Newsletter: 7th December 2018


We know that at the moment the village centre is incredibly busy at school drop-off/pick up times. Old Market Drive just isn’t built for the volume of traffic it experiences every day and with additional non-school parking on Copper Hill we really appreciate how difficult it is to drop your children safely near the school site. However, the situation is being made far worse by some parents driving and parking in a dangerous manner around the school site. We have already been made aware of two instances of cars being damaged whilst parked outside school in the last two weeks, and I’m very much afraid that if things continue as they are it’s only a matter of time before a child is injured. So, to help everyone have a safer journey to school, please:

  • Do not park on pavements
  • Do not drive on pavements to overtake parked traffic
  • Do not park on the yellow zig-zag lines
  • Use the whole length of Old Market Drive to park on – there is often more space at the top of the road.

We are currently in discussion with our PCSO team for input in ways we could make the situation better for everyone, including thinking about how we can bring the bottom playground gate back into use to encourage more people to park away from Old Market Drive but there are significant pedestrian safety issues to be overcome if we’re to do this. One solution could be operating a volunteer crossing superviser system at the bottom of Old Market Drive to see children across the road entrance for parents who need to drop-and-go from Copper Hill. If this were to happen, the school could provide full reflective gear, but obviously coudn’t afford to pay anyone. If you are interested in exploring this possiblity perhaps on a shared basis, please let us know as soon as possible. In the meantime, if everyone bringing cars to school could be extra aware of the need to be patient and safe, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Christmas Fayre

We were overwhelmed by the response to FOWS decision to move the Christmas Fayre to an after-school slot instead of the usual Sunday Lunchtime. Not only did most families stay on to support the event, but a great number of people from our local communities dropped in too. We hope you enjoyed it! A huge thank you to Lynsey and the committee for organising such a successful fayre – the grand total raised will be announced shortly but Family Group Stalls raised the following:

  • Hazel: £29.70
  • Oak: £39.65
  • Silver Birch: £34.74
  • Beech: £16.00
  • Willow: £30.60
  • Sycamore: £20.00
  • Elder: £57.01

Congratulations to Elder Family Group who won this year’s enterprise challenge to raise the most profit. Together with Cranford Class’ stall (£29.00) the children raised an amazing £256.70 – thank you for your support!

Church Performance

A massive well done to Sunflowers, Cranford and Burscott classes for their wonderful singing at Woolsery Church coffee morning on Wednesday. The children sang magnificently- and their efforts were greatly appreciated by the community who watched them.

Birthday Celebrations

Just a reminder that next year is our 140th anniversary year and we’re asking children to design a Woolsery Birthday Logo which we can use throughout 2019. The perfect activity for a wet weekend! Designs need to be A4 in size (portrait or landscape) contain the Woolsery Primary School badge, the words “Woolsery Primary School 1879-2019” and the number 140. Please send in any designs to me as soon as they’re done. Below is an image of the national logo for the Queen’s Jubilee, which was designed by a child, just to give you an idea of the sort of thing we’re looking for…

Bethlehem The Musical

Next week, of course, is Production Week!

There will be lots of special arrangements in place – please read carefully…


Tickets were sent out on Wednesday so you should have received them. Because every performance is full, it’s important that you remember to bring your tickets with you as we cannot go over the maximum of 150 people per performance.

If you have tickets which you find yourself unable to use, please return them to school or to the door as some people are unable to see the show and are on standby for any spares.


Most children have now brought in their costume items for the show – thank you for your help. It’s been a mammoth task for Mrs Stevens and her helpers! Please avoid letting your daughter wear tights next week as most children will perform in bare feet and tights will be too slippery on the hall floor.


Many of the children will need some stage make up. Please let us know if your child is allergic to face paints before Tuesday’s dress rehearsal.


On Wednesday, we will have a slightly early lunch and then walk down to the hall for the afternoon performance which will begin at 1:45pm.

At the end of the Wednesday afternoon performance, all children other than Bus Children will have to walk back up to school for collection. We will not be able to release any children directly to you at the Hall.

In the evening, children should arrive no earlier than 6.10pm..

The performance begins at 6:30pm and running time is about 1 hour and ten minutes, so if you’re not in the audience, you should be able to collect your child at around 7:45pm.


The arrangements for Thursday will be the same as for Wednesday evening.


On Friday morning only we will be operating a flexible registration morning so your child will get a full attendance mark if they are in school before 10:30am. As usual, though, please remember to phone school before 9:20am to confirm they are coming and to book lunches. Please note that we cannot operate this concession on Thursday morning so all children need to be in school at normal time.

At all performances, there will be refreshments and a raffle. There will also be a collection for school funds.


If you are able to help sell mince pies and teas from the stage area after each performance, please could you let Gitta Todd know, or leave a message for her in the school office. Thank you.

Football/ Pokemon/ Lego Cards

Unfortunately, we are very close to a point where we will have to say that these cards will not be allowed in school. This would be such a shame for the many children who are swapping them and talking about them with each other during playtimes. Unfortunately, though, we have a small number of children who are trying to look throgh their collection during lessons, and more worryingly, are asking for cash payments from other children in exchange for particular cards. Please could you remind your child that selling cards for money is not permitted in school and we need to know if another child is asking your child for some money. Hopefully this will mean we won’t need to implement a blanket-ban – thank you.

