Our year so far

Tarka Pottery visit

Our Key Stage 2 children have thoroughly enjoyed attending pottery classes recently. They were invited along to Tarka Pottery, who were extremely welcoming and lots of fun. The children were able to make their own clay Super Heroes! They chose to create an array of characters, including Deadpool and Superman.

Over the course of two weeks, they moulded the clay, fired it and then finished it off with paint glaze. The Tarka team were very impressed with their creativity and commitment and the young people had lots of fun with their creations, which they then took home.

Not only did the children enjoy modelling their own Super Heroes, they loved the environment in which Tarka Pottery is set. Outside, there are some Llamas, Alpacas and Miniature Ponies that the children were able to spend time with.

The children found it relaxing and enjoyable – they were considerate to the animals, being sure to keep their voices down and not make any sudden movements. The staff reported that everyone had shown a great amount of respect to the people and animals at Tarka Pottery

Well done everyone!

How seeds are grown

In May, the youngest group of students from Libra School were invited to a workshop, from the Education Centre at RHS Rosemoor in Torrington, to learn about ‘How Seeds Are Grown’. 

Before the workshop, the group enjoyed eating their lunch out in the sunny courtyard surrounded by beautifully coloured and sweet scented flowers and plants. 

Using a fresh apple, they explained how seeds grow and flower with a little help from some important ingredients; Soil, Sun and Water! The students were enthralled as they were all able to contribute by creatively play acting and discussing each of these factors.

Afterwards, the students listened intently as they discussed how busy bees make honey and pollinate flowers!  Taking advantage of being out in the lovely courtyard, the students were sent off to investigate each of the plants with a magnifying glass, and to see what they could discover, taking care to listen if plants made any noises!

Stonehenge visit

On Wednesday 16th November, 3 children visited Stonehenge as part of their history topic of Britain during the Iron Age. Whilst there, they looked at the stones and speculated what they were used for as well as looked inside replica Iron Age huts to see how people would have lived back then. They also looked in the exhibition to see how Stonehenge has changed over time as well as see one of the skeletons that was found at the site!

Philip Ardagh Visit

Libra have again been part of the nationally recognised ‘Appledore Book Festival’which attracts famous authors from all across the country.  As part of the celebrations, on Monday 10 October 2016 Libra welcomed Philip Ardagh, here’s a brief resumeu2026..

After years of working seven days a week writing non-fiction titles and retelling myths and legends (often for 'fixed-fee' non-royalty payments), Philip Ardagh became an overnight success with Awful End (published in 2000), originally written as letters sent to his nephew Ben.

Popular in Germany, he has won both the Luchs (Lynx) Prize and the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis. Some American critics have accused Ardagh of "jumping on the Lemony Snicket bandwagon", but he created Eddie Dickens in letters to Ben long before the first Snicket book was published. Ardagh once described the Snicket books as being more an homage to Edgar Allan Poe, while his own Eddie Dickens books were an homage to Charles Dickens. (Yet his title The Rise of the House of McNally is derived from Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher.)

As well as writing novels, Ardagh also writes for BBC radio. His children’s dramas have included BBC radio’s first truly interactive radio drama, the nightly 'Arthur Storey and the Department of Historical Correction' (in which he also appeared as the announcer), and (for BBC Radio 4’s GO4IT!) the six-week radio serial 'Secret Undercover Vets On Ice' he played himself and also 'pigeon on a ledge'. His adult work has included stories for BBC Radio 3, Radio 4 and Radio 7.

In 2009, Ardagh published the first of his GRUBTOWN TALES series, 'Stinking Rich & Just Plain Stinky', which won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize for being the funniest book that year. The series went on to contain seven full-length tales and a short story (The Great Pasta Disaster) as a £1 promotional book for World Book Day in 2010.

In 2011, Ardagh signed a four-book deal with new independent children's publisher Nosy Crow, resulting in THE GRUNTS series, illustrated by Gruffalo illustrator, Axel Scheffler. The second book, THE GRUNTS ALL AT SEA, was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize in 2013. This was the first time that a previous winner was shortlisted again. The final GRUNTS book is due for publication in 2015.

Following the visit, Pat Hadley-Smith who accompanied Mr Ardagh dropped us a line to say:

‘I thought the students were very well behaved...As a former Head of a large Special Needs Unit in a mainstream setting I would have been very happy if my students had behaved as well as yours did.  The students were responsive and most of the questions asked were appropriate. I hope they enjoyed the visit and felt inspired to read and write having spent time with a 'real author'.  We look forward to bringing another author to visit your lovely school next year.’

Barnstaple visit to Pizza Express!

Early one Tuesday morning, towards to the end of Term 1, the students paid a visit to Barnstaple, arriving on time for their appointment at Pizza Express! 

The restaurant staff there were expecting the group of 5 excited pupils from The Libra School, and warmly welcomed them into their restaurant. The staff introduced themselves as Nicki and Tom, insisting that they both want to make pizza cooking exciting for each of the students, turning their kitchen into a classroom for that very morning.

The students were keen to follow each of the hygiene procedures; washing their hands and donning their aprons and hats. Having immense fun kneading their dough, and constructing each of their pizzas with a variety of toppings.  While each of their pizzas were cooking in the very hot oven, the group were happily enjoying sampling each of the different flavours, smells and textures of the ingredients.  

The students were pleased to say their thank you's and farewells, as they left with their yummy scummy pizzas.

Forest School has evolved this year from three pupils to seven and this has helped the children work together in groups.

The tasks have been really fun and the boys appear to grow in confidence week on week.

The tasks:

  • Chopping dead trees down for conservation.
  • Digging holes for clay.
  • Building eco-camps.
  • Learning to collect firewood and build a safe camp fire.
  • Forest walking – finding different things in the forest like deer tracks and wild mushrooms.
  • Making tools and objects out of wood using a variety of eco-friendly tools. These include pencils, bows and hammers.

The boys appear to thrive being outdoors and enjoy learning new tasks. One child in particular has done extremely well and has been given a work placement at Forest School each Thursday.

A child has said “I love Forest School because I get to work with wood and this reminds me of my Granddad who also built stuff. I like being outside too”