Limelight on Rye Primary


Message from Kelly Martin, head of school

With World Mental health day on Saturday October 10, I thought this would be a good time to share some helpful quotes that I often share with friends and colleagues. They feel particularly appropriate for the current climate we are living in.

There has never been a more important time to ensure that we are taking care of our mental health as well as our physical health. The two are inextricably linked and if one is being neglected it will result in a deterioration of the other.

Thankfully, times are moving on and mental health is more readily spoken about – acknowledged and not ignored. However, it can still be misunderstood. Quite often when we notice someone struggling with their mental health they might be very unhelpfully told to “snap out of it” or “just cheer up”. To that person, at that time, that would feel like them being told to snap their own leg back into place if it was broken. Completely unrealistic! There is a time and a place for acknowledging feelings and naming them.

This is something we do regularly in school, as we have found that many children can’t name and identify their feelings, they can describe them, but often they don’t know why they feel that way or what that feeling is called. It is healthy to be able to recognise a feeling, name it and try to determine why you feel that way. “It’s ok to not be ok” and to allow yourself to feel that emotion. “Pain demands to be felt”. It’s the suppression of these feelings which can often be very unhelpful.

“Camp there – but don’t live there”

The first of my two favourite quotes that I would like to share with you though, is “you can camp there- but don’t live there!” There comes a time, which will be a different length of time for everyone, when “camping with these negative feelings” begins to be detrimental, and this is the moment when one has to decide to move on, get help, advice and support and decide to recognise that staying in “that place” longer than necessary is not helpful as the “best is yet to come” (second quote).

If you are dessert lover, you will understand this… the best is always yet to come. Yet we must get through the main meal first, before we get to enjoy the pudding! Don’t resign yourself to the campsite – don’t live there! The “best really is yet to come!”

Wishing you all a healthy body and mind from your Rye Primary family!

Autumnal Learning

Autumnal learning

The children at Pugwash have had a great term so far and have been SO busy!

They have been exploring the natural changes at our Forest School site to learn about autumn and the changes that we see.

They have talked about nocturnal animals, the children had to go on a hunt for nocturnal animal pictures in the Forest School.

Staff asked the children, “if an animal comes out at night what is it?”
Elsie replied – “nocturnal” “rabbits come out at night” “badgers come out at night”

The children then met ‘Freddie the furry fantastic forest school fox’ who taught the children some new autumnal words.

Their autumnal learning has also included maths, looking at big and small leaves and the site itself to learn about size and sorting.
Tiana “I found a yellow leaf”
Amber “The leaves were falling out and the rain was falling out”
Danika ” The wind makes noises really loud”

Back inside the nursery the children have also been learning about autumn and loved practicing their jumping skills in the big puddle! Great fun!

The children have also been learning about colour mixing and made the colour brown to use to paint their pictures.

As part of their new scheme of learning ‘The Write Stuff’, the children have been introduced to ‘Nana Pugwash’ who teaches us new words and the children get really excited when she comes to see them.

First time for…

It has been a term for ‘firsts’ for Minnows and Sardines children.

The children have enjoyed taking part in their first assemblies – albeit socially distanced, their first yummy school lunches, their first PE lesson, their first trip out on an autumn walk and they are really enjoying our topic of down on the farm!

Amazing Achievement

Amazing achievement

At the beginning of 2020 Suzie James (the school secretary) was training to run the London Marathon. In training she had covered more miles than she ever imagined possible and although apprehensive she was determined to complete the 26 miles of the London Marathon, then Covid-19 struck and everyone’s plans were turned upside down!

Lots of charities have suffered this year and the 40th London Marathon has adapted to find a way to help support them. This year the London Marathon was a virtual event which was held on October 4, 2020. Those taking part completed it in their own way.  Suzie had a think and last Sunday she walked the length of the Royal Military Canal, from Cliff End near Hastings to Seabrook near Folkestone. This was approximately 5K longer than the marathon route!

Suzie was joined along the route by family and friends and completed the route in 10 hours 55 minutes!

Parkinson’s UK and the Motor Neurone Disease Association are the two charities Suzie has chosen to support with her sponsorship donations, as they are both illnesses that have sadly taken and affected her family and friends.  So far Suzie has raised £776.00.  Donations can still be made by going to

Finally Retiring

Sue Ball has finally decided to retire after 28 years as school secretary at Rye Community Primary and before that, Freda Gardham Community Primary School. Sue actually started at Freda Gardham as a classroom assistant but not long after a job became available in the office and Sue moved from the classroom to the office, where she has been ever since! As well as working in the office, she was also the school bus escort for many years on the Camber school bus and clerk to the governors.

When Freda Gardham closed, Sue was clerk to the governors for the temporary governing body that was put in place to oversee the opening of the new school in 2008. Sue has seen many changes over the years including 12 headteachers and with up to 360 children on roll at any one time many children go through both the schools—many of who are now returning as parents with their own children.

After having a new hip at Christmas and with an elderly mum and three grandchildren to spend time with, Sue has decided the time is right to clear her desk for the final time.

“Sue has served the local community for 28 years—an exceptional achievement. Her work has had a remarkable impact on children whether in the classroom or as the face of the school to their parents.

“On behalf of the trust and the profession, I would like to say a big “thank you” for all she has done . She goes with our best wishes—and friendship.

Barry Blakelock, executive head

Image Credits: Rye Primary School .

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