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Posted on: March 26th 2021

A message from Caroline Lancey

It is hard to believe we have only been back for three weeks, the children have risen to the challenge of being back in school.  However, there is no doubt that many of them have found the days long and we have seen a noticeable decline in their stamina.  We have tried to keep school life as normal as possible and they have very quickly got back into the routine.  We loved the effort people went to for World Book Day and it was great to see how many people created their own costumes.

We have some changes in staff.  Helen Woodhams is leaving us to work for the National Trust.  Rebeka Thompson who is currently on our staff and has done some work with them already will be taking them after Easter.  Miss Thompson currently spends Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings in Otter Class.  Mrs Powell-Thomas will be joined by Mrs Dee Alexander who is an experienced teacher and compliments Mrs PT very well.  

Kayleigh Parsons is moving onto another nursery setting.  We wish them both well.

We have also been joined by Jason Pike who is helping support children’s catch up in Maths and Chloe Bryant is doing the same but for English.  These have been a valuable addition to our team and are there purely to support the learning of the children.

We are in the process of putting together our Easter Service which you will be able to access via Zoom.  We are planning to start clubs after Easter but these will have to be class based as government guidelines still say that children should stay in their bubbles.  This may mean that Sports Day will look different this year and it is likely that it will be only for the children. Whilst I appreciate that this is a little disappointing I am sure that you appreciate cancelling it completely would be a real blow for the children as it’s one of the memory-making school days.

One of the new things we have been trying is to get volunteers to talk to the children about their jobs and how they became involved in it.  We have been really lucky that each class has had a zoom meeting with a volunteer that works with ICT as this half term’s focus is ‘What it is to work with Information Technology’.  The volunteers have talked about how they use computers and technology in their jobs and how they came to do it.  The children have really enjoyed having other adults coming to talk to them and the teachers have been impressed with the quality of the questions they have asked.

We have also started a partnership with the probation service.  After the willow tree fell down we were left with lots of large chunks of wood.  We have used them to create seating in our willow dome, started a trim trail and demarcated areas within forest school.  They are also going to re-paint the outside of our forest school area which is currently covered in graffiti.

We continue to live in the Arctic as the old heating system has been taken out and the new boiler has yet to be installed.  However, due to the current guidelines about having windows open to purge the air the children haven’t really noticed!!

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A message from Carly Ellis Posted on: 26/05/2022

A message from Carly Ellis

This half term has whizzed by so fast!  It has been action packed with SATs, class trips and Health Week that I am sure this holiday is going to be welcomed by all! Apologies for the cancellation of Sports Day yesterday.  It has been the first year for many that we haven’t had beautiful sunshine.  Well done to all our Year 6 and Year 2 children for completing their SATs which is a celebration of all their learning and perseverance during their time at Priorswood (so far).   The children did exceptionally well to come as far as they have with all the challenges we have been faced with over the past few years.  Most of the classes have now had some amazing visits to consolidate their learning.  If your child’s class has not had a trip yet, watch this space!  We have had a lot of external visitors into our school to do a variety of assemblies and workshops.  They have all been really impressed with their welcome from both adults and children.  We have posted their lovely comments on our Facebook page and school website (https://www.priorswoodprimaryschool.co.uk/1781/testimonials). I know we are not at the end of the academic year yet but I am very excited about the Autumn Term.  We will be adding an extra class!  We have a shuffle up morning on 6th July where children will find out which class they will be in and which adults they will be learning from.   At the end of the school day, you will have the opportunity to meet the new class teacher in your child’s new class.  The children will meet you as usual at the school gate and then your child will guide you to their new classroom.   We have a few staffing updates.  As you know, we said goodbye to our SENCo Mrs Ewins-Strowger at Easter and welcomed Mrs Hale to the team.  Sadly, we say goodbye to Miss Wheeler, our Acting Nursery Manager and Miss Hawkins who has decided not to return from her maternity leave.  Mrs Cullen will be leaving at the end of this academic year to have her first baby – very exciting!  Mrs Gibbs will be our new Forest School Lead.  You will have an opportunity to meet Mrs Gibbs on the 6th July.  We are very excited that Mrs Davis will be returning from her maternity leave on 27th June but this means that sadly we will be saying goodbye to Mrs Coussell.   Mrs Davis will be working alongside Mrs Cullen until the end of term.  Lastly, Mr Murphy is getting married over half term so he will be seen with an addition on his finger when the children return from their holidays. It’s been great to see everyone wearing red, white and blue for our Jubilee celebrations today.  We all hope that you have a lovely week and continue to enjoy all the festivities of the Jubilee.    Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
Priorswood Primary School Welcome ENGIE Posted on: 3/05/2022

