Newsletter: 25th November 2022

Children In Need Thanks

Wow! what a day we had on Friday, with some fabulous dressing up, a super skip-a-thon at Parkham and cookie decorating (and eating) at Woolsery.

I am delighted to say that across all three schools, you donated just under £500 to this amazing charity which funds a myriad of projects supporting children up and down the country.

The school breakdown is as follows:

  • Buckland Brewer: £59.00
  • Parkham: £301.61
  • Woolsery: £123.60


As the normal round of winter bugs starts to take hold, it may seem like a strange time for me to be writing about attendance. However, we’ve now been back at school long enough this year ot begin to get a sense of where attendance rates are sitting across the Partnership. Devon County Council have set an attendance target of 97% in each school which is quite a challenge but one we’ll certainly do our best to meet in the Summer.

Attendance is, of course, really important: your child needs to be in school in order to learn, keep closing those post-Covid gaps and to maintain their social relationships with their friends. Please think very carefully before deciding to keep your child at home – I know where there is vomiting or diarrhoea there’s a mandatory 48 hours’ absence from school but in many other cases of illness, it might well be that your child can get through the day just as well in school as they would if they were at home. If they really aren’t managing we’ll contact you to let you know.

Current Attendance Rates (up to last Friday) are as follows:

Buckland Brewer:

Orleigh Class 97.3% highest in Partnership, and at Buckland
Tythecott Class 91.6% lowest in Partnership, and at Buckland
Gorwood Class 94.1%
Whole School 94.2% lowest school

number of children with attendance below 90% = 14 (25% of the roll)


Foxdown Class 95.3%
Melbury Class 95.5% highest at Parkham
Goldworthy Class 94.4% lowest at Parkham
Whole School 95.0% highest school

number of children with attendance below 90% = 9 (16% of the roll)


Cranford Class 93.0% lowest at Woolsery
Burscott Class 95.5%
Stroxworthy Class 94.8%
Alminstone Class 95.6% highest at Woolsery
Ashmansworthy Class 95.2%
Whole School 94.9%

number of children with attendance below 90% = 20 (16% of the roll)

So, well done to Orleigh class for having the best attendance rate across the Village Schools Partnership, and being the only class to already be meeting Devon’s attendance target!

Mrs Davis, our Attendance Officer, will be issuing letters to families with low attendance rates in the coming week. If you receive on of these letters, please do everything you can to improve your child’s attendance rate so they aren’t missing out on their learning time any more than is absolutely necessary. Thanks.

Professional Development Opportunities

One of the attractions of forming our Partnership from a staff point of view has always been to be able to share expertise and experience beyond each individual school. Now that the Partnership, which is only a term-and-a-half old has settled down, we very much want to give staff the opportunity to work with colleagues in different settings so that practice across all our communities is the very best it can be.

I am really pleased to be able to say that next week, for one week only, Mrs Andrea Powe at Buckland Brewer and Mrs Hayley Harding at Woolsery will be swapping schools to see how our settings are different and how they are the same. I would like to emphasise that this is not with a view to changing staff in the long term, but it is an excellent way of keeping skills fresh and sharing great ideas, making our three schools even stronger. We very much hope to give other staff members the opportunity to do this in the coming months. I know that parents and children at Buckland and at Woolsery will make their visiting member of staff vey welcome!

Christmas Fair

Just a reminder that Parkham School have their Christmas Fair from 6 to 8pm next Friday…


Christingle Service on Sunday 4th December at 9.30am in All Hallows, Woolsery: Familiar carols will be sung, ready made Christingles will be shared and refreshments will be served after the service. All welcome.

Holidays Activity & Food Programme


Well done to eveyone who was presented with a Headteacher’s Award today in recognition of developing their positive learning behaviours which are represented by our six Learning Animals:

Orleigh: Sophia (dolphin)- for being enthusiastic to use her new phonics knowledge in all areas of her play, from writing an ingredients list to cook in the home corner to adding labels to her drawings; Freya (tortoisefor being resilient and trying hard to plan her story and write it with a beginning, middle and end independently.

Tythecott: Jacob (tortoise) – Fantastic resilience in writing your non fiction information this week, great effort Jacob; Connie (cat) – Excellent maths work at home this week, well done for being a curious cat.

Gorwood: Tommy (turtle) for being resilient in his maths and diving deeper into his learning; Oscar (cat) for being curious and asking questions particularly in reading when he was clarifying and making sense of the text

Foxdown: Magnus (spider) – Magnus enjoyed using a part-whole model to find the answers to subtractions. He also made the connection that he could use a number line to  find the answer too!; Darcey (dolphin) – After enjoying the story of Rosie’s walk, Darcey was able to make her own map to retell the story. She used positional language she has been learnin

Melbury: Odin (cat) – Odin has been asking lots of questions in Science to help solve our science investigation and “crime”; Olivia (dolphin) –  Olivia has dived into her learning and planned an excellent piece of writing imagining how a clock might work.

Goldworthy:  Roman (dolphin) for enthusiastically diving into his learning and thinking carefully about what to record in his science book; Molly (cat) for showing great curiosity through her learning.

Sunflowers: Heidi – Recognising a pattern during maths; Tristan – Sitting beautifully at carpet time and joining in with songs and rhymes

Cranford: Elowen (tortoise) – for always trying so hard when things are tricky; Grace (dolphin) – for working hard on subtraction this week.  You really tried hard to understand it.

Burscott: Freddie (tortoise) – fantastic problem solving in Forest School; Rogan (dolphin) – super progress in all his written work

Stroxworthy: Archie (tortoise) – for being resilient and trying his best with multiplication and asking for help when he is struggling; Jacob (bee) – for working together during our Real Gym session and always supporting his friends with encouragement.

Alminstone: Beatrice (dolphin) – for diving into her writing by using exciting vocabulary in her elicitation poem; Jamie (tortoise) – for being resilient and improving his reading to make excellent progress. Keep it up!

Ashmansworthy: Lola (dolphin) –  for applying herself calmly and conscientiously to all her learning; Connie (spider) – for showing super creativity and imagination in writing

Monday Governors’ Meeting 6pm at Parkham
Wednesday Mr Cole out (pm)
Friday Parkham School Christmas Fair 6-8pm

Mr Cole’s planned schedule

Monday All Day
Tuesday All day
Wednesday Morning
Thursday All Day
Friday Morning Afternoon Afternoon

with best wishes,

Mr Cole


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