This is a communication from Combe Martin Primary School for parents and carers only. 
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Dear Parents and Carers,


With some concern in the community regarding bullying I am devoting this week’s newsletter to the subject. It is long but please read it. There is also important information after the first section, so please read on. 


Firstly, schools are required to have policies on behaviour, behaviour principles and anti bullying strategies. They can be found on our website If bullying is identified we will take action in accordance with our policies. We have currently taken action on all incidents we are aware of.


In order for the school to carry out its duty of providing all students with a safe environment in which to learn, grow and develop – we need to enlist the support and co-operation of all parents in the school community.


We have, as all schools do, a lot of children who present with different issues and difficulties in school. In the past year or so the impact of ‘screentime’ is becoming quite visible in the children’s ability to sit still, listen and maintain friendships. The social and emotional needs of the children are met through daily contact with the teacher and if assistance is required we have an Early Help teaching assistant (Mrs Lawson) to identify and plan provision. You can, if you wish, make contact with Mrs Lawson directly.


Children, as well as adults, have people they trust more than others. It is completely natural for children to not want to talk about things that are bothering them. In school there may be a person your child will talk to. It is usually the teaching assistant or teacher. However, there may not be ‘a person’. They may feel that their parent or sibling at home is the person they will talk to. This is where school needs your help to inform us of any growing issues. You have specific lines of communication open to you when you need to contact school: Dojo, email or a meeting. We would like parents and carers to see their role in communicating with school as an essential part of information sharing. Once either school or parents have noticed an issue then WE (parents and school) will decide what to do next. If your child has told someone at school but they think ‘nothing has been done’ a quick word with the teacher can help. We need to know if there is a bigger concern or if the incident was a friendship issue. We will take action to support either. It’s worth knowing that children think midday supervisors ‘aren’t doing anything about it’ when the child or group of children do not like the decision that has been made.


The majority of issues which are labelled ‘bullying’ are actually friendship disputes. Children, like adults when they work, are asked to share a common space - the playground or the classroom. Children all have specific needs in the classroom and the teacher is there to meet their needs. It is quite rare for problems to be displayed in the classroom - they usually occur during unstructured time like lunch and break. This is where children need to navigate complex social rules that we call friendship groups. As a school and as parents we need to teach children how to create and maintain friendships and most importantly how to feel and react when things go wrong. Things go wrong with children’s friendships a lot! Constantly falling out and making up does not necessarily indicate a problem more severe than two strong minded individuals. It is the shift in the ‘power’ a child has over another that we have to be vigilant over. Creating friendship ‘groups’ and ignoring or making children feel isolated or belittled is concerning and should be brought to their teacher’s attention quickly.


Children feel emotionally vulnerable when things are not going right for them. We need to explore the reasons for the breakdown of friendships and support our children to mend broken friendships or create new ones. The advent of ‘screen time’ has, in some cases, reduced the amount of time children play together. In other words, they are not as good at playing simple games together as they used to be. The complex nature of games that they attempt to create is due to elaborate computer games and TV programmes that they play and watch. In this complexity someone will not know all the rules or be able to interact as an equal - and a split in friendship occurs; along with the associated issues of taking friends away. Children need to know that it’s ok to play with other people - in fact, a wide friendship base is an advantage.


When playing games often a natural ‘leader’ will emerge. This is quite normal and most children are happy to take their turn being a ‘play leader’. Some children, however, like to be in control all of the time and manage to keep others from having opportunities to lead. This often leads to issues around sharing.


Games with complex rules following a computer game or TV programme generally have an element of rough play involved. This can upset some children who do not like rough play - especially when they are not expecting it or it happens too much or they get hurt.


In all of the cases above we need to be the guardians of our children’s developing emotions and responses. We need to communicate well-being between school and home and support in the development of positive behaviour strategies. The children who cannot operate in this area have Behaviour Care Plans.


In bullying we hear ‘zero tolerance’ as a means of addressing problems. Absolutely, we cannot allow children to be hurt in any way. However, we all know that children with emotional barriers which prevent good behaviour choices need to be helped as well. In our school community we look to support. There have been cases where exclusion has been necessary, however, our duty as a school is to look to intervene and support. Zero tolerance does not mean exclusion. Zero tolerance means we will act quickly to try and eliminate the issue through intervention, communication and support.


At school we use CPOMS, a recording database where we log concerns and track trends. Everytime a parent contacts a teacher they log your concern and we use the information to build a picture of the emerging issues. This complements the logging of incidents by all school staff and is the reason why communicating with school is so important. It gives us the information we need to act. Has your child’s mood changed lately? Are you worried? Have they started doing something out of character? If the answer is yes, get in touch with the class teacher. If it continues come in to see the Head Teacher.