Priorswood Primary School Welcome ENGIE

Priorswood Primary School – Welcome ENGIE to learn about construction site safety on the North Taunton Woolaway Project   The pupils and staff from Priorswood Primary School in Taunton (Part of The Redstart Learning Partnership) welcomed Engagement Lead Angela Bolitho from South West and Taunton Council (SWT) and Elaine Jones from ENGIE for a very special assembly to talk about the dangers of trespassing on building sites.  The assembly included a presentation, video and a visit from the ENGIE Mascot! The children were delighted to meet ENGIE and after their visit Angela said: "We had such a positive welcome into Priorswood Primary today by children and staff. All 3 of us were very impressed with how well behaved the children were, how well they listened, participated and took on board the important messages we were sharing about the dangers on building sites.” Members of ENGIE and SWT are visiting a number of schools in Taunton with Priorswood being one of them.  Following the assembly, children could enter a competition to design their own poster warning other children of the dangers of playing on building sites. Winning posters are likely to be displayed on the project site hoardings. Priorswood Primary were delighted that three pupils from the school won with their poster entries and will be presented with a prize on Tuesday 05 April.  Congratulations to Rhoda, Mia and William.  Carly Ellis, Head of Schools at Priorswood Primary said: “With so much demolition and building work going on in the area, it was really important for us to welcome ENGIE and the team into Priorswood to share the dangers that surround the children on a daily basis.  The children had a lot to say and were very receptive to the messages that were communicated”.   The North Taunton Woolaway Project is a large regeneration project which started in 2017.  The major project will see the demolition and regeneration of 186 Woolaway homes and the additional building of 21 new build properties, due to be completed in 2027.  ENGIE is the main contractor appointed by Somerset West and Taunton Council to build homes in Phase A of the North Taunton Woolaway Project. As part of the project ENGIE are working closely with Somerset West & Taunton Council to ensure they are involved in initiatives in the local community. A spokesperson for The Redstart Learning Partnership said: “With such a major building project on the doorstep of Priorswood Primary School it’s crucial that our pupils learn the dangers of playing on building sites and follow these key messages.  We were thrilled to hear that three of Priorswood pupils won the poster competition, congratulations to Rhoda, MIa and William and we hope to meet ENGIE soon”.Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Mrs Ellis Posted on: 25/03/2022

A Message from Mrs Ellis

Wow, it’s the end of March already!  It seems like such a long time since the last newsletter.  I have so much to share. We now have an active school council team who are having regular meetings.  Their next step is to have the confidence to share their views and next steps with their classes.  Their ideas have already fed into our recent FoPS meeting which is my next bit of news.  We have a new FoPS team who have been incredible at organising our Easter event – all of which will be shared shortly!!  We have decided that, with COVID still very much in our lives, we would leave the fair until the summer where we can be outside.  We have also just launched our Well-Being team, which will also feed into the school council team.  The parent survey was very positive.  Thank you for all the supportive comments and praise.  Below is a table in response to a few comments.   Parent Comment Our Response More of a choice for after school clubs. Unfortunately, COVID had restricted this.  However, in the summer term we plan on offering more and for bubbles to mix, especially for those activities that children can do outside.   I would like more homework.  We will have a discussion as staff and share our thoughts with you all.  However, there is an expectation that children read daily and learn their multiplication/addition facts.  Knowledge Organisers are also being sent home and children should be learning the information on the page because they are quizzed in class.  This is especially important at the start of a new unit.  The Knowledge Organisers are sent home at least a week before the new topic begins.    Class teachers don’t communicate enough with parents. This is always a difficult one for me and I will send out another short Google Form so that you can help me understand this better in order to make the necessary improvements.     As I mentioned on Dojo, we raised an amazing £326 (slightly more than I reported) for our Ukraine fundraiser.  Across the Trust we raised £2,200 with the help of the donations from Monkton Garden Centre and appeared in the newspaper. We also raised £106 on Red Nose Day.  We have had lots of positive feedback from Suzanne Flack’s (CEO) visits noting the engagement of pupils and the rise in writing standards across the school.  As I always say, I am incredibly proud to be part of Priorswood and thank the staff for all their hard work in getting us to this point. World Book Day was a great success. Well done to all of you for your amazing costumes.      Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
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