Santa Claus Came to Bluecoat

Today, each class had a very special visitor….Santa Claus and his elf. Santa was bringing presents for the class to enjoy as a reward for working so hard this year. The children’s faces were delightful and they were all pleased with their gifts.

With thanks to the FoTB for funding the presents and to Santa’s elves (the teachers!) for getting them.

Christingle 2018

After a last minute change of venue due to the yellow weather warning, the children of Years 1 ,2 and 3 presented their Christingle service in the Bluecoat Hall. Once again this very special service drew in a large crowd of parents and friends to hear the children sing a selection of Christmas songs to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

The climax of the service, when the Christingle candles are lit, is always a poignant moment, and this year did not disappoint.

Thank you to all children and staff for a lovely service and to all parents and friends who came along.

The money collected after the service will go to the Children’s Society, which this year is celebrating 50 years of Christingle. Your donations will go towards projects for disadvantaged children in the U.K.
As we approach Christmas, let’s remember Jesus, ‘the Light of the World’.

Have a very Happy Christmas, everyone!


The Meaning of Christingle

Christingle means ‘Christ’s Light’ and it is a symbol of the Christian faith. Lots of churches hold Christingle services around Christmas time. The custom of giving out lighted candles in these services began in Germany in 1747 but it wasn’t introduced to the Anglican Church in England until 1968.

Christingles are made up of different parts, each one being there to remind us of something.

  • The orange represents the world.
  • The candle reminds Christians of Jesus who they believe to be the light of the world.
  • The red ribbon goes all round the ‘world’ and being the colour of blood, reminds Christians that Jesus died.
  • The four cocktail sticks could have either of two meanings; the four seasons or the four corners of the world.
  • The sweets (or sometimes dried fruit) remind Christians of God’s gifts to the world including kindness and love.
  • The foil is there to catch waxy drips from the candle.

Learn how to make your own Christingle.

A Miracle in Christmas Town

A highlight of the school calendar has to be the Reception nativity performance. This year the performance took place to parents and carers on Friday 14th December and was entitled ‘A Miracle in Christmas Town’. This musical piece was performed beautifully by the children to many proud family members. Here is what some of the children had to say:

“It’s about Mary and Jesus, the shepherds and a donkey. I like singing ‘Little Grey Donkey’. I’m good at sitting still when I’m not singing and I stand still when we’re standing up” – Olivia
“I like being the Innkeeper’s wife. I like singing the songs. I like ‘A babies born beneath a star” – Bella C
“I like everything. I like saying ‘Shepherds, I have news.  My favourite song is ‘Singing, singing in the sky” – Darcey
“I like sitting on the big high box. My favourite song is ‘We’re going to tell you a story.’ I like holding the microphone and going on the stage” – Finley
“It’s about baby Jesus. I like ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ because I like the bit where you cross your fingers and when you do Christmas with your hands. I like holding my lamb. I think that Finley is doing good speaking with the microphone and Sebastian is good at holding his stick” – Henry K.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this wonderful occasion.

Christmas Cheer at Bluecoat

‘Tis the season to be jolly…..and for lots of exciting Christmassy things!

Senior Citizen Christmas Lunch

On Wednesday 5th December, the senior citizens of Great Torrington took shelter from the pouring rain and joined us for their annual Christmas lunch. They were shown to the dining hall where the tables adorned with holly and crackers awaited them. The event, which started several years ago on a much smaller scale, is now a firm feature in the school calendar and the children look forward to compiling a full programme of entertainment for the afternoon.

Almost forty diners, served by pupils in year 6, enjoyed a meal of roast beef with all the trimmings followed by traditional Christmas pudding and clotted cream. The guests then relaxed as children from across the year groups took to the stage to sing some traditional Christmas songs as well as some wartime tunes. The proceedings were met with warm applause and the event was concluded with a few words from the Mayor who thanked the school, the children in particular, the Rotary Club of Torrington for providing transport and The Cavaliers for funding the event.


Co-op Food Share Scheme

As part of our drive for sustainability, we are now involved with the Co-op Food Share Scheme. The scheme allows Co-op stores to donate produce at its best before or use by date to community/charitable organisations – food that would normally go to waste. We are partnered with 3 stores: Torrington, Hatherleigh and Bideford, and regular collections are now taking place. The produce is made available to our families via our ‘Waste Not Want Not’ Sustainability Hub, based in the cafe. 

