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Posted on: November 3rd 2017

A message from Helen Woodhams:

It's been lovely to see the children coming back refreshed and ready to work.  I've been spending time in all the classes this week observing some fantastic learning going on. It's always great to see how hard the children are working, how engaged they are and in particular I love listening to their conversations. We are also having a real push on presentation and handwriting at the moment and it has been heartening to see the extra effort the children are putting in. A quick reminder. The bell goes off at 8.55am each morning and we expect all children to be here ready to line up at this time. It's really disruptive for both the child and the rest of the class when someone arrives late, and it does need to be recorded on the registers. More news. I am happy to let you know that we are now in the position to offer piano lessons. Having been let down by one teacher, Harrison (our current guitar teacher) is also qualified and happy to teach piano. If you are interested please do contact the office. I am also pleased to announce that we have recruited additional staff to provide more office cover in the office which I am sure will be very welcome. We will be reverting to a manned office 8.30-1.30 each day. At other times, the phone will be diverted to Castle School where Nikki and Rachel will be happy to deal with any queries. Finally, a huge thank you for the continued support you give the school and especially FOBS. This week, I have placed a large book order, funded by them, which we are sure will encourage and inspire our younger readers. Helen Woodhams, Head of School


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A Message from Helen Woodhams Posted on: 23/02/2018

A Message from Helen Woodhams

Driving to Buckland this morning reminded me that Spring is definitely on its way as I passed hedgerows of daffodils . It’s definitely a time of planning for the future. The 1st of March, World Book Day, will soon be here- one of my favourite events of the school year! Not only is it the opportunity to dress up, but more importantly it is the chance to simply enjoy books and stories in lots of different ways. I have also met today with Rev Jim Fallon and we have planned two special services for the end of term: Firstly, the traditional Easter Service which will take place on the 22nd March at 2pm. Secondly an end of term Celebration Service (to replace our normal Celebration Assembly at school) will take place the following day, 23rd February at 2.15pm in Church. Finally a thank you to FOBS for your continued support. I know all the teachers and pupils really appreciate all the work that is put in and the money you raise. This morning I had a very fruitful meeting with Liz discussing plans for the future, looking at library designs and discussing how we might make the most effective use of all the fundraising that takes place. Finally, as you know Ofsted visited us recently and we were very proud to be able to show all the work that has been  going on at Buckland St Mary. We are currently waiting for the final report and I will shortly write to inform you when it is published on our Website.   Helen Woodhams, Head of School  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Helen Woodhams Posted on: 2/02/2018

A Message from Helen Woodhams

Once again this week, I have been so proud to be part of Buckland St Mary School attending the Youth Speaks event in Ilminster and supporting the children from Beech Class. I'm sure all the accompanying parents would agree with me, that the children were a shining example, presenting their speeches with such poise and maturity. The Book Fair is currently in the school hall each day after school with a large range of exciting and inspiring books, as well as some 'pocket money' stationary items. Do come along and choose something. Remember, the school benefits hugely from these events by earning books for the school. Finally, since the last newsletter, a number of parents have spoken to me about attendance, and so for clarity I have included a snippet from the attendance policy with a reminder about the school’s day. Registration is at 08:55-09:00. Any child arriving between 09.00- 09:15 are marked as late. Children arriving after this time are marked as unauthorized. At the other end of the school day, it has been fantastic to see all the children attending the new sports clubs, increasing their fitness and learning new skills. Feel free to book these sessions with Sharon. Remember they can attend on an adhoc basis and don’t need to book in for the the whole term. Helen Woodhams, Head of School ? Monday 5th February -Scholastics Book Fair, held in the School hall until Friday 9th February. ? Monday 5th February - A visit to Oak class from Good King Hal. ? Tuesday 6th February - Year 6 OperaPlus Workshop at Holyrood School. ? February Half Term –Monday 12th - Sunday 18th February. ? Saturday 24th February - Big Breakfast, 8am—11am Buckland Village Hall. Congratulations to our Youth Speaks TeamsCategories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Helen Woodhams Posted on: 19/01/2018

A Message from Helen Woodhams

Welcome back and I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year. We were sad to see Mrs Burnside go at the end of last term and she has asked me to pass on her thanks for all the kind wishes and her presents. We also welcome Mrs Frances Aitkens to the team who will be working as a TA based mainly in Oak class. She joins us from Churchstanton Primary School and brings with her a wealth of experience. We also welcome Mrs Alison Appleyard, an experienced school leader, who has joined the Trust and will be working from Buckland on a regular basis. A couple of reminders for the new year. Firstly, punctuality. It is really important all children are at school on time. The bell rings at 8.55am and children should be here at that time, ready to learn. Much of the most important learning happens first thing, including 1-2-1 interventions and children not here are missing out on that very vital support. Secondly, I have been asked to remind all parents about parking and be mindful of space for buses to pass. On a more positive note, we have a busy term ahead with lots of learning to do and lots of fun to be had. Beech Class will have the opportunity to join other schools in an opera festival and will be singing at Holyrood. Dates will be forwarded in due course.There will also be the joint concert for the choir which we're all looking forward to. Members of Beech class will also be performing at the Youth Speaks competition. It has been fantastic to see their enthusiasm as they have planned their speeches.  Finally, we have also relaunched our enhanced after school club to include lots of different and unusual sporting activities with the aim of promoting activity and fitness across the school. Please book directly with Sharon or with the office. Helen Woodhams, Head of School  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A message from Helen Woodhams Posted on: 15/12/2017

