Offwell School is a Church of England Primary School. We are situated in the heart of Offwell Village only a few miles from the busy market town of Honiton. We are fortunate to be in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty close to lovely countryside.
We currently have about 75 children on the roll and they come from: the village itself, several neighbouring villages, Honiton and further afield.
We also welcome children from the term they turn 3 years into our Foundation Stage Unit.
The original school building dates back to 1840 and we have sympathetically extended this to include an office area. At the back of school are two further classrooms and our final class is housed in the church hall. The buildings are all on one site with 3 play areas, a meadow, paved garden area and outside classroom for Foundation children. We also use the local Village Hall and playing field which are just up the road. We are glad to be regular visitors to the village church, St Mary’s, opposite the school.
The current class structure is:
- Pre-School and Reception – Mrs S Hunt
- Year 1 and Year 2 – Mr Thomas (Senior Teacher)
- Year 3 and Year 4 – Miss C Kirkland
- Year 5 and Year 6 – Miss Phillips
All classes are well supported by experienced Teaching Assistants.
We are proud of our school’s Christian ethos which is illustrated in our five core values: Sharing, Caring, Honesty, Loyalty, Forgiveness. These values were voted for by the children and they all take pride in them.
A number of extra-curricular activities are available. We offer a weekly after school Sports Club. Lunch time clubs may include; football, running, choir, art. In addition to the clubs we also have WASP (Welcome to After School Provision) which currently runs four times a week from the end of the school day to 5.30pm. Activities include cookery, football skills, craft or just fun! All the clubs and WASP are run either by the teachers, teaching assistants or a governor.
There is a PTFA (Parent, Teacher and Friends Association) which actively fundraises on behalf of the school by organising a wide range of activities: disco, ceilidh and quiz nights.
As a school we place great emphasis on widening a child’s horizons to which end there are peripatetic music tutors who offer tuition in a variety of instruments (saxophone, violin, guitar, recorder, piano) at a reasonable charge. The children also undertake suitable educational visits taking part in singing activities, Humanities, Life Skills, Maths Enrichment and visits linked to their current curriculum topic. Every year there is a residential trip for the Year 5 and Year 6 children.
Offwell School has a long history, a vibrant present and a bright future. All our children are encouraged to have self-discipline, to care for others, to enjoy life to the full, to be courteous and punctual, friendly and open. To ensure children develop these attributes we feel school should be a lively and happy place with good discipline and clear structure, where care and love is shown, where children feel secure enough to question and think for themselves and where they can work hard and have fun. Every member of the school is part of a team and is truly valued.
School Highlights 2023
January – Youth Speaks
Throughout 2023 Years 4, 5 and 6 took part in public speaking team events as part of ‘Youth Speaks’, the first since the pandemic. All teams performed excellently and to everyone’s delight the Year 6 team came first with their chosen subject ‘Plastic Pollution in the Oceans’.
February – PTFA Star Gazing Event
It was a clear night and the children enjoyed telescope and star crafts, star stories in the cosy corner, toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate. Revd. Jeremy and other Offwell residents brought their telescopes for the children to use. Simon Ould from Space Odyssey helped everyone navigate the night skies and understand that stargazing is looking back in time.
March – Choral Singing at Exeter Cathedral
In March five East Devon schools, including Offwell, performed together with the Exeter Choristers at Exeter Cathedral. Fifteen Year 5 and Year 6 children also performed their song (a mix of Blinded/I Am Light by Stormzy/India Arle) before a packed Cathedral audience which included parents, carers, relatives and friends. All the staff felt very proud of the resilience and confidence displayed by all the children.
March/April – Easter Egg display in St. Mary’s Church
The egg is a symbol of new life and throughout history people across the world have given each other eggs at spring festivals to mark the seasons. During the Spring Term and Easter school holidays an artwork display of brilliantly coloured eggs by Offwell school children was on view in St. Mary’s Church, together with egg facts and traditions researched by the children themselves.
May/June – Coronation of Charles III
Before the Easter holidays the children in Oak Class also began their research into the history of the Coronation ceremony of King Charles III. When the children returned after the Easter break they had only two weeks to complete their Coronation display which was on view during June in St. Mary’s Church. Oak Class were inspired by being shown three pieces of memorabilia from Queen Elizabeth II’s crowning in 1953. One was a miniature replica of the Coronation Spoon, used to anoint the new monarch with holy oil; another was a copy of the order of service for the ceremony and finally a model of the Coronation Chair, made by order of Edward I and brought to Westminster Abbey in 1296.
July – Torbay & Devon Civic Awards
In July eleven Year 6 children celebrated the successful completion of their year-long work towards the Torbay & Devon Civic Award.
Participants needed to complete activities in seven areas including Active Citizenship in the school and local community; physical and non-physical hobbies; attending a school residential; supporting their chosen charity (which ranged from Devon Air Ambulance to Tiny Tickers) and making a Pledge to the Planet, a song and video that was played at the Awards Ceremony, much to the delight of the children.
July – 500 Word Writing Competition
This year saw the introduction of a new writing competition for KS2 children. There were 13 entrants with the winner and runner up receiving a £50 and £20 Waterstone’s Gift Card. A full appraisal of the winning entrants and those highly commended can be found on the school newsletter for 21st July 2023.
July/August – Oak Class make their own medieval stained glass
Following their success with King Charles III Coronation display Oak Class turned their attention this summer to learning about the history of medieval church stained glass windows and producing their own facsimilies. The children were inspired by the medieval window in the south wall of the Chancel at St. Mary’s which contains fragments of ancient stained glass from the 14th century.
The stained glass exhibition remained on view at St. Mary’s over the summer holidays.