Most incidents are dealt with the same day and have a clear action. However, some children need to have a lot of work done to help them overcome challenges in their development. Children may have experienced horrible things when they were very small. We work to protect them as we do the other children who have had better experiences. Punishment in vulnerable children creates rejection and breaks attachments and makes behaviour worse. All children, for they are children after all, need love, care and the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. They need parental and school support for when things go wrong and they need to know they are safe. Safe to say what they need to, when they need to, to whoever they have chosen to listen - knowing that person will act in their best interests by information sharing.


Please work with us. Many parents who do have seen the speed in which we can effect change. And when that change is harder to instigate, how hard we work with your children. There are always issues with children which go unsaid. If you notice them - tell us. If we don’t know we can’t act.


Talking to our children is a skill in itself. Please use the Class Dojo notifications to generate discussion around learning. Use the mid term reports to think about your child’s performance. If it has dropped there might be a reason why. As parents you will see changes in behaviour. If you are concerned let us know. We can work with you to help.


We watch, we record and we will be contacting parents quicker from now on. This is because we want to involve you in our actions from the outset. Hopefully early involvement will help us to support our children more effectively. If you know that there has been an instance of poor behaviour at school, as a parent you can act at home and we can act at school.


If you have a concern and can’t get to school you can use our CONCERN FORM on the school website here..


Suggested advice for you to give to your children...


Teach your child to use their WITS… Walk away… Ignore… TELL SOMEONE… then that someone will help by sharing the problem.


Choose Respect! The children discuss being RESPECTFUL as one of our three golden rules. We don’t all have to get along but there’s no need to be cruel. Be kind!


Give them advice about how to deal with a problem. If someone has taken a toy or spoilt their game - what should they do? Are they being too demanding? How can they try and make the situation right? When should they leave and get help? What is the right choice?


It’s your ‘choice’ what to do but you do not choose the consequences. Talk to your child about the right thing to do. Read the behaviour principles of the website and think about what school would do. What would work? What wouldn’t?


If you tell an adult at school make sure you tell me (the parent) too! That way you can ask about any incident. It’s always good to know both sides to a story - and there will be two sides!


Start with ‘I’... Don’t ask what the other child did or what happened to you... ask what they did. If children have to account for their actions you find out a lot more about the incident that has occured.

Please click below to say if this has been helpful or not...

  • PTFA Summer Fayre - Friday 28th June 6pm to 8pm
  • Goldcoast Oceanfest - Friday 21st June 9.30 - 3.30pm Year 6
  • Sports Day 10th July (final confirmation soon)
  • Reserve Sports Day 18th July
  • Year 6 leavers Disco - Friday 19th July
  • Year 6 leavers Assembly - 22nd July


Dear Parents - we would like your help to support a project close to our hearts. We have two RAINBOW BABIES and we know lots of parents who have experiences similar to ours. We like to try and raise awareness and give help where we can. So

On the 7th June we are hoping you will help us support the charity Kicks Count who are holding their first Rainbow Baby Day

The day is specifically supporting the charity’s Finding a Rainbow Project, which via UK midwives, provides free, supportive bundles for families expecting a baby following a stillbirth or neonatal death.

On Friday 7th June, we would like children (and adults) to come to school in uniform but with something really brightly coloured maybe rainbow themed for example, some stripy socks, colourful trousers, a colourful t-shirt or even bright coloured hair accessories!

We would also like donations of rainbow themed cakes, which will be sold at playtime and after school.

Please send your child with a small donation of 50p or more and some money to buy a cake. If we can raise £100 for this great cause, we would be helping reduce still born deaths and support families in a time where they are really vulnerable.

Thank you

Mrs and Mr Railston

All year 6 should have received a letter informing them of the opportunity to participate in an XTREME Coasteering Experience!
Xtreme Coasteering is a company based in North Devon and the trip will take place on Tuesday 9th July 2019 @ 1.00pm.  Transport will be provided.
We have discounted price of £22.50 per pupil.  Equipment will be provided.
Experienced guides are with them every step of the way for advice and guidance.  With their local knowledge alongside with their qualifications mean they are in safe hands and will experience an adventure of a lifetime.

Year 6 will be attending the GoldCoast Oceanfest Schools Day in Croyde on Friday 21st June 2019.
The aim of the event is to provide every Year 6 pupil in the area with an exiting day of beach activities that are linked to education and inspired by the active lifestyle ethos of GoldCoast Oceanfest.
Your children will received a letter with further details nearer the time of the event.
Next years Year 6 will shortly receive a letter informing them of the fantastic opportunity to visit our Countries Capital City of London on a four night Residential Visit. The date of the visit has been scheduled for 27th - 31st January 2020.
This is a great opportunity to further widen their educational experience which includes some of the most famous of London's Landmarks.
Watch this space for further details!


