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If we are to reach real peace in this world… we shall have to begin with childrenMahatma Gandhi


In Stag Class, we have been working hard to create our own Haka Dance.

The Haka is a type of ancient Maori war dance traditionally used on the battlefield, as well as when groups came together in peace. You may have seen the New Zealand All Blacks perform the Haka at the rugby.

Haka are a fierce display of a tribe’s pride, strength and unity.

Actions include aggressive foot-stamping, sticking their tongue out and rhythmic body slapping to accompany a loud shout.

We hope you enjoy our dance.

You can see our Haka here

Dark Skies Poetry Competition Winners

We are delighted to have not just one but two competition winners! The Dark Skies Poetry competition was part of the Exmoor Dark Skies Festival, which ran for two weeks at the end of October. Events including night walks, family discovery events and planetarium sessions, were attended by over 3000 people.

Jonah Kettleborough, one of our Fox Class entrants, won the under 11 category with James Allenby from St Dubricius School, Porlock and Lyla Poole from Williton, with his poem based on seeing the stars on Exmoor.

It was also a delight to tell Mrs Rudd, Fox Class teacher, that she won the over 16s category with her poem about The Plough constellation! She said: “I’m really pleased to win a prize, it was great fun doing poetry with the children and watching their ideas blossom. They created some really inspiring poetry and I never thought in a light year that I’d win! It’s wonderful to share the applause with Jonah as he wrote such a great poem.” You can see both their poems in the gallery below.

Katrina Munro at Exmoor National Park Authority, who coordinated the festival, said: “We were delighted that so many people took the time to write and submit a poem. The tranquillity of the darkness, and the stars, moon and planets are such a source of inspiration for all ages. It’s important that people appreciate the significance of dark skies to our understanding of our place in the universe, as well as for our night-time creatures.”

Exmoor National Park is a designated as an International Dark Sky Reserve by the International Dark- Sky Association (IDA). Planning restrictions and lighting recommendations are used to help protect the area from any increases in light pollution, which can have an adverse effect on the environment and wildlife.

The entries were judged by poet Mark Totterdell, whose latest book of poems titled ‘Mapping’ is available from www.indigodreams.co.uk. Mark said: “I enjoyed having the opportunity to read all these poems, and it was very hard to pick the winners from over three hundred entries. Many of the poems contained striking images and memorable phrases that stuck in my mind and vividly transported me to the moor at night.”

There were ten winners spread over three age categories. As well as having their entries placed on public display in the National Park Centres at Lynmouth, Dulverton and Dunster, the poets will also receive a dark skies goodie bag including a Glow in the Dark beanie hat from competition sponsors Sunday Afternoons UK and astronomy prizes from Astronomy Now magazine.

Winners in the under 11 category will also receive a signed copy of the newly published book ‘Jacob Starke Loves The Dark’, by Peta Rainford, who used to live on Exmoor. The book is on sale at the National Park Centres.

The winners are:

  • Under 11’s category – James Allenby from St Dubricius School, Porlock, Jonah Kettleborough from Bampton School, and Lyla Poole from Williton.

  • 11-15’s category – Zach Spelman and Bet Melton-Baguley, from Ilfracombe Academy, and Henry Earp, from Kings Hall Taunton.

  • Adult category – Angie Butler, from Penzance, David Tilley, from Withypool and Rachel Rudd, from Barnstaple.

Can you host Mary and Joseph this Advent?


We have been working with St Michael and All Angels to bring back Posada this December. This tradition of hosting a figurine of Mary and Joseph for one night during Advent was very popular a couple of years ago in Bampton and we are delighted to be part of it again.


What is Posada?

Posada is an old Mexican tradition where young people dressed as Mary and Joseph travelled from house to house asking for a room for the night and telling people about the imminent arrival of Jesus in the weeks leading up to Christmas. On Christmas Eve they would visit the local church to re-enact the nativity and place figures of Mary and Joseph in a crib.

Modern day Posada uses nativity figures of Mary and Joseph who travel from place to place. This gives each ‘host’ the chance to create their own celebration in their home or place in the community, worshipping and reaching out to their communities with the real message of Christmas, making room for Jesus in their lives.

Our church, St Michael and All Angels has chosen to engage with Posada this year. Would you like to be a host to Mary and Joseph for a night?

Each family will receive a special sticker book and a story to read to each other. Your Mary and Joseph figurines might be nice in the window or the children may have other ideas about where they might want to stay the night!

What is involved?

We are running the rota as a club through School Gateway. All you need to do is find a day you’d like to have the Posada and book your child onto that club. There’s no cost but of course once one person has booked that fills that session! So if you can’t see a session it’s because it’s already taken! Mrs Haxell is very kindly co-ordinating this for us and will ensure Mary and Joseph get to the right people each day.

For the evening you ‘host’ Mary & Joseph you can choose to do whatever you like. There is a lovely story book that will explain a bit more about it which you will receive with the figurines.  You could take the opportunity to sing some carols or perhaps do some Christmas crafting. Just the simple act of being together as a family is enough.

Whatever you decide to do – take a picture of it! You can email them to bampton.sch@alumnismat.org and you can also post your picture on Facebook to the St Michael and All Angels Facebook page.


The next day you simply need to bring take Mary & Joseph back to school and Mrs Haxell will help find the next person.