In addition to the Food Share, we also plan to add a second hand uniform outlet and book/toys swaps for families. Whilst the drive is ultimately for sustainability and to reduce waste, we hope this initiative will go some way to support those families who would appreciate a little support, so please drop in and help yourself.

Thank you to the Co-op for offering this fantastic scheme!
















Stephen Shield Cross Country

Report by: Maisie Stevens (Squad Captain)

On the 2nd November 2018, more than twenty of our students tackled the Stephen Shield Cross Country race and faced fierce competition from athletes from different schools around North Devon. The run took place over several steep, muddy fields at Donnacroft in Torrington with hundreds of spectators cheering on their family and friends.

With boys and girls from years 4, 5 and 6 competing, the atmosphere before the event was tense and nervous. We all wanted to do our best. The whole team were determined and focused, supporting each other the whole morning. Some of us achieved amazing individual results, such as: Chloe Macdonald-Bale [Year 6 Girls] and Calypso Smithson [Year 4 Girls] who both came 4th place in their race; Bailey Johnson [Year 5 Boys] who came 5th place and Allanah McConnachie [Year 4 Girls] who came 8th place. All of our team members should be proud of their efforts as in some races there were over 120 entries and the standard was very high.

The team results were the most impressive. The year 6 girls overall came 3rd out of 14 schools, the year 5 boys came 3rd from 15 schools and the year 4 girls came 1st out of 15 schools! This means that the year 4 girls will go on to represent the area at the County games in March in Torquay!

Well done to all the runners who pushed themselves to the limits and were amazing team mates displaying impeccable sportsmanship. It should be noted that we are all becoming fitter and being able to run the ten minutes each week has helped us immensely, alongside joining lunch time games and after school sports clubs.

There will be up to 3 more races this year. If you put in the time and effort: will you make the team?


Anti-Bullying Assemblies

Classes 1M and 4D joined their forces against bullying on during Anti-Bullying Week when they experienced their first Buddy Assembly. Both classes enjoyed reading and discussing a poem by Kate Fleming: ‘The Hurt Feelings’ and talking about how being hurt inside takes a long time to heal. During the joint assembly children from 1M shared their ‘Bystander’ positive touch spiral with the pupils from 4D and the children from Year 4 read their own amazing poems about bullying. By the end of their Buddy Assembly they all agreed that they will try to be the Brave Befrienders and not the Shy Bystanders!

As part of their learning about Anti-Bullying Week, 1D and 5GH also held a paired assembly on 15th November 2018. Class 1D have been learning about the phrases “being unkind,” “teasing” and “bullying,” and discussing what makes a good friend. They have learned the Bystander poem, which talks about being a bystander or a befriender, along with some positive touch moves, which they shared with 5GH as part of their assembly.

Class 5GH also learned the Bystander poem and looked at cyber bullying, which does become more of a risk to pupils as they grow older and begin to use electronic devices. The children learnt what it is and ways to protect themselves from it. They also dramatised a cyber bullying situation which explained how it may happen and what they should do if they witness it.
The assembly was a great opportunity to share their learning and see how other classes have been embracing Anti-Bullying Week.


Class 3OS and The Bluecoat Group paired up for their assembly and performed the ‘Choose Respect’ anti-bullying song that Andy from CBBC performed> They also read the Bystander poem and discussed its meaning and finally said some prayers written by the children about kindness and respect.  

Bakery Visit

As part of their learning about Harvest the children in the Reception classes had a visit from Alfred’s Granny who owns Sandford’s Bakery. They looked at photographs of the bakery and found out all about the different things they make and sell. The children particularly liked the doughnuts they had made especially for them!

Lunchtime Stars

As part of Year 1’s RE programme for the Autumn half term we talked about being thankful. We thought of people in the school that we don’t often thank properly and decided to give a ‘thank you star’ to each of the ladies who help us at dinner times. We think they are all stars!