A message from Helen Woodhams

As we approach the end of my first term at Buckland St Mary, may I thank everyone for your welcome and support. Firstly, the children whose spirit and kindness should make us all proud. It is a real joy to spend time with them in their classrooms, observing their enthusiasm and hard work. Secondly, the parents and community whose support of the school is so evident. I am overwhelmed by the number of volunteers who give their time so readily; reading with children and taking part in Forest School Activities. I have also enjoyed attending the different events organised by FOBS and am amazed by the amount of money raised each time. Yesterday evening at the Candlelight was magical and I am now eagerly looking forward to next Wednesday's Community Carol Service. I would also like to extend my thanks to the governing body, who have supported and worked with me in my first term- they work tirelessly behind the scenes and much of their work can go unnoticed. Finally, a huge thanks must go out to all the staff who make Buckland St Mary such a special place for all the children. They are a great team of people and I have enjoyed getting to know them.  2018 is going to be a busy and exciting year here at Buckland St Mary. We are planning to relaunch our Afterschool Provision in the new year to include a range of different activities such as Sports, Cooking and Crafts. Watch this space! I would also like to invite you to come in for a ‘Tea and Chat’ next Wednesday 20th from 2.45pm– an opportunity to share what is going well and ideas for the future. However for the moment, may I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Healthy New Year. With the staff in training on the 8th January, we look forward to welcoming the children back on Tuesday 9th January.  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Helen Woodhams Posted on: 1/12/2017

A Message from Helen Woodhams

A message from Helen Woodhams:     As we proceed towards the end of term I have several announcements to make: Firstly we will be saying a fond farewell to Mrs Karen Burnside, who has worked at Buckland St Mary school for many years but has now made the difficult decision to leave us due to family commitments. I’m sure many of you would like to make a donation towards a gift to say thank you, which we will present to her at a  special assembly at the end of the school term. Please bring donations to the school office. Secondly, I am delighted to welcome back Mr Simon Billington, who many of you will know from his time as Headteacher here. Mr Billington, who is also on the board of The Redstart Learning Partnership has joined the Local Advisory Board for Buckland St Mary School and following on from Lexi’s resignation, has agreed to take on the role of Chair. He really enjoyed reacquainting himself and spent a morning her this week in class with the teachers and children. It was lovely to hear how impressed he was with the quality of teaching and learning , together with the children’s enthusiasm. We are also looking to welcome an additional parent and community member onto the Local Advisory Board. If you are interested in finding out more, please do come and see me to discuss.   Finally, we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the Christingle service at the church next Wednesday 9.15am, which will be the first of our Christmas celebrations. The children are busy learning Christmas songs and finding out all about Christingle in preparation for this service. Many thanks to Rev Jim for organising this.   Helen Woodhams, Head of School  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
Chard school trust leader elected to panel for improving education Posted on: 29/11/2017

Chard school trust leader elected to panel for improving education

Chief Executive Officer and Executive Principal of The Redstart Learning Partnership, Suzanne Flack has been elected to the Headteacher Board for the South West region. Headteacher Boards provide advice and scrutiny for the Regional Schools Commissioner.  Members make recommendations for new multi-academy trusts, new sponsors for multi-academy trusts, and look at improvement plans where schools are not performing as well as they should. Suzanne Flack has led The Redstart Learning Partnership, a multi-academy trust based in Chard, Somerset since 2015.  It currently manages five schools, a mix of small rural and larger town-based schools across south Somerset. Suzanne said:  “It’s vitally important that the views and experiences of all kinds of educational backgrounds are considered when important decisions are being made about our nurseries, primary, secondary, special schools and colleges.  I’m delighted to be elected to the board and will use my background in the primary school sector, particularly with rural schools, to help guide local education policies.” Eric van den Barselaar the Chairman of The Redstart Learning Partnership stated: “Having our Chief Executive involved with the South West Headteacher Board will directly benefit all the schools and children in The Redstart Learning Partnership. The Headteacher Boards have already helped a growing number of academies to share expertise with neighbouring schools and within multi-academy trusts, driving improvement for thousands of pupils.”Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
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