Newsletter 19th October 2018

Goodbye, Mrs Wood!

After many years in charge of our school kitchen, we say a sad good-bye to Amanda Wood who leaves us for new challenges with Launceston Multi Academy Trust today. Amanda’s time at the school stretches back 15 years, first as a parent and later as a member of staff and we will very much miss her presence in the school.

At the end of Lunchtime today, the children presented her with cards and flowers. I am sure you will join us all in wishing Amanda the very best for the future. Of course, many of our children may well come across her again in the future as she will be deployed between Bideford College and Atlantic Academy.

Parent-Teacher Meetings

We’ll be holding parent-teacher meetings in the second week after the half term break. Your child’s class teacher will arrange appointment times directly with you, but here are the dates so you can put them in your diary:

  • Sunflowers: Tuesday 6th and Thursday 8th November after school
  • Cranford Class: Tuesday 6th November after school and Thursday 8th November from 1:30pm
  • Burscott Class: Monday 5th, Tuesday 6th and Thursday 8th November after school
  • Stroxworthy: Tuesday 6th November after school and Wednesday 7th November from 1:30pm
  • Alminstone: Tuesday 6th November after school (Mr Davies) and
  • Ashmansworthy: Tuesday 6th November after schooll and Thursday 8th November from 1:30pm

Bonfire Night

If you have any scrap wood suitable for our Guy Fawkes Night bonfire, you are welcome to bring it to the school field any time between now and Thursday 1st November. We are particularly looking for broken fence panels, pallets and similar. Please note we are not able to burn things like MDF or upholstered furniture or anything else that will give off toxic fumes. If you could leave any donations on the field behind the bike shed, without blocking access to our refuse bins, we’d really appreciate it. Thanks.

If your child would like to make a guy for the bonfire they are very welcome to do so. Please bring any finished guys to the school library between Monday and Thursday of the first week back.

Kitchen Manager

I’m very pleased to say that the Governors were able to appoint Dave Ward as our new Kitchen Manager. Dave will be known to many of you as Joanne and Alan’s dad and has previously been a Chef at Hoops Inn, Westcountry Inn and Brewers Fayre, as well as other restaurants and hotels across the West of England. Dave will take over the kitchen from Monday 29th October. For the moment, we will keep the existing menu but Dave is very keen to incorporate the children’s ideas into his new menu which will begin from January. Dave will also be providing the Barbecue at FOWS Bonfire Night on November 2nd.


Unfortunately, Torridge Pool have advised us that the pool won’t reopen as planned after half term. This means that there will be no swimming for Years 4 and 5 on the first Monday back after the break. Hopefully, things should return to normal on Monday 5th November.

Forest School

After the Half Term break, please remember that Alminstone will be having Forest School with Mr Davies on Wednesday afternoons, and Ashmansworthy will be having Forest School on Friday afternoons with Mr Cole. Cranford will continue to have their session on Thursday afternoon. Please remember your child needs wellington boots on their Forest School day and these can be left on the pegs by Sunflowers’ yellow gate, or brought into class. Other than that, we supply all waterproofs and hats, but your child is welcome to bring an extra top or suitable trousers if they wish, especially when the weather gets cold.

If you’re currently helping with our Forest School sessions, please could you let us know if you’re able to continue helping as Forest School ratios are very strict, and if we can’t reach the required number of adult helpers we will have to cancel sessions. Thanks.

Headteacher Awards

Our amazing learners this week, who have all received a Headteachers’ Award are:

  • Cranford:
  • Burscott:
  • Stroxworthy:
  • Alminstone:
  • Ashmansworthy:

This half term we’ve been looking at the learning animals we use to help children describe the qualities they need to be most effective in the classroom. The final Learning Animal for you to meet is the Cat. Asking questions and being curious is probably the most important learning quality for children -or adults- to have, because it’s by asking those questions that we improve our knowledge, make connections and deepening understanding. We’re hoping your child asks lots of questions all the time – it’s a sure sign they’re thinking about the world around them.

For all the learning animals: The Dolphin, Spider, Tortoise, Owl, Cat and the Bee, please remember to talk to your children about them when they’re doing home learning, working on a project, asking questions about their reading… raising awareness of these learning skills is really important. Thanks.

Tempest Family Photo Session

Everyone welcome: Great value photos, ideal for family gifts, arrival in time for Christmas and there is no obligation to buy any photos.
Thurs 8th Nov
at Woolsery Sports and Community Hall
During Tiny Tots session 1-3pm and again from 3.30pm for school aged children and families
Please contact Jane Cann if you are interested.
You are also welcome to just turn up and wait your turn.

Police Helicopter Fly-past

We hope the children in Ashmansworthy and Stroxworthy Classes enjoyed their work with Jack Russell from the Devon & Cornwall Police Helicopter Unit when he visited on Monday. We were delighted to be told on Wednesday lunchtime that as part of the unit’s training of a new officer, they would be flying low over the school field – too good an opportunity to miss! We set up a small crime scene on the field and waited for the helicopter. When they do a return visit in the future, Jack will bring the footage filmed from the helicopter to share with the children.

Newsletter Format

At the start of term, we switched from a print-version of the weekly Newsletter to an online version via our School Blog. We did this for a number of reasons, but chiefly to reduce the amount of photocopying the school is doing and also to enable parents to look back over previous Newsletters to find information.

We would really like to know what you think about this change! If you have time, please could you complete a very short survey HERE? Replies are anonymous and will be used to improve the service even further. Thanks.

Clovelly Lights

The school has been asked to sing at Clovelly Lights on Sunday September 2nd. I am aware that there are some children who are unable to be at choir on Fridays who would like to take part. Anyone who would like to join us, both carol singing going down the cobbles, and performing during the harbourside service just before the switch-on and fireworks, is welcome to do so. We will be practising at lunchtimes so please tell your child to sign up with me after half term. Thanks

Parent Governor Vacancy

So far, no-one has come forward to join the Governing Board of the school in order to replace Mrs Fiona Hancock, who’s term of office expires today. This means we can now also include parents of children in Sunflowers Preschool in our quest to find someone – so if you’re interested in joining please fill out the online form HERE. If no-one comes forward in the next few weeks, the Governing Board will need to take advice about how the school is to be governed going forward, so please give this vital role careful consideration if you can. Thank you.

Happy Half Term!

We’ve had an awesome half term getting to grips with our new curriculum approach and learning lots of interesting and exciting new things. Thank you for all your support in enthusing the children, helping with home learning tasks and contributing to the cost of trips and visits. Teachers are already planning next term’s learning with their classes and if your child has had an expensive trip or trips this term, please be assured teachers will not be asking for another large contribution after Christmas. Have a super half term; we look forward to seeing everyone back at school on Monday 29th October.

The Week (after next) Ahead

  • Monday: School reopens. Miss Butler out all day, Mr Cole teaching in Ashmansworthy Class. No Swimming again for Y4 and Y5.
  • Tuesday: Mrs Kersey out all day, Mrs Burns supply teacher. Alminstone Class visiting Bideford.
  • Wednesday: Forest School begins for Alminstone Class. Mr Cole out at Marjon (pm). No Recorder Club.
  • Thursday: Mrs Farmer out all day, Mrs Burns supply teacher.
  • Friday: Forest School begins for Ashmansworthy Class. Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service visits to Years 2 and 5. FOWS Bonfire Night from 6:30pm.

With best wishes,
Matt Cole

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