Newsletter: 1st April 2022

Parkham Pantomime (Oh yes it is…!)

Parkham Panto is running next week on 7th, 8th and 9th April. this is a whole-community effort and rumours are that it’s a very funny show indeed! Although some of the cast are seasoned hands in the world of pantomime, this production of Aladdin is the first panto from this group. They very much need your support so please grab a ticket if you can and enjoy the show. Several former Parkham School children are in it as well as many well-known faces from the village.

FOPS (Friends of Parkham School) are assisting with refreshments, ice creams and the raffle and will be able to keep a third of proceeds from those sales,  so there’s another reason (if you needed it…) to go along and watch.

All details are in the Community Corner section below…

Reception Children’s Vision Screening

After many years’ absence, I’m very happy to say that a system of checking our youngest children’s vision is making a return thanks to efforts by the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust. The checks will take place in school time unless you opt out. Parkham and Buckland Brewer’s screening will take place on Thursday 12th May and Woolsery’s on Tuesday 17th May. Letters will be going out over the next few days in all schools.

The Parents Information Leaflet can be downloaded here.

Lost Property

The Woolsery Lost Property Box is full to overflowing – please drop in next week to check for missing items. If it’s dry towards the end of the week, we’ll also put things out on the wall for the end of the school day. Unclaimed, un-named items will be disposed of or recycled at the end of term. Thanks.

Edukid Update

All three schools in the Partnership already support the work of Edukid – a Bideford based charity which brings education and support to children in developing countries. This is a really important part of our global curriculum because it gives a very personal way in for our children to understand the needs and challenges of children in other parts of the world, along with the realisation that their contribution makes a very real difference to the life chances of the two children being sponsored. Buckland Brewer and Parkham schools both currently support a project in Uganda, and Woolsery supports one in Cambodia. In the Summer Term, I very much hope the three School Councils will be able to organise some fundraising and presentations on their projects to that the sponsored children in Uganda and Cheng in Cambodia can continue their education. In the meantime, a member of the Edukid Team is running a fun night at the Big Sheep for this excellent charity – details are below for you.

Eyes Down…

Please remember FOPS are holding their Easter Bingo tomorrow at the Allardice Hall, Parkham. Everyone is very welcome to help raise very much needed funds for one of our three amazing PTA’s. Thanks.

Sunflowers Preschool

We’re pleased to say staffing levels at Sunflowers are beginning to return to normal so we will be open to 2-year-olds again from Monday. Apologies again for having to close for this age group but it was unavoidable due to Covid-related absence.

Covid Guidelines

From today, 1st April, Covid guidelines have changed to fall in line with the Government’s Living With Covid agenda. At the time of writing schools have not have firm guidance through from the DfE, but this is the information gleaned from BBC News…

  • There is no expectation for children to test for Covid
  • If children have Covid symptoms they should stay away from school for three days or until they feel well enough to attend and no longer have a temperature

In other words, it appears that we are to treat Covid-19 as “any other illness” now and use parental common sense about when your child is well enough to come to school or not. Whilst that is very, very welcome in some respects I am concerned that this could lead to children coming to school when they are still infectious so please, please don’t send your child in if you think they have Covid – if we can avoid yet another wave going through our schools it will help to have a settled, normal summer term at last. Thank you for your help.

Updated 1/4/22 12:55pm: this advice just through from the DfE:

  • children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They can go back to school, college or childcare when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend
  • adults with a positive COVID-19 test result should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days, which is when they are most infectious. For children and young people aged 18 and under, the advice will be 3 days

Gymnastics Congratulations

A huge well done to Xavier and Isla-Mae from Woolsery School who have been selected to represent the Bideford Schools Area in the Devon Schools Games Gymnastics Final. Children in several classes at Woolsery took part in the virtual event, winning prizes at local level – and now these two amazing gymnasts have been selected to take part at County Level. Well done both, we all wish you luck when you take part in the competition next Thursday!

Phone Upgrades

Over the Easter Break, the phone lines to Buckland Brewer and Parkham will be upgraded to bring them into line with the internet-based system used at Woolsery. This will allow calls to be transferred seamlessley between schools and improve communication. From 25th April, if you dial any of the three school numbers, you will have the option to Press 1 to Report A Child’s Absence or select the school you wish to speak to. It is really important that you use the Option 1 facility if your child is away rather than asking to speak to your child’s school directly. This is because we are rationalising office duties so Mrs Davis at Buckland Brewer will become the Attendance Officer for the Partnership and manage child absences for all three schools. This will free up time in Parkham and Woolsery offices for other important admin tasks. Thank you for your help in this.


