An Icy Escape for the Dinosaurs!

Last week in nursery they learnt about dinosaurs.

The children discovered dinosaurs frozen in ice and had to investigate ways to help them escape.  After the chilly rescue, the children made a gloopy swamp for the dinosaurs to play in.

As part of the adventure, children read exciting books and learnt the names of dinosaurs before learning some dinosaur songs and how to move like different dinosaurs.

Possibly the most exciting part was discovering that there was an angry T-rex on the loose! The children had to bravely go in search of her eggs and return them to her nest without being caught! Don’t worry, the children managed to save the day!


Fantastic Reading Achievements in Year 6

Kit (class 6M, pictured left) and Sophie (class 6F, pictured right) have dedicated the last few weeks to achieving the brilliant result of reading and reviewing 100 books in the lunchtime Reading Club ‘Quest’! They were absolutely determined, despite several disruptions to daily attendance including a week at transition camp, to achieve 100 books before their year 6 was complete.
They both started their quest in Year 5 way back in the Autumn of 2015 and after Leah Thorne became our very first Reading Champion, they have been driven to emulate her achievement. Congratulations to both Kit and Sophie!

Avast, Ye Landlubbers! Pirate Story Trail for Nursery

Nursery children enjoyed a group retelling of the storybook, The Treasure of Pirate Frank, which was performed to parents and grandparents. Then the children discovered that there had been a flood in the nursery (see below) which washed up a pirate ship wreck and a message in a bottle. The message was a map! 

They all grabbed their telescopes and a copy of the map and went on an adventure! They went up snowy mountains, through a forest where they caught monkeys, then hopped across the stepping stones over the swamp, and finally up some stairs where they saw a volcano and the palm tree which marked the spot. 

They found the treasure chest and inside was a chocolate pirate coin for everyone.

German Exchange Visit 2017

We had an amazingly successful Exchange Visit from our Global German Partner in Year 5, Evangelishe Grundschule Babelsberg from June 12th -16th, now in our second year of our partnership. It began on Monday evening when their plane landed at Bristol (30 German pen pals and 5 teaching staff led by Irina). They made really good time arriving by 8:30pm to settle into their accommodation at Braddicks in Westward Ho!

On Tuesday morning 63 excited Year 5 Bluecoat pupils arrived on the coach at the Green in Westward Ho! to greet face to face – some for the first time, others for the second time – their German pen-pals. Having had many Skype calls, it was great for the children to finally be able to get to know each other more freely. We did some fun ice-breaker activities to start and then set off on a coastal walk towards Abbotsham, learning about the local area and the Biosphere status on the way to the rockpools near Greencliff. We had lunch before everyone went exploring for rockpool creature. Amongst the thrilling finds were many crabs, blennies, a tiny cushion starfish, hermit crabs, masses of limpets, winkles and seaweeds, and also beadlet and snakelock anemones. After our walk back, the Year 5 children returned to Bluecoat. Our German friends enjoyed some shopping and perusing the shops of Westward Ho! before a ‘fish and chip’ for dinner.

On Wednesday, we greeted our German friends in school, in small groups. They had tours around and then we went in small groups ‘child led pre-planned tours’ of Great Torrington. We convened at the Old Bowling Green for shared snacks before heading back on a different route. After a school lunch, we used our knowledge of North Devon combined with the German children’s knowledge of the ‘Stop Motion’ App on iPads to create group animations advertising the attractions and activities North Devon has to offer. The Exchange group kindly did a school assembly where the other year groups too were able to learn more about their school and the surrounding area. After school some of our Year 5 pupils took their German pen-pals home to host them for the afternoon, dinner and early evening, they all returned at 7pm having had a fantastic time! The staff meanwhile had taken the opportunity to also have dinner at The Plough and begin planning next year’s Exchange Visits (which we’re already very animated about!)

Our last day together was a trip to Exmoor. We all met at Watersmeet for a lovely scenic walk along the River Lyn valley to Lynmouth, stopping along the way to learn about the National Park. Whilst at Lynmouth we enjoyed lunch on the beach and, as we gazed out to sea, we could just about make out the Welsh coastline. Mr Harts then guided our German Exchange group onto the funicular railway to look around Lynton and do some souvenir shopping, whilst our Year 5s went to learn about the Lynmouth – Porlock Lifeboat Rescue in 1899. Once we had arrived back at school, we all enjoyed our last evening together playing sports and games on the playground at the start of the ‘Global Evening’ followed by a buffet laid on by parents, and finally Maypole Dancing accompanied by the Torrington Silver Band organised by Mrs Hannam. Then it was time to say farewell, with a few tears from some when they said their goodbyes.
We are looking forward to our last Year 5 Skype call in a couple of weeks before the summer holidays.

Thanks so much to parents who provided snacks, buffet food, helped on trips, hosted German children and also to other staff for their support during a very busy but very enjoyable week.

Mrs Hogan & Mr Harts

‘High Five’ For The Bluecoat Netball Team

After a previous postponement due to bad weather, the Bluecoat Netball team finally got their friendly ‘Away’ High 5 Netball match against Monkleigh Primary on    Monday 3rd  July. With amazing views from Monkleigh’s netball court, Paige won the toss and decided which end they shot from in the first quarter, so Monkleigh took the first centre pass. In the first quarter Paige scored followed by a second goal in the second quarter by Marnie.

Mrs Wilson, Monkleigh’s PE coordinator, refereed the match supported by some of her Year 6 netballers. It was a competitive but friendly match, balanced well in ability with teams of mainly Year 4 and 5 children. Monkleigh gained their first goal in the third quarter but weren’t able to make a draw. By the last quarter, Bluecoat had won scoring 2:1. It was the first match for many of the children from both schools and they all really enjoyed the experience. After the match, the teams joined together for some chocolate gateaux cake provided by Mrs Nash in their school’s kitchen. Thank you to Mrs MacDonald-Bale and Mrs Potts for kindly helping to provide transport there and back.

Year Five Get On Their Bikes

On Wednesday 5th July, pupils in year 5 had a lovely warm, sunny day for their bike ride on the Tarka Trail from Great Torrington to Instow. They set off at around 9:15am and peddled approximately 17 miles, with snack and drink stops en route before arriving at Instow beach in time for lunch. After an ice cream and play on the sand, they were ready to make the return journey. The children were wonderful and really enjoyed it, despite being tired and hot, especially after the hill climb at the end! They showed great determination and supported one another extremely well. Thank you to our parent helpers on the day, Mr Milton for much of the bike maintenance, and also Mrs Mock, Mr Taylor, Mr Pateman, Mrs Curley, Mrs Shadbolt and Mrs Passmore.

Reception and Year One Mini Sports Festival

The Summer is in full swing and with it comes another Sports Festival! This time the children from Reception and Year one had a chance to attend the Mini Sports Morning at GTS. The Festival was organized by the staff and the students from GTS and was run by Charlotte Frickleton.

All of the children had lots of fun and used their PE skills to accomplish all of the challenges put to them such as the football sprint, the obstacle course and the throwing trial.

A big well done to the youngest children from the Reception classes who used all of their energy on their first real sports festival! Thanks also to the parent volunteers who took part in the Festival and who ensured that our walk went smoothly.

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.


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

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
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.