Nativity Exhibition

Next week, Woolsery Methodist Chapel are holding a Nativity Festival and the children from school will have nativity scenes they’ve created on display too. (I think every child has created something!) Please drop in and take a look – it’s open between 2 and 5pm on Thursday and Friday next week, and between 10 and 5 on Saturday and Sunday. Tea and cakes also available – al in aid of Alzheimer Research.

Torridge District Scouts would like to re-establish Scouting in Woolsery.
We would initially be looking at starting a Beaver Colony (6 – 8yrs) and/or a Cub Pack (7.5-10.5yrs) for boys and girls in Woolsery and the surrounding area. To gauge the support we might have we plan to hold a meeting for parents and children at Woolsery School at 6.00p.m. on Wednesday 19th December.
Please come along to find out more and let us know your feelings. We will try to keep it as short as possible!
We look forward to meeting you.

Bernard Moore

Family Group Points

The fortnightly Family Group Points count-up has taken place, with points added to the existing total for this half term. The children are competing to win a Christmas Cupcake Creation afternoon with Kitchen Dave on the last Thursday of the term. Elder seem to be roaring ahead, following on the success of their Family Group Enterprise Challenge last week, but there are still several groups who could catch them between now and the final count which will take place in time for next Friday’s newsletter!

  • Beech: 266
  • Eldar: 276
  • Hazel: 267
  • Oak: 198
  • Silver Birch: 210
  • Sycamore: 207
  • Willow: 270


I’m sure you know this by rote by now, but raising money fro the school is really easy this Christmas…

…without having to do anything other than register. Just go to and search for Friends of Woolsery School on the charity search page, then sign up and provided you shop on Amazon via the Smile landing page (not the regular we’ll get 0.5% of each purchase you make. It’s paid straight into FOWS’ bank account and we don’t see what you buy! By going to Smile first, you still get all your order history, payment details, wish-lists, etc. Supporting FOWS on this could be very important for us in the run up to Christmas, so please take time to sign up if you can.

Headteacher Awards

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

  • Cranford: Oliver R –  making a fantastic rocket out of Lego; Jacob – being helpful and kind to his friends.
  • Burscott: Santino –  participating really well in all our rehearsals, and for his singing in the church; Paddy – shwoing good improvement in his writing recently.
  • Stroxworthy: Josie – always helping others to succeed in their learning; Ravi – making the right choices to assist his learning.
  • Alminstone: Aiden – for hard work in all his learning and staying focused in his learning; Daisy – turning a negative into a positive during Forest School and teaching & supporting someone she has never worked with before.
  • Ashmansworthy: Nelly –  always trying her best with her work and not giving up if things get challenging; Reuben – for always working hard and contributing well to class discussions.

Autumn Term Clubs

Please remember that ALL Autumn Term Clubs have now finished. A new clubs list will go out in January for the Spring Term – if you are interested in running a club, please let us know; we would love you to share your talents with the children! Thanks.

Alan Schofield Photography

FOWS are selling vouchers for Alan Schofield Photography vouchers for £30 each, with all proceeds going to FOWS. These can be bought all year round and can be personalised for gifts as well. Please let us know if you’d like one and we will put you in touch.


You can certainly tell that this term has been dogged with lots of illness – the school’s attendance figures are currently very low compared with previous Autumn Terms:

  • Cranford 93.9%
  • Burscott 95.1%
  • Stroxworthy 97%
  • Alminstone 92.4%
  • Ashmansworthy 95.1%

Families with children under the Government’s minimum attendance level of 90% will be receiving a letter from me over the next few school days so that you know your child’s attendance is causing concern, and the Education Welfare Officer continues to actively monitor families where attendance is either below the minimum level, or where there are lots of unexplained absences or lateness. She will be directly in contact with families to arrange a visit and discuss possible ways of improving attendance levels next term.

Whilst we really do understand that if your child is genuinely ill there really isn’t much you can do to improve attendance, please remember that attending wherever possible is really important so please do everything you can to ensure your child is in school and on time. Please also remember that if they are just a little under the weather, we are able to administer products like Calpol if you supply it, to help them get through the day, particularly when such products are so effective in relieving the symptoms of heavy colds etc. These no longer have to be prescribed by a doctor -off the shelf Calpol is fine- but you do need to filll out a medication form at the office.

However, it is still the case that for cases of sickness, your child is not permitted to return to school until they have been clear of vomiting for 24 hours, or from diarrhoea for 48 hours as instructed by Public Health England. This has unfortunately been the reason behind most sickness-related absence this term.

Thank you for your understanding.

The Week Ahead

  • Monday: Mr Cole out to 10:30. Dress Rehearsal (am) at the school. PM – Annie doing music lessons for children in Stroxworthy (instead of their usual slot)
  • Tuesday: Dress & Technical Rehearsal in the Village Hall (AM)
  • Wednesday: Bethlehem The Musical 1:45 & 6:30pm.
  • Thursday: Bethlehem The Musical 6:30pm
  • Friday: Late Registration to 10:30am – please see main article for details. Stroxworthy Class visiting Bideford on the 319 Service Bus

With best wishes,
Matt Cole
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