We are almost at the point of sharing our new Village Schools Partnership logo ready for when we officially launch the Partnership on 25th April. Several parents have been asking me what will happen with school uniform going forward. As promised in the Consultation, it’s really important to me that we keep each school’s identity and so Buckland will retain their bees, Parkham will retain their kite and Woolsery will retain their W’s. However, In-Stitches who provide our uniforms are also adding the words “Village Schools Partnership” below the respective logos across our range so you will see this appearing in new stock over the next few months. I also want to strengthen each school’s identity when we are working together, so we will be moving to a yellow-only polo short option for Parkham from now on (the white option will be gradually phased out as stocks levels reduce) and at Buckland Brewer we will gradually switch from a white to a pale blue polo. This means each school will eventually have their own colour which we can use in joint activities and also represent in our new VSP Logo. The three colours of polo shirts (Red for Woolsery, Yellow for Parkham, Pale Blue for Buckland) will be available in all local supermarkets and there is no requirement for you to buy school branded polos unless you wish to. This will not be a quick implementation (it will probably take a couple of years to make the switch) so please do not feel the need to rush to the shops and replace perfectly good uniform, that’s the last thing we want. But over time, as you replace worn out items for your child it would be great if you could have these changes in mind. Thank you.

Woolsery Swimming

Just a reminder that next Friday is the last swimming session of the term for Ashmansworthy Class. Children in the top swimmiing group have been asked to bring PJs in order to practise swimmiing in clothes for their life-saving work. Please make sure they also have their swimming kit (!) and also a waterproof bag (bin bag is fine) to put their very wet PJs in afterwards. Thanks.


Well done to everyone who has received a Headteacher’s Award this week for amazing learning…

Buckland Brewer

Owls Class: Jensen (cat) – showing great reasoning in maths; Grace (tortoise) – being resilient in her maths learning and not giving up

Falcons Class: to follow

Eagles Class: Lucas (dolphin) – showing that he understood how to write for an audience and using his imagination; Amy (dolphin) – engaging with the writing task and working independently on it


Kestrels Class: Olivia – showing increased responsibility for her reading. Olivia is bringing her book bag every day, writing independently and working hard on handwriting; Abbie – showing increased responsibility for her learning. Abbie is reading more at home and listening to instructions much better.

Buzzards Class: Ashley – showing resilience when completing the Reading Booklet. He found it tricky but took a deep breath and kept going to complete the last few pages – great work!; Anastacia – showing great resourcefulness in maths. When she has found things tricky she has found different apparatus to help her or has drawn pictures to support her calculations – well done!

Hawks Class:  Sophia – showing resourcfulness by being willing to take part in class discussions and asking intriguiging questions. She is also the first to put her hand up to answer any questions; Harry B-C – showing resilience by showing persistence and always keeping going in his learning, especially in maths. Harry has developed a more positive attitude and is willing to continue to practise skills.


Cranford Class: Luca (bee) – making a fantastic beanstalk with his friends ready for our production of Jack and the Beanstalk; Grace (bee) – being a great friend and looking after them when they’re sad

Burscott Class: Isabeau (dolphin) – diving into all her learing and particularly her maths work on fractions; Rudi (spider) making great links in his learning this week – connecting work in reading and science

Stroxworthy Class: Evie-Rose (bee) – working together with others when retelling the life of Cleopatra using drama, in small groups as part of our history learning on Ancient Egypt;  Jamie (dolphin) – diving into his story planning, creating ideas for the time travel based fiction writing in English

Alminstone Class: Bluebelle (owl) demonstrating her excellent knowledge of fractions, acting like and owl looking forwards and backwards in her learning journey to develop her understanding; Harley (dolphin) – diving into his learning and engaging in all subjects, working really hard

Ashmansworthy Class: Bailey (dolphin) – diving into his learning at Forest School this week; Alyssa (spider) – making links and connections whilst changing her ending to “The Lion and the Unicorn”

Monday Burscott Class and Sunflowers Forest School
Tuesday Falcons and Buzzards Classes – Tintagel Trip all day 

Ashmansworthy Class Forest School

Atlantic Racquet Centre tennis tuition for Cranford and Burscott Classes


Parkham: Easter Egg Hunt (am) with FOPS

Musical In A Day at Buckland Hall (2 children from each ACCT School)


Ashmansworthy Class – Final Swimming Session

Stroxworthy Class Forest School

Woolsery: Easter Egg Hunt (pm) with FOWS

end of Term: Schools reopen on Monday 25th April 2022

Mr Cole’s Work Pattern:

  Buckland Parkham Woolsery
Monday all day    
Tuesday   all day  
Wednesday morning morning afternoon
Thursday (Supporting Musical In a Day)    
Friday     all day

With best wishes,


Matt Cole, Headteacher

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