9th September 2022

I am sure you will join me in voicing our sadness at this evening’s news of the passing of Her Majesty The Queen. So soon after our wonderful Platinum Jubilee celebrations earlier in the year, there is an added poignancy with the announcement. From Friday and into next week, staff will be marking this moment with their classes in a sensitive and appropriate manner. If you have particular concerns about how your child might be handling the news (for example if they have recently experienced personal bereavement themselves) it would be very useful to let your child’s teacher know. Normal curriculum activities will, of course, continue through the period of National Mourning but we also have to mark this moment in our national history.

The content below was written before the news was released by Buckingham Palace:

Welcome Back!

It’s been lovely to see the schools get back into routine over this week and share the stories of exciting family time over the summer holidays. Thank you for sending your childrfen back so well prepared for the new term – everyone looked really smart and excited to be in their new classes! If you haven’t yet had time to label new items of clothing, please could I ask you do that over this weekend. Although our uniform items are the cheapest we can get them, it’s still a lot of money for you to find when items go missing and naming your child’s clothes really helps us get lost property back to its owner. Thanks.

This term we welcome two new members of staff to the Partnership: at Woolsery, Ms Jo Richardson has joined the team, teaching Ashmansworthy Class and Mrs Dani Smith joins Goldworthy Class in Parkham as Mr Marks’ teaching assistant. In addition to these “new” posts, some existing staff have changed their roles: Mr Davies, who was a class teacher in Woolsery is now delivering PE and Leadership Time release in Buckland Brewer and Woolsery and Mrs Dobson, who also taught at Woolsery is undertaking a similar role delivering art. Mr Berry, who has been teaching assistant in Parkham is now broadening his maths support work across the Partnership and Mrs Beth Piper, who taught at Buckland Brewer before going on maternity leave returns to the staff two days per week giving early language support in Orleigh, Foxdown and Cranford classes.

New Website

Over the summer break, we successfully made the transition to our new Partnership website. Information about your child’s school can now be found at www.villageschools.org.uk and please remember email addresses have been updated across the federation.

For parents who were already receiving notifications via the School Jotter app last year, you now need to go into the app and select Change School (the bottom option on the menu). From here you need to choose “Village Schools Partnership” as the Flying Start site is now switched off.

If you’ve not already downloaded the app (if you’re new to the Partnership or have children at Woolsery who are just coming on board with School Jotter), you need to download School Jotter 2 from your app store. If you see more than one version, please make sure it’s Version 2, which is the green pencil icon. Once installed, you also need to select “Village Schools Partnership” as your school name.

Once you’re set up with Village Schools Partnership on the app (whether a first-time install or changing from last year’s setup) you need to go to Settings > Notices and select which classes and schools you wish to receive notifications from. As a default, you will receive every notification for all three schools and all twelve classes (!!), so it’s best to select the ones that will be useful for you! I’d suggest you sign up to your child’s “whole school” notifications, “Village Schools Partnership – everyone” and your child’s new class(es). You will then start to receive messages from your childs class teacher and from our office staff about events coming up and reminders for things like home learning, trips etc.

Ms Peter

We are thrilled to announce that Ms Peter, who is Head of Learning at Buckland Brewer school and class teacher for Gorwood Class, is expecting twins around Christmas time. I know some parents probably spotted that towards the end of last term, but Ms Peter is now ready to go public with her happy news. Whilst I know you will want to join us with congratulating Ms Peter, I do know that this will also be a source of some anxiety, particularly if your child is in Gorwood Class. Please be assured we will be advertising in the next week or so for a maternity cover post to take on Ms Peter’s class responsibilities from Christmas. We will  be advertising early so we have time to re-advertise if a suitable candidate isn’t found at the first time of asking; we know how important it is to get the right person for the class and the school. As soon as we know who will be the Gorwood Class Teacher for the remainder of the year, I will of course let you know.


It will soon be time for the children to mark Harvest in their respecitve parish churches. As usual, each class will be preparing a contribution to the service and parents, friends and the wider community are welcoem to join us. Once the new School Voice (school council) groups are elected they will  choose which charity each school wishes to support and will write to you so you know whether we’re looking for cash donations or things like tins and packets.

Harvest Celebrations are as follows:

  • Buckland Brewer Thursday 29th September, 1.30pm in the Parish Church
  • Parkham Thursday 6th October, 1.30pm in the Parish Church
  • Woolsery Thursday 6th October, 10:00am in the Parish Church

Fire System Upgrade

We’re really pleased that over the summer break, substantial work has been carried out at Woolsery to replace the 1980’s fire alarm system. This was funded wholly by Devon County Council and has given the school comprehensive fire and smoke detection in every room, cupboard and loft area. When we hold our first fire drills of the term next week, children will notice that the alarm sound is now a siren rather than the old-style bells. If your child is likely to be upset by this unfamiliar sound, please could you talk to them about this change over the weekend? Thanks.

Forest School For All!

We’re really happy that Forest School sessions will now take place in all three schools throughout the year. The Forest School at Woolsery was established in 2008 and Parkham’s PTA (FOPS) worked hard throughout last year to create a forest school area for their children. Buckland Brewer will also have their own area as well and Mrs Louise Grout, who is a qualified Forest School Leader, will be delivering sessions this half term on the following days. We will provide waterproofs and all equipment (we will be out in almost all weathers!) but if your child could bring wellington boots to school on their Forest School day, that would be fantastic.

