Newsletter: 27th September 2019

FOWS Update

ca’t tell you how relieved I am that FOWS has been saved for another year. We have new members on the FOWS committee and some old faces staying on as well. Nessy Johns returns as Chair replacing Lynsey Eavis, having held the role some years ago. Rachel Coles takes on as Treasurer from Sarah Prutch and Sarah Fairbairn replaces Gitta Todd as Secretary. I am also very pleased that Lynsey, Sarah and Gitta are all staying on the committee as well, which will be invaluable as the new team takes FOWS in a new direction.

Whilst finer details still need to be ironed out, the new Committee has agreed to re-focus FOWS along the lines of the suggestion received at the parents meeting a couple of weeks ago. This means that before too long FOWS will be asking for Parent Rep nominations for each class. The idea is that each Parent Rep will organise one event per year alongside the children and parents in that class, supported by the FOWS committee and our Community Voice team. There will be one Class event per half term so they are spread out across the school year. FOWS are hoping that by doing this, FOWS will be re-engergised and truly child-led, as it will be their ideas for fundraising and their advertising that will drive the fundraising calendar. It will also mean that more parents can get involved without over-committing, as there will only be a single commitment in any school year. Please give some thought if you would like to be your child’s class rep… FOWS will get more information out about choosing a Rep in the next month or so…

Harvest Thanks

Thank you for once again supporting our Harvest Celebration so strongly this year. There is a blog post with pictures and some video from the assembly which you can look at. All classes performed their contribution with lots of enthusiasm and it was a really lovely occasion. We also have a huge donation which Community Voice will be delivering to Harbour in Bideford in the next week or two – thank you for your generosity!

Cross Country Opportunity

The Gliddon and Squire Cross Country starts this Sunday 29th September at 10am at Kingsley School. Under 9s and under 11s age groups. If anyone is, interested you can email Mr Davies for further information ( or talk to Jack Johns. Entries close this Saturday 28th September.

Forest School

Due to staffing commitments, Stroxworthy Class’ Forest School will move to Tuesday next week for one week only. Cranford Class will not have a forest school session next week.

As with all classes (Ashamansworthy Class, we’ve already talked about this!) your child needs to bring wellington boots on their forest school day as the Forest School Area is now very muddy. Please also remember that as the weather gets cooler, your child is welcome to bring gloves to keep warm, but we insist they wear school-provided coats and trousers in order to protect them and their uniform. We also provide hats. If your child could hang the bag containing their boots on the pegs by the Sunflowers Gate when they arrive in school it will stop the cloakrooms getting congested and will speed up getting changed for Forest School sessions.

School Field

Please note that a week today (4th October), the School Field will be closed after school until mid-morning on Saturday as 1st Woolsery Scouts are camping out. Thanks.

Running Club

As Mrs Farmer is out of school on Monday, there will be no Monday Running Club next week.

Horses in Literature

Ashmanworthy’s Class Prioject this term is about Horses in Literature (cue Black Beauty music…) It would be lovely to have a visit from anyone who has horses or works with horses to talk with the children about the horses care, or what they do when working with them. If you, or anyone you know, would like to share your experiences with the class, please contact Miss Butler ( or drop in and speak to her. Thank you.

Author of the Month

Monday is the last day for handing in book reviews for our Author of the month, creator of Winnie The Witch, Valerie Thomas. We have had some lovely entries so far and will award the winner with their £10 book token on Friday. Alminstone are choosing the next Author for October – Next week, watch out for the new display by the library!


Please remember that every time you shop on Amazon, you could be raising money for the school. You can do this by going to and searching for Friends Of Woolsery School. E

very time you make an amzon purchase, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to the school -without it costing you anything. I know it doesn’t sound much, but so far, we’ve received around £70 in this way. Once you are signed up, you can use amazone as normal – it’ll remember all your account details and your order history. It really is that easy.

Absence (Holiday) Requests

We have had a flurry of forms applying for authorised absence from school since the start of term. If you have asked for one, you will have noticed that the form we have to use now has a new format which clarifies the position of the school and the likelihood of a penalty notice being issued to each parent. With this in mind, please could I clarify the following:

  • I am only able to authorise absence from school for truly exceptional circumstances. Some reasons are specifically not allowed to be approved, for example weddings
  • I am not now able to authorise absence because parents are unable to take holiday from their work in school holidays, even if this is supported by an employer’s letter
  • I am not able to authorise absence if your child’s attendance is too low – in this case, normally below 95%- even if the circumstances are exceptional
  • Only the Headteacher can make decisions about whether the circumstances are truly exceptional, and there is no course of appeal through the Governing Board.
  • School and Devon County Council will now issue penalty notices for absences where there are 10 or more sessions (i.e. 5 school days) missed. These will be issued to each parent of each child affected by the absence if taken without consent of the school
  • Only one penalty notice per parent per child will normally be issued within a two year period. Any second period of unauthorised absence will normally be referred straight to magistrate’s court.

I know some of the above may be concerning to parents as it once again appears to tighten restrictions on taking children out of school, but this is the framework I am required to abide by. I would strongly advise you not to book a holiday until you know whether the school will authorise the absence or not. Please note that this applies to all children who are attending the main school, including children in Reception who are not yet of statutory school age.


Sorry but we have several cases of headlice in school at the moment. Please could you check your child’s hair carefully over the weekend for nits or live lice. Any infestation must be treated before your child can return to school, and if that’s necessary we recommend treating the whole family.


I have been contacted by several parents and a child minder in the village about parking on Old Market Drive at the beginning and end of each day. We know that the access to the school is quite poor, but that can’t be an excuse for parking illegally or dangerously. Please could you avoid parking across the dropped kerbs at the bottom of Old Market Drive or on the zig zags in the spur road to school and on Old Market Drive itself? We have several families who use those drops to navigate buggies and double buggies on to the school side the road and by parking in front of them it is forcing those parents to cross much less safely. The Zig Zags are there to provide visibility lines for children crossing Old Market Drive and parking on them at the corner is very dangerous indeed.

We have spoken to our local PCSO who will come and do some spot visits in the next few weeks and I will also be talking with the Community Voice children about the possibility of them being out on the pavement at the start/end of the day aliong with staff raising awareness of the issues we are facing. It would be absolutely brilliant if they had nothing to feed back because everyone was parking sensibly and safely! Thank you…

Well done to everyone who received a Certificate today for their learning this week:

  • Cranford – Ollie – his amazing writing this week; Archie – completing all his challenges independently
  • Burscott – Isla-Mae – amazing design & technology skills with her boat making with Mr Blincow; Finley – helping others whilst gardening with Northam Care Trust
  • Stroxworthy – Louie  – always working hard and working well independently this week; Willow – working hard and trying her best
  • Alminstone – Morgan – really good paired work this week – showing patience and kindness; Imogen – always presenting her work beautifully
  • Ashmansworthy – Archie – writing a lovely version of the Pegasus Myth and trying really hard with his spelling and punctuation; Ethan – writing a lovely sersion of Pegasus, improving his presentation and remembering most of his capital letters!

  • Saturday – Macmillan Coffee Morning 10am – 1pm at the school
  • Monday – Mrs Farmer and Mrs A Stevens out all day
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday – Mr Cole at meetings AM – Marjon University
  • Thursday
  • Friday – Mr Cole out all day. Scouts’ Camp Out after school – school field closed.
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