Year 1 Harvest Breakfast

On Thursday 18th October, Year 1 held a harvest breakfast. Following on from our harvest experiences in Reception last year, we have been learning about harvest of the sea. We read The Mousehole Cat, and watched the film at the Plough. We looked closely at a mackerel and made observational drawings, and then we were busy cooking! We made jelly and sea shaped biscuits to share with our grown-ups, and wrote them invitations so that they knew when to come and help us celebrate. We sang, and wrote harvest prayers, which we read before sharing the food we had made. Thank you to all those who came and supported the event, it was a lovely finale to our harvest learning in Year 1.

A Bumper Harvest

We would like to thank everyone for the many, many food gifts that were donated to the school for this year’s harvest celebrations and to the crowds of parents who attended. The hall really was bursting at the seams!

The children from Years 1-3 who are part of the Collective Worship Focus Group took responsibility for the readings and prayers and we were all treated to the school choir’s debut as they sang ‘Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring’. ‘Britain’s got talent’ here they come!

Mrs Harris told the story of ‘Stone Soup’ to encourage the children to work well together. That’s just what we did to make this a Bumper Harvest Celebration. Thank you, everyone!

Sharing the Harvest

Thank you to our school TASK FORCE who delivered the non-perishable foods to the Food Bank at the Baptist Church.  As is our custom, the fresh fruit and vegetables were taken by children in Years 1 & 2 to the four care homes in the town – Hatchmoor, Castle Hill, Torridge Vale and Abbeyfield.

The children from 2P sang some Harvest songs to the residents at Abbeyfield and then enjoyed a little chat together, plus some cake! It was so lovely to see the interaction between the generations.
What a lovely opportunity Harvest is for sharing with the wider community.


We Will Remember Them

On Remembrance Sunday, pupils from Bluecoat represented the school at the Remembrance Parade in the town. They laid a wreath at the War Memorial and paid their respects to the fallen. The children were a credit to the school and their parents.

Meanwhile in school, the Bluecoat Group took time out to remember by created their own memorial using poppies they had made.

PE Superstars!

Every year, GTS launch the Great Torrington Learning Community Year 6 PE Superstars Academy. Children in year 6 from across schools in the area are identified as being more able in PE and have the opportunity to try out for the academy. For all the tests carried out, the children that were selected for the academy achieved 4 of the highest scores across all of the activities.

As part of the Superstar Academy, participants will have the opportunity to be involved in three days of specially organised activities including a session of professionally coached volleyball, a basketball academy coaching and competitive games session and finally, a trip to Bath University to experience their fantastic sports facilities and participate in a day’s programme of activities.







So who are these Bluecoat Superstars?

Huge congratulations to:

Rowan Seldon-Green
Madison Harding
Chloe McDonald-Bale
Jack Hoare
Natasha Howard
Maisie Stevens
Frankie Potts
Billy Williams-Rice


Autumn Multi-Skills

During the last week of this October half term, children from Years one and two attended GTS to take part in an Autumn Multi-skills Festival. The Festival was organised by the staff and Year 7 students from GTS and led by Adrian Avery. The children had a great time and thorough enjoyed all the activities that were made available to them.

Thanks to all the parent volunteers who took part, ensuring that our walk in the drizzling weather was without any complications!

On Track for Gold!

Here at Bluecoat, we love reading and we love to celebrate reading. We are delighted that Amber, in year 4, has achieved her Book Track Gold. In order to achieve this accolade, Amber had to read and review 100 books from the library. She was presented with her badge and certificate at Torrington Library. Congratulations Amber!

Book Track is a scheme facilitated by libraries and is available to children aged 6 or over. Book Track is not a race and it’s not a test – it’s the chance to keep a record of all the books children read, and collect stickers and badges along the way. Children are encouraged to choose the books they like, and when they have read them, they tell the library a little bit about them. Library staff keep a record of what books have been read on the Book Track journey to reading 100 books!

Book Track is now a validated activity for the Children’s University so pop into your local library to find out how by doing Book Track you could earn stamps in your Children’s University passport.


Mathletics Champions Treated to High Tea

Just before the summer break, we launched a competition to run over the summer holidays. The Mathletics Summer Challenge does just that – it challenges pupils to get the highest score on Mathletics.

Very well done to Benjamin, Aidan, Ophelia, William, Daisy and Elizabeth for achieving the highest scores! As a reward, they were invited to afternoon tea at RHS Garden Rosemoor as a ‘well done and thank you’ for keeping their maths learning going over the summer holidays – keep it up!