Sessions will last around 1.5 to 2 hours. We will be relying on adult help for the sessions to run uiun all three schools so if you’re interested in volunteering for half term blocks, please get in touch with Louise on lgrout@villageschools.org.uk. You don’t have to volunteer for sessions when your own child is taking part (although you’re welcome to!).

Louise will also be running a Parents’ Forest School session on Thursday 13th October in Woolsery’s Forest School for anyone who wants to know more about what their child will experience, or are maybe thinking about volunteering. The session will run from 9:30 to 11am and more details will be sent out nearer the time.

Autumn Half Term 1 morning afternoon
Monday Cranford Class
Tuesday Ashmansworthy Class
Wednesday Gorwood Class Goldworthy Class
Thursday Alminstone Class

Music Lessons

If you are interested in your child having private music lessons within school time, please contact your child’s school office and they will put you in touch with our peripatetic music teacher team. We offer a wide range of instrumental tuition and, in most cases, can offer a tryout lesson before you commit to signing up. Lessons take place within school time at the school. We currently offer the following intruments: Drum Kit (Woolsery only), Guitar, Piano, Keyboard, Cornet, Trumpet, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone.


The Friends of Parkham Primary School (FOPPS) will be holding their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Monday 19th September at 2pm in the Allardice Hall. All parents of children who attend Parkham Primary are welcome to attend and hear about the success of the PTA’s work this year. There is no obligation to join the committee, but in order to be a strong fundraising and social group, we need new members, so please consider lending your support if you can. Thanks. [EDIT: this date may change if Monday 19th is chosen to be the day of the late Queen’s State Funeral]

Life Education Visits

Next week, staff from Coram Life Education, who publish and resource our PSHE “SCARF” curriculum, will be visiting Woolsery for lessons in each class. This will be split over one and a half days and I am sure your children will come home with chatter about how the session went, and the antics of Harold the Giraffe.

Life Education are booked in for the rest of the Partnership later in the term and we’ll look forward to welcoming them back then.

Drop Off-Drop In cafe is back

After a long break due to Covid and other factors, we’re really pleased that the Friday morning opportunity for parents to drop in for a cup of coffee and cake will restart next Friday at Woolsery. It’s a great time to catch up with other parents and is free of charge. Please come in to the hall once the children have gone into classes on Friday mornings. Huge thanks to Rachel Coles and FOWS for restarting this initiative – we know how much it was valued by parents before.


Well done to everyone who’s had a fabulous start to the school year with the very first Headteacher Awards this term! For those of you who are new to the aschool, Headteacher Awards are given out each week to children who have displayed great development in their learning behaviours, which in our schools is represented by the following animals:

Orleigh Class: Orleigh class for settling in so well and learning our class rules and expectations; Leo (tortoise): for showing great resilience coming into school and diving into his learning as he stays the whole day; Esme (bee): for being kind and helpful and working together with her friends.

Tythecott Class: Jacob (dolphin) – absolutely brilliant attitude to his learning, diving in with great enthusiasm to everything! Eliza (dolphin) – starting with us this week and she is a star!! Brilliant enthusiasm and engagement in everything she has been asked to do.

Gorwood Class: Charlotte (dolphin) Having confidence to share ideas with the class on her first day; Aubri (bee) Settling well into Gorwood class and helping others settle in too. Jayden (owl) – Showing great independence in his learning and using his learning for last year.

Foxdown Class: Foxdown Class (dolphins) – Foxdown have had a fantastic first week! We have dived into our learning, focussing on how we learn well by ourselves and as a class.

Melbury Class: Jaxon (tortoise) –  Jaxon has shown resilience with his writing this week and worked hard to form his letters correctly; Odin (dolphin) –  Odin has dived into his learning this week and worked really hard in all his lessons.

Goldworthy Class: Riley (dolphin) – being very engaged in your learning in the classroom. You have shown a desire and drive for learning more independently; Ruby (tortoise) – being resilient when things can be tricky and not giving up (coming back to it and giving it another go).

Sunflowers & Cranford: to follow

Burscott Class: Oscar (tortoise) – settling in really well to Burscott Class this week; Lily (tortoise) – settling in really well to Burscott Class this week

Stroxworthy Class: Logan  (bee) – working together by caring for and supporting our new class members; Hugo (tortoise) – being resilient during a very successful first week in Stroxworthy Class.

Alminstone Class: Tegan (spider) – making links and connections within her maths this week; Kobe (dolphin) – diving into his learning in his first week at our school

Ashmansworthy Class: Dolly (bee) – working together with new classmates to make the most of her first week in Ashmansworthy Class; Leo (dolphin) – asking lots of brilliant questions about his learning and his new school.



Life Education Visit (Woolsery)

Cranford Class Forest School begins

Full Governors’ Meeting 6pm at Woolsery


Life Education Visit (Woolsery)

Mrs Farmer out all day – Safeguarding. Mrs Nisbet teaching

ARC Tennis for Stroxworthy and Burscott Classes

Ashmansworthy Class Forest School begins


Melbury and Tythecott Classes visit to Great Torrington

Goldworthy Class Forest School begins

Mrs Farmer out all day – Safeguarding. Mrs Nisbet teaching

Mrs Kersey out all day. Mr Davies/Mrs Macleod teaching


Mrs Kersey out all day, Mrs Macleod teaching

ARC Tennis for Melbury and Goldworthy Classes


ARC Tennis for Orleigh Class

Art Day at Woolsery

Mr Cole’s planned schedule

Monday all day
Tuesday all day
Wednesday all day
Thursday afternoon morning
Friday morning afternoon afternoon


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