We hope you enjoy Posada at this busy time of year – we’re sure Mary and Joseph will have a great time in Bampton.

Big Draw

It’s BIG DRAW week!!

This week we are participating in the nationwide Big Draw Project, the world’s largest drawing festival! The aim of the scheme is to promote drawing in its many forms and to encourage all ages to get involved and develop confidence through drawing and art. All the children will be involved in creating an individual art work which will be put together to make a whole school banner, the older students will also be experimenting with light drawing techniques!

Over the week, we’ll be tweeting some of the artwork created by the students and adding to the gallery below.

#TheBigDraw #TheBigDrawGallery2018 #Play2018

Year 4s learn the Trombone!

Our Year 4s have been having a wonderful time on a Wednesday morning!

Thanks to a scheme run by Tiverton High School and the Tiverton Learning Community, our year 4s are currently learning to play the trombone!!

They are being taught by the very enthusiastic duo Jim and Chrissy, and so far we had some wonderful sounds coming from the hall. They are using plastic trombones, called “pbones”.

Here’s a few photos from their first few lessons!

Special visitor to Bampton

Next Bishop of Crediton is welcomed by Bampton School

Bampton Primary School was delighted to welcome a special visitor this week, when the next Bishop of Crediton led a special assembly at the school as part of her introductory tour.

The Venerable Jackie Searle was announced as the next Bishop of Crediton on Wednesday 11th July. Jackie was among the first women to be ordained as priests, and prior to her ordination, she trained as a primary school teacher. Archdeacon Jackie said:  “I am delighted to have been appointed Bishop of Crediton and am excited to be joining the Church of England in Devon. I am very drawn to the Diocesan vision to deepen our prayer, make disciples and serve the people of Devon with joy. I look forward hugely to joining in, getting to know the churches, schools, chaplaincies and fresh expressions of the Diocese and all the communities they serve, and working collaboratively to share the love and grace of God.”

Children at Bampton School were excited to meet Archdeacon Jackie and describe school life to her. She led a short assembly just before lunch and said she enjoyed seeing such a busy yet relaxing school with such a spacious feel to it.

Rev. Kevin Chandra, vicar of St Michael and All Angels Church in Bampton and Foundation Ex-Officio Governor of Bampton Primary School said:  “It was a real priviledge to show the next Bishop of Crediton around Bampton Primary School, as I think it’s a fine example of a church school in our wonderful Parish. It was great to share lunch and hear the pupils share ideas about life as a youngster in the Diocese and we look forward to working with our new Bishop Jackie. I’m sure Bampton pupils are encouraged by her visit as they celebrate the end of another busy and fulfilling academic year. We look forward to welcoming the Bishop in October and we hope that her move from Gloucester is smooth and goes well.”

Gary Bladon, head of Bampton School says: “We are honoured that Bampton Primary school was chosen to be part of Archdeacon Jackie’s inaugural tour as it’s always a pleasure to show guests around our school and for them to meet our staff and children. The children were a credit to the school and their parents, chatting to the next Bishop in a confident and animated fashion. We look forward to working with her in the future.

For more information on Jackie Searle and her tour around Devon please see the Diocesan press release:


Photographs copyright: ‘Adrian Hough LRPS’.


Exmoor Challenge 2018

What an incredible achievement! Our Exmoor Challenge teams this year not only had to contend with the usual undulating terrain but also scorching weather.

We awoke to beautiful clear blue skies, which meant two things: we’d need suncream and water. Lots of it!

Our two teams set off in blazing sunshine and found new teamwork skills and camaraderie between them through the glorious Exmoor landscape.

Thank you to all the parents and staff who have worked so hard over the past few weeks to help the children train. Sixteen miles in a day is no mean feat even for some adults and we are so proud of all our competitors.

Thank you as well for all your photos of the event. If you have any photos of our teams, why not email us? We’d love to include them in our Flickr gallery!

There’s a lovely article covering the whole event on the Devon Live website and the Rotary Results are posted here. As you can see, both our teams did magnificently, the best rankings yet!

Easter Service

Thank you to St Michael and All Angels for hosting our wonderful Easter Service this year. The children presented some wonderful poems, thoughts and prayers on Easter, including Stag class’s interpretation of the A-Z of the Easter Story. Everyone worked hard on their contributions. Squirrel Class did a lovely rendition of the “Seed Song” and Fox Class chose to tell the story of Easter with sign language.

We also really enjoyed seeing the final part of Open the Book’s Easter story, brilliantly acted out by the team. Thank you!

Thank you to the many parents and friends who came.

You can see some of the photos from the service here:

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Easter Garden

Hedgehog class were proud to display their Easter Garden at St Michael and All Angels this Easter. They found the Easter story incredible – class discussions about how the tomb could have been found empty and what had happened led to some lovely comments. They all agreed that Easter is an inspiring time of year. You can see more of our Easter Service on the front page of the website.

Squirrels tell the tale of……



Squirrels have been reading the story about Beegu, a friendly little creature who doesn’t belong on Earth and is a bit lost. The big Earth People don’t seem very friendly – but the little ones are a different matter!

Squirrel class did a great job of telling Beegu’s story in assembly, using their recounts written in class. We thoroughly enjoyed it – well done everyone!

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