Annual Potato Growing Competition

Over the past few weeks, children in year 4 have been taking part in the annual Potato Growing Competition. The Competition is led by Torrington in Bloom in partnership with RHS Garden Rosemoor. Each child’s crop was taken away and weighed and the prize giving presentation took place on 16th July.

The presentation was led by Cllr N. Stark, along with Mayor of Torrington, Di Davey and Chair of Torrington in Bloom, Cherry Hammon. Di Davey commented, “It was refreshing to see the enthusiasm and pride the children had for this competition, it also gave them an educational opportunity to learn about the history of the potato.”

The Results

Winning gold, with a bumper crop of 2605 grams of potatoes, was James P.
Winning silver, with a crop of 1675 grams, was Henry S.
Winning bronze, with a crop of 1644 grams, was Macy G.

There was also a special award for the largest single potato grown. The winner was Thomas S. with one single potato weighing 348 grams.

Summer Holiday Ideas for Reception

The summer holiday can be quite a break away from learning for our youngest pupils so our Reception team have put together a booklet full of ideas to help maintain and continue your child’s development over the summer break. The booklet supports the partnership between parents/carers and staff to help develop the learning of our children.

Please do as much or as little as you have time for, but most of all…have fun!

Download the booklet here: FS2 2018-SUMMER-HOLIDAY-home-learning.pdf

Have a safe and happy summer.

Hollywood Hits Torrington!

Great Torrington got a touch of Hollywood glitz and glamour as the red carpet was laid out in preparation for the arrival of some top film stars. The stars were of course our year 6 children who were premiering their end of term film ‘Go For Gold’ at The Plough Arts Centre on Tuesday 17th July. There was an audible gasp as the children caught their first glimpse of the red carpet as they emerged from around the corner, but they soon got into the swing of the occasion as they were ‘papped’ entering the building! 

The children, along with year 6 teachers Mrs Drew, Mr Strode and Mrs Hay, had been working tirelessly on the project and they were so excited to be in the auditorium waiting for their first look at the finished product. Many parents and carers also came along to the event which made it all the more special.

An Oscars ceremony followed the film which was ably presented by Grace and Jonah. The anticipation was tangible as the awards were read out…..

Best Male Actor
Nominations: Stan, Hayden, Toby S, Callum          Winner: Stan

Best Female Actor:
Nominations: Evie, Grace, Robyn, Cody          Winner: Evie

Most Enthusiastic Singer
Nominations: Kyle, Robyn, Jonah, Lily          Winner: Kyle

Best Costume
Nominations: Toby S, Stan, Daniel, Mia          Winner: Toby S

Best Prop Maker
Nominations: Summer, Hebe, Kiera, Kacey          Winner: Summer

Best Blooper
Nominations: Stan/Daniel fight, Stan/Hayden duel, Toby S, Milton/Jacob          Winner: Daniel

Best Supporting Male Actor
Nominations: Toby C, Jonathan, Dacascos, Jonah          Winner: Toby C

Best Supporting Female Actor
Nominations: Lani, Sapphire, Bobby, Maddie C          Winner: Lani

Best Comic Performance
Nominations: Connor, David, Lani, Maddie C          Winner: Connor

The Directors also received unexpected Best Director Oscars and Marten Gallagher received and Oscar for Best Technical Support. There was also a mystery award presented by Ms Fleming to Mr Tennant for his 32 years of service at Torrington Juniors/Bluecoat Primary. Mr Tennant explained how his job had been made easy as the children of Torrington were “the best”.

This really was a very special occasion and one where many happy memories were made. 

Thank you to RHS Garden Rosemoor for kindly lending us the red carpet and to The Plough Arts Centre for hiring us the space.

Ridiculous Rhyme Show

On Tuesday 3rd July, Joe Chambers and Andrew Crawford (First Officer Ditty and Professor Poet, as seen on ‘The Rhyme Rocket’ on CBeebies, joined us for an exciting interactive literacy morning. Children from across the school were treated to their Ridiculous Rhyme Show, a live performance of rhyme, poetry, song and silliness with the aim of improving and promoting rhyme awareness within literacy.

Following the performance, children in Chapter 3 participated in their TV Workshop which was an opportunity for the children to gain an understanding of what Joe and Andy do as a job and how they got into working in television.