Newsletter 7th September 2018

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to a new school year at Woolsery Primary School. It looks like everyone had a great summer and made the most of the long, hot days. I hope your child has begun to settle into their new classes. Please remember all our teaching team are available if you have any questions or queries – you can call the school, drop in or email your child’s teacher directly. All our email addresses follow the same format, so for example, mine is, Mrs Kersey’s is, Mrs Oyarzabal’s is  and so on.

We have LOTS of new children to welcome this term. Coming into Cranford Class are:  Logan, Archie, Harrison, Molly, Isabella, Tommy, Arthur, Riley, Rebecca, Jacob, Elsa, Cadey, Seren, Henry, Beatrice, Evelyn-Rose, Olivia, Jack, Oliver, Scarlett, Oliver and Noah. Joining us in other classes are: Billy, Elliott, Farley, Aubri-Paige, Santino, Gianni, Mario, Cebrail and Rojan. We hope both you and your families will be very happy at the school – please let us now if there’s anything we can do to make that settling in process even easier.

A new Newsletter format

Following feedback from parents in last term’s Questionnaire, we will be trialling an electronic version of the school’s Newsletter this term. We have been looking for a format that can be easily accessed on all online media – especially mobile phones – whilst  also using a time-efficient way of making past newsletters available to parents. Using our existing Blog ticks both of those boxes and allows us to put more photos etc into the Newsletter. It also means you can use the Comment facility on the Blog to comment on any articles or ask questions. I will be asking for feedback on this change in about a month’s time, when everyone has got used to the new format, but please remember that from next week there will be no paper version of the Newsletter produced. We will send you a text message with a link to the Newsletter each week, or you can find it via the front page of our Blog at

Wild Curriculum

The long-anticipated WILD Curriculum launched on Wednesday with classes beginning work on the Projects they chose before the summer break. We have projects on Crime and Punishment, Traditional Tales, Flight, Talents and The Farm.

I will be repeating the Parent’s Information meeting about our new Curriculum approach for anyone who’d like to find out more on Monday 17th September at 2:30pm and again 6pm. Please come along for a brief presentation and Q&A session about the ethos behind this important change in our approach, and also how it will work in practical terms.

Next week, we’ll see the beginning of the all-important Project Launches in each class. These will be exciting events to properly start the term’s work with each group of children. We’ll include photos of the Launches in next week’s Newsletter.


FOWS are holding a Quiz Night in the School Hall on Friday 21st September. This will be a family-friendly Quiz night, so please come along for a great evening with Question Master Stu Snape and get to meet other parents from our school. More details next week. We urgently need helpers for this event, so if you’re free, please let us know via the school Office or directly to Lynsey Eavis who can be found in Cranford Class.

Last year’s very successful fireworks evening will be repeated again this year (Mr Pennington is already very excited about this!) so please also keep Friday 2nd November free in your diaries.

On Thursday 27th September FOWS will also hold their Annual General Meeting and, as always, we are looking for new members to help with this vital aspect of school life. If you have even a tiny bit of spare time which you’d be happy to lend to school, we’d love to see you at the AGM to either join the Committee or to volunteer ad-hoc help for FOWS events. I don’t need to reiterate how tight school funding is at the moment, and FOWS are taking more and more responsibility for providing equipment to support your children’s learning which previously would have been funded through the school budget. I can’t even begin to contemplate what the school might look like without the financial support we receive from FOWS so if you are able to come along we would be very happy indeed to see you! The AGM starts at 7.30pm.


Years 4 and 5 will be swimming at Torridge Pool, Northam this term, beginning on Monday 17th September. Although some of the tuition cost is covered by the Bideford Bridge Trust, they have reduced the amount they are supporting schools in recent years at the same time that coach costs are rising (£155 per week!!) and school budgets are shrinking. This means that we are asking for parental donations towards the cost of the coach transport of £2.50 per week. You can pay this via our online payment portal or directly to the school Office. Please remember that it’s the swimming pool’s policy that all children must wear swim hats to lessons, which can be bought at the Pool.


