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Posted on: December 1st 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


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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
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
A message from Helen Woodhams: Posted on: 3/11/2017

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  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A message from Helen Woodhams: Posted on: 15/09/2017

A message from Helen Woodhams:

What a great start to the term! It has been a delight to see the children again after the summer; looking so smart and coming to school with such enthusiasm. They have quickly settled into their classes and are already working really hard. I always enjoy the Autumn term at school as we look forward to all the exciting events and activities planned throughout the year and this year is certainly no exception.  It was good to attend an 'Open the Book' assembly on Tuesday afternoon in the church, meeting with members of the local community. May I thank them for their continued support of the school. You should also have received the clubs letter, detailing the wide range of activities offered here at Buckland. We are particularly pleased to be able to offer an ever- increasing range of Musical Instrument lessons to complement the wide range of sports already on offer, both within the school day and after school. I have enjoyed meeting and speaking with many of you during this first week back and will continue to be available on the playground on a regular basis. However, if you are free next Friday 22nd September, please do come into school and join me and Miss Auton for the first 'Tea and Chat' (9.00-9.30am). I intend to hold these periodically, giving all parents the opportunity to meet  infomally to discuss any ideas you may have for the school moving forward. If at anytime however you would like a more fomal meeting, please do make an appointment either with myself or via Castle School (01935 822342). As Head of the Small Schools Hub (which comprises Ashill and Hatch Beauchamp, as well as Buckland St Mary Primary Schools) my time in each of the schools will continue to be flexible, with Miss Auton deputising whenever I'm not here. The staff always know my diary and will be happy to let you know when I am next on site.    Thank you so much for all your support so far and I look forward to a happy and successful year here at Buckland.  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Steve Morton Posted on: 30/06/2017

A Message from Steve Morton

It is a marvelous feeling every fortnight to take time to reflect on the achievements of the past 2 weeks here at Buckland St Mary C of E Primary School. I am always so proud of all of the hard work and effort that the children and teachers are able to cram into such a short space of time. This week saw the triumphant victory of our school poets at the Small Schools Poetry Recital competition. The competition was comprised 3 categories; Individuals, Small groups and Whole class. We placed third in individuals (well done Lola), second in small groups (well done Isabella and Hannah) and we came first in the whole class (well done to the whole team). Your use of expression, tone of voice and passion for the poem shone through, even though I'm still not sure that 'sick in the sink' is a poem that I want to memorise. Well done to all of the Year 6 children who last week went on their Pilgrim's day to Wells cathedral. The trip consists of lots of different fun activities that are all designed to prepare children for the transition to secondary school. The day starts and concludes with a service in the main body of the cathedral and includes a procession where our children can proudly hold our banner aloft for all to see. A reminder that school starts promptly at 8:55 am. Can you please ensure that your children are on the playground and ready to start school for this time. A teacher is on the playground from 8:45 am each morning to allow for a quick drop off to avoid trick parking outside school. Thank you Steve Morton, Head of School  Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
A Message from Steve Morton Posted on: 16/06/2017

A Message from Steve Morton

What a busy fortnight it has been! Firstly, well done to Both Lola Connett and Jessica Slade, who both valiantly represented our school at the Ilminster Literary Festival last week. You both recited your poems with amazing gesture, expression and passion. You made us all very proud. Secondly, to our fantastic Quad Kids team who demonstrated their sporting prowess at Holyrood on Wednesday. As always, you all did an amazing job and played with full commitment and sportsmanship that some professionals could learn from. Well done to you too. Thirdly, a big thank you to Jaqui, Janet and all the parent volunteers who have been working with the children and staff this week to help make our Art week run so smoothly. The children have had an amazing time and have really shown us their inner artists. We will continue with the art projects that we started over the rest of the term. Please keep popping in to see how they are progressing. Finally, a bittersweet pill.  After 2 marvelous years, sadly we say goodbye to Mr Durham at the end of term. His time with us has been filled with fantastic memories of his creativity, interesting sense of humor, passion for teaching and commitment to our school .He leaves us to explore an exciting career as a musician and music teacher back in his home county of Hertfordshire.  He will be  greatly missed by us all. I am however, delighted to welcome both Miss Nadine Luesley and Miss Fiona Cridland to our teaching team. Fiona and Nadine will be joining Rachael and Lisa next year completing our staff. Next year looks set to be another year full of new and exciting opportunities for all of the children at Buckland.   Categories: 1 CategorySchool News
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