Woolsery Primary School

The original school of 1850, now called Parish House



1.08.79: Charity Westaway has not been able to attend school this week on account of sickness consequently I have had a severe week’s work the average attendance having been higher this week than at any other and having no one able to assist me. The Geography books having been supplied this week have rendered the teaching of that subject less labourious.

Sept 26th 1879 On Monday the school was resumed after the Harvest Holidays but as the harvest here is not yet half completed a great number of the children are kept home to assist. Many of the younger children are absent owing to a fatal occurrence of diphtheria taking place in the parish.

December 24th, 1880: Attendance has fallen off again this week – many children absenting themselves on Tuesday to attend the Christmas market at Bideford.

May 7th 1888: I received notice that the Schedule had arrived at the clerk’s office and went to get it as soon as possible. It is the most disappointing one I have ever received. Owing to bad attendance and sickness I did not expect the results to be so satisfactory as those of last year, but if some of the children had tried to do badly, they could hardly have succeeded better.

April 1st 1890: The school year closed yesterday and, on making up the Registers, I find the average attendance to be 52.8. This is the lowest I have had to record and is accounted for by the large amount of sickness prevailing throughout the last half of the year. 


23rd January 1891 – I have worked hard at problems with Standard 4 this week, but with little success, except in finding the cost of one article, or of a large number. I have also given special attention to numeration in Stds 2 and 3.

28.9.94 An extra week’s holiday had to be given as the painters and masons had not completed their work.

Photograph of about 1898

Top row: Oswald Hicks, Regina Stevens, Francis Boundy, Elison Brent, Mary Beckley, Mabel Delve, Maria Brent, Annie Glover. Second Row: Annie Rowe, Mary Bond, Emily Bond, Regina Beer, Florrie Prouse, May Hicks, Catherine Westaway, Frank Prouse. Front Row: Ernest Glover, Bill Hopper, Florrie Stevens, Bill Perkins, Dick Perkins, Bryant Brend, Catherine Burrow.


14th January 1908: An object lesson on sago was given in school today. I was astonished to find that the senior girls were actually ignorant as to how to make a sago pudding.

4.02.08: Today is a very fine day. There were 101 children present in the morning and 103 in the afternoon. Two girls have permission from GRR Routh Esq M.A. (HMI) to attend the laundry class held in the village on Friday afternoons.

15.07.10:  The attendance was very poor this week. Several of the boys were away helping with the hay harvest. The weather has been beautifully fine.

January 1911 – “The school did not reopen this morning because of the alterations being unfinished.” (The classroom on the front of the school had been added to accommodate a rising roll – the school didn’t finally re-open until March 14th and even then the new room wasn’t ready- it finally opened on June 1st).
Photograph of about 1903
Back Row: Blance Johns, John Boundy, Bertram Moore, Bert Prance, (unknown), Annie Perkins, Maria Johns, George Moore, Ernie Cole, Tom Perkins. Third Row: Carrie Bond, Maude Short, Jack Jewell, John Cann, Willie Cann, Annie Rowe, Florrie Cann, Lottie wade, Jack Johns, Walter Johns, Miss Barratt. Front Row: (unknown), George Perkins, (unknown), Jim Prance, (unknown), Stanley Moore, Ernie Cole, Bert Cole, (unknown), (unknown), Fred Wade
Photographs and transcriptions reproduced by kind permission of Matt Cole, Headteacher, Woolsery Primary School http://www.woolsery.devon.sch.uk/index.html
Further information may be found at the school archive website: http://www.woolsery.devon.sch.uk/archive/index.html