We will shortly have a vacancy on the Governing Body for a Parent Governor as Mrs Fiona Hancock’s term of office comes to an end in October. If you would like more insight into the running of the school and are prepared to put in some time to work alongside the school’s leadership team in monitoring and steering future policy, please talk to Sue Miles in the school office, or any of our existing Governors. Any parent of a child registered at the school is eligible to apply to be a Governor.

Dance Classes

Steph Jenn is running a dance class for 6-16 year-olds at Woolsery Hall on Tuesdays from 4:45-5:45pm. The new term starts on Tuesday 11th September and costs £4.50 per week. This term, the class will be working towards a performance at the Milky Way Wedding Fayre. You can just turn up, or for more information, speak to Steph on 07811890045

Merits and Certificates

This year, we’re changing our approach to reward certificates across the school. This means we’re saying good-bye to the old Bronze, Silver  and Gold Certificates and will be introducing a new system of rewards based on our Family Groups (Beech, Elder, Hazel, Sycamore, Silver Birch, Oak and Willow). Children will collect points for showing great learning behaviours…

Each half term, the children will be working towards a shared Family Group reward for the highest scoring Family Group. This half term’s Reward is a non uniform day for the winning Group.

In addition to this, teachers will be nominating two children each week to receive a Headteacher’s Award in Friday’s celebration assembly. This can be awarded for progress, effort or attainment. The first Headteacher’s Awards will be awarded next Friday 14th September.

School Lunches

Please remember the cost of school lunches has risen to £2.25 per meal for all children in Preschool and in Years 3 to 6. Children in Reception, Year 1 and 2 have their meals funded by the Government. You can order as many weeks as you like in advance and the Menu can be found on the school website HERE

If you think you may be entitled to “traditional” Free School Meals based on your income or allowances you receive, please speak confidentially to Sue Miles in the Office. Even though younger children are able to get a free meal (see above), having a traditional Free School Meal entitlement not only gives you peace of mind that your child can receive a meal free of charge if they wish throughout their time at school, but also means that the school gets an additional block of funding… and in the present climate every pound counts. Thanks.


After-School and Lunchtime Clubs will run again this term. We will send out a letter with all of them on during the coming week and clubs will begin week commencing Monday 17th September.

The only exception is Singing Club, which will run in part as a satellite of the Teachers Rock Youth Choir as preparation for their concert in Exeter Cathedral on the evening of November 26th. I need to confirm interest with Teachers Rock Lead, Debbie Kent, as soon as possible. If you would like your child to be part of that concert, there will be a charge of £15 per child which will include the cost of a full day’s workshop at the Cathedral during the day of the November concert. I had previously been told that our children would need to attend some sessions at East-The-Water School, but have since agreed that I will be able to run the workshops here on behalf of Teachers Rock. If you would like your child to be a part of Singing Club this term, please ask me for a membership form as soon as possible next week. The Singing Club will be held on Fridays after school.


Drop Off…Drop In!

Every Friday, beginning next week, we hold a free parents’ coffee morning which we call “Parents’ Drop In”. Anyone with children at Sunflowers or the main school is very welcome to come along for a cuppa (and usually cake!) and chat with other parents. Occasionally, we invite visitors such as the School Nurse to Parents’ Drop In but on the whole this is just an informal time for you to come in and meet with others. You’re welcome to bring your pre-school age children with you too. No need to book or commit to coming regularly – just drop off your children and drop in to the hall between 8:50 and 9:30am every Friday unless otherwise stated.

The Week Ahead

  • Monday: Project Launches: Forensic Science Day in Ashmansworthy Class; Merlin visiting in Burscott Class
  • Tuesday: Mr Davies out (pm) – Mrs Furse in class.  Private Music Lessons begin (with Annie Gordon)
  • Wednesday: 
  • Thursday: Mr Cole out (am) – ACCT Meeting.
  • Friday: Project Launch: Dress As Your Hero Day for DAAT in Stroxworthy Class

With best wishes,

Matt Cole, Headteacher




1 response on Newsletter 7th September 2018

  1. Please note there’s an error on the PRINTED version of the Newsletter which incorrectly states that Year 5 and 6 are swimming, This should be Years 4 and 5, as shown in the Online edition. Sorry for any confusion!

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