and bus) with our pen-pals to visit the Allied Museum in the old American Quarter in Berlin.  We went there to learn about post-war Berlin and when it was divided.  We later enjoyed a tour around Babelsberg, in small groups with our German friends, finding out about the architecture and what the shops and other facilities in the town are like such as the football stadium.  Later in the afternoon we took a tram to Potsdam and had a tour to see all the old architecture, churches, film museum and Dutch quarter.  In the evening, we had dinner at the youth hostel and many of our German pen-pals came to join us and afterwards we played games.

On Wednesday morning we presented our assembly about where we come from in England and had a go at speaking our lines in German.  Then we spent the day doing class room activities (such as role plays) exploring ‘Peace and Conflict’ in our classes.  After school, the children visited their host families for the afternoon and evening and had dinner too.  Everyone came back with many stories to tell and it was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone!

On Thursday we set off on the train to Berlin with Sabine for a tour around looking at the post war legacies left from the divided Berlin.  We saw where the Berlin Wall was and parts of the Berlin wall were still left as a reminder… the Holocaust Memorial, the Brandenburg Gate, The Reichstag Building and many more…. Some children also decided they wanted to go up one of the fastest elevators in Germany to see 360 degree views of Berlin City – which was spectacular.

When we got back to the school, we watched the school’s dance club perform expertly several dances then we went shopping in Potsdam for souvenirs.

In the evening we enjoyed a lovely buffet provided by parents of the school children and the children played board games together before watching the school band  perform. Unfortunately we had to say our farewells that evening (which for many was very emotional).  We had planned activities on Friday to perform our role plays and visit a UNESCO world heritage site ‘Park Sansouci’ but     because of Airp

ort strikes in Berlin we had to change our flights and get to Hamburg to enable us to still arrive home on Friday evening!

The children all came home buzzing with stories to tell friends and family having had an amazing 5 day experience with many adventures, lots of learning, lots of fun and memories (if a little tired though!) This has been the second such trip and we are delighted that we look forward to a positive and developing relationship with our German friends in future years.

Jack and the Beanstalk Story Trail

The nursery children did a fantastic retelling of the story of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ for their grown ups who came to enjoy the story trail. They remembered all the key phrases and performed the actions with great finesse! Then the children discovered something wonderful had happened in the garden – they checked the CCTV and a magic beanstalk had erupted out of the ground over night. They were amazed! 

They went to inspect what had happened and found the beanstalk had been chopped down and an axe, giant keys and other giant objects had been abandoned by the bean stalk stump. Then one of the children discovered a hen’s footprints on the ground which they followed and led them to a giant nest where they found the hen! They helped her to find her golden eggs and in return she gave all the children a chocolate egg…yum! 

Following the trail, everyone returned to nursery and the children did some beanstalk crafts with their parents. 

What an exciting day! Thank you to all the parents and carers that came along to enjoy the trail.

A Foody Self-Portrait in 2P

 

“Dance, Dance, Dance….I Can’t Stop the Feeling!”

The Spring has sprung and the dancing season is well and truly upon us!

On the 9th March children from year one, two and three donned their dancing shoes and headed up to GTS with a spring in their step to take part in a Streetz Dance Festival. The Festival was organised by the staff and students from GTS and run by our Sports Governor and owner of Streetz Dance Crew, Amy Avery.

All the children had lots of fun and busted some great moves, especially when they danced to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling”, featured in the “Trolls” movie soundtrack! (see below)

A big thank you to all parent volunteers who took part in the Festival and who ensured that our walk in the beautiful weather went smoothly.

 

Casting Announced for Summer Production

On Wednesday 1st March, the Bluecoat Hall transformed into a nonsensical world of theatre as auditions for the Drama Club and Year 6 summer play took place. Having received a script excerpt and poem in advance, drama hopefuls warmed up their voices and took to the stage; dreams of their ideal role within reach!

Director/Producer Mrs Furseman, Miss Marsh and Mr Bond, led the audition process and were impressed by the effort that the children put in. Auditionees were Image result for alice in wonderlandrandomly placed into small groups and were given two minutes to collaborate to decide who performed which part – the Duchess, Mouse, Owl, Mock Turtle, Dodo and Alice. They were also asked to recite from memory ‘How Doth the Little Crocodile’ poem. The clues are there…have you guessed what the production is?

The production is, of course, ‘Alice the Musical’, based upon Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Congratulations to everyone who auditioned; the standards were really high. All of year six will have a part to play as well as the year five members of the Drama Club. A performance such as this is built on the whole ensemble and this promises to be a truly spectacular production. It was not an easy task to allocate the main roles but the final line up has been revealed!

Role Casting
Alice Fran Crocker
Duchess Gracie Avery
White Rabbit Poppy Rooke
Queen of Hearts Belinda Roberts
Mad Hatter Harley Weston
King of Hearts Tom Loud
Owl Lily Burrows
Mock Turtle Briony Folland
Lory Tiegan Ager
Dodo Chloe Gough
Card Five Ozzy Manning
Card Seven Phoebe Treml
Cheshire Cat Delilah Stratford
Mouse Tia Lewis
Cook Grace Potts
March Hare Josey Edmonds
Eaglet Josey Edmonds
Dormouse Beth Macleod
Knave Stan Irvine
Duck Niamh Howard

The performances will take place during the week of the 17th July with two evening performances and a dress rehearsal.

If any parents, carers, grandparents, aunties, uncles are interested in lending a helping hand with costumes, props or set building, please let a member of the office staff have your details and how you would like to help. Many thanks.

“Get me to the Church on Time!…”

“Ding dong the bells are gonna chime…”

Wedding celebrations were underway in year one as children from class 1M celebrated the ‘marriage’ of Poppy and Robin on 3rd March 2017! Freddie was a marvellous vicar, leading the ceremony. The children spent over three weeks organising the wedding; they helped to make the flowers, write the vows and prayers and everyone took part in the wedding service.

The experience helped to bring the children’s learning about Christian weddings to life and after the wedding ceremony children enjoyed their wedding reception full of yummy food, speeches and even some wedding jokes written by Regan! Children also found time to party until the early hours of the afternoon!

Many thanks to the parents and carers who provided cake, food, flowers, etc and congratulations to the happy couple 🙂

There must have been something in the air, as celebrations were not limited to class 1M. In class R1D Martha and Cody were also “married” by Tyler-Jay. Harry was the best man, and the bride was attended by India, Kensi, Taisiya and Willow. Coby read from the bible during the service and witnessed the marriage, while Isabelle had the important usher’s job of seating the guests. All photos were taken by our wedding photographers, Jack and Euan. Taking part in the wedding was a great way to learn about the service. A big thank you to parents and carers who provided cake, flowers and costumes. 

Paper Tower Challenge in Class 1T

As part of their ‘Build, construct, create’ theme, class 1T were set the task to create a tall, strong and stable tower made out of newspaper and masking tape only. Their challenge was to use their learning powers to show stickability when the going was tough, work well on their own or with a partner to listen and share ideas, use their imagination and most importantly, to learn from any mistakes they made!

They made some brilliant towers as well as showing some good learning dispositions. Thank you to the many parents and carers who joined the class to make this such a valuable learning activity.