This residential is available for our Year 2 pupils and will take place at the National Aquarium in Plymouth.
Thursday 20th June - Friday 21st June 2019. 
We have had a fantastic response to this visit with 24 year children attending.  Mrs Aimie Vickery will organise a meeting for parents nearer the departure date.
Thank you

Year 2 will be joined by some Year 5 & 6 for swimming this half term.
The cost will be £20 for the half term which can be paid via Scopay .
If your child is due to swim your child would of received a letter with more details.  If you have any queries, please ask at the Admin Office.
Tennis & Gymnastics clubs Summer Term

The Devonshire Tennis Academy will again be running both Tennis and Gymnastics clubs at school during the Summer Term. Both clubs will be open to all children. 
Tennis club will be on Thursdays from 8am - 8:45am and will cost £35 for the second half term (7 weeks)
Gymnastics will be on Fridays from 3.30pm - 4.30pm and will also cost £35 for the second half term (7 weeks)
There are discounts for both siblings and multiple classes.
For more information please pick up a letter from Reception. All correspondence and payments will be made direct with Mr Cook from The Academy
School Uniform
As previously informed, you may now order directly from our supplier for your school uniform and accessories.  We believe this will be a more quicker and convenient service for you.
We will continue to stock only a SMALL selection of SWEATSHIRTS ONLY in each size. Cardigans, book bags, PE bags, T-Shirts and Polo Shirts with logos can be ordered only from the shop retailer. You will not be able to order these items now on Scopay.
Plain white Polo shirts & PE-shirts can be bought at a selection of retailers including your local supermarket!

Please visit their shop at the address below.
Express Embroidery
Tracey Stantiford
3 Moxham Court
EX32 8HR
(By Barnstaple Bus Station)

Your may also email your uniform order directly to them
Thank you

The Club timetable for the final half term will be available before the half term break.
All clubs, with the exception of Tennis & Gym, need to be booked and paid for online in advance.


A child in class 2 has lost a pair of named black school trousers.
A child in Class 4 has lost their coat. It is named and is dark blue with a hood and a furry lining.  
Two jumpers have gone missing from Class 1,  both are named.
A pair of stormtrooper wellies in a named bag and a grey hoodie with NY on the front are also missing. 
A child in Class 6 has lost her coat.  It is green/grey in colour and is named.  
1 x Sweatshirt, named Willow Lawton. 
A child in Class 1 has lost a pair of Black & Pink Sketchers.
A child in Year 5 has lost an A4 size tupperware box.
Please could you check your child's belongings.  .
If you have found any of the lost property above, please let the admin office know.
Thank you

This week at Tiddlers we have been exploring the story "Jaspers beanstalk". We have made a giant beanstalk in the room to extend the children's interest. They have been making up stories using the props and letting their imaginations run wild! The children are very excited to see their sunflower seeds growing taller and we have also planted some beans to grow a real beanstalk.
We have also been continuing with cooking this week. There is so much to learn from this activity-weighing, counting, language, taking turns and much more.
Reminders- Please apply sun cream and a hat on sunny days as we spend a lot of time outside.
Our morning sessions start at 9. Due to staffing we cannot let children into the rooms before this. If you require your child to be in nursery before this there is a breakfast club which needs to be booked in advance.Our afternoon sessions finish at 3. Please ensure your child is collected on time. We have an after school club on most nights if you require your child to stay after 3. Thank you for you cooperation in this matter.
Thank you for your ongoing support this term. We wish you all a peaceful weekend. 

From the Tiddlers team.
If you think you may be entitled to either 30 hours childcare or 2 year old funding or you would like to find out more information please go to

If you have a golden ticket please see Debbie or the Tiny Tiddlers team as soon as possible so that we can book your child in.

Places are booking fast for the Summer term. If you would like your child to start attending Tiddlers or Tiny Tiddlers please see one of the team as soon as possible.

Thank you for your ongoing support from all of us at Tiddlers.


School closed for Bank Holiday 6th May.

Summer Half-term 27-31st May.

Last day of the Summer term is Monday 22nd July.

Term Dates 2019 - 2020

Non-pupil day on Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd September.
School starts on Wednesday 4th September, 2019.

Autumn Half-term 21-25th October, 2019.

Last day of Autumn term is the 20th December, 2019.

Non-pupil day Monday 6th January.

Spring term begins on Tuesday 7th January, 2020.

Spring Half-term 17-21st February, 2020.

Last day of Spring term is Friday 27th March, 2020.

Easter Half Term - Monday 30th March - Monday 13th April.

Non-pupil day Tuesday 14th April.

Summer Term begins on 15th April, 2020.

School closed for Bank Holiday 4th May.

Summer Half-term 25-29th May, 2020.

Non Pupil Day - Monday 29th June.

Last day of the Summer term is Tuesday 21st July, 2020.
Combe Martin School is part of the Alumnis Multi-Academy Trust, a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 11409631
Copyright © 2019 Combe Martin Primary School, All rights reserved.

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