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St Helen's C E Primary School
Abbotsham, EX39 5AP Bideford
01237 475276

We are proud to be a Church of England School, and an integral part of our community.  There has been a school in Abbotsham since 1851 providing education for the children of the village.  In 1957 Abbotsham School amalgamated with the neighbouring parish school of Alwington, and St. Helen's became the school for both areas.  The current school building was opened in 2004. These days pupils come from a wide area as parents exercise their right to choose a school.

St. Helen’s School
exists to provide education in


a Christian environment,and recognises that each individual
is accepted and belongs, having
a place in God’s plan.
All children are


to learn love
for their neighbour



As a Voluntary Aided Church School we have a governing body with a majority of members appointed by the Church. They are called the ‘Foundation Governors’. As you can see from the list other bodies appoint governors too. As a body the governors are committed to seeking the best for your children.

Overall we help children to become competent, confident and self reliant individuals who can begin to manage their own lives and play their part in society. We have a happy school environment in which children learn that courtesy, good manners and consideration for others are important and valued qualities. We think of our school as a family - children, parents, staff, governors and friends - and we look forward to welcoming you


Family Categories.

The governors have to set priorities to decide which families should gain a place in this popular school. This is done by placing each child in a category from A to H as determined by Devon County Council.

Admissions for reception age pupils are dealt with centrally by Devon County Council.

Entry Age.

The Governors’ have adopted a once a year entrance policy for children coming into the Reception class. They all start in September and attend for timetabled, shorter sessions until they are settled.

We want to establish a working partnership with you and your child to enable your child to reach his or her full potential. We hope you will feel able to discuss matters with us which might affect your child's learning and we will always keep you fully informed of their progress at school.


The Educational Reform Act 1988 describes the Primary school as follows
Key Stage 1: Reception Age 5 Key Stage 2: Year 3 age 8
  Year 1 Age 6   Year 4 age 9
Year 2 Age 7 Year 5 age 10
  Year 6 age 11

(age is that attained during the school year 1 st Sept to 31 st August.)

We have to accommodate seven year groups of children within five classes, and so some cohorts have to be split. Through discussion, staff determine the children who will move: this is based on academic ability and social maturity.

At. St. Helen’s, the class arrangements are as follows:

Class 1

Reception and Year 1

Class 2

Year 1 and Year 2

Class 3

Year 3 and Year 4

Class 4

Year 4 and Year 5

Class 5

Year 5 and Year 6

Our teaching and learning complies with the National Curriculum requirements. The rolling programme of studies ensures the children have a wide and varied education, which is to ensure all children receive their full entitlement at Key Stage One and Two.

Click for Subjects


Our school is well resourced, with computers in every classroom. The library is regularly updated, and our development plan means that the curriculum is continually reviewed and improved.

Reading & Literacy

At St. Helen's School, we attach great importance to fostering a love of books and reading from an early age. Children will learn from a variety of reading schemes in the classroom and are encouraged to take home books to read with their parents. Parent helpers and teachers hear all children read during the week. Home - school links in reading are encouraged through our scheme of reading diaries, where parents and children can contribute and comment on a book they have read together during the week.

Special Needs

Our policy for Special Educational Needs is carefully co-ordinated to ensure all children achieve their potential. Individual programmes of work and special group sessions of extension activities are provided. Class teachers and the Special Needs Co-ordinator plan together to meet the requirements of the children in their care. Full details of this policy are available from the School Office.

After School Clubs

A variety of after school clubs are provided by parents and friends giving children the chance to join in sports, drama, and music. Football and netball teams compete locally.School also hosts some private music clubs and parents pay the professional teacher direct.

Art & Display

The classrooms reflect the efforts of the children in the display of work generated by the projects. Visitors to the school are able to see for themselves the hard work and high standards the children attain through their studies, and we believe the displays convey a positive message to the children that their work is valued. Parents are invited to assemblies, some in term time, and the end of term assemblies in Church, which are led by various year groups of children.

Educational Visits

We believe children develop and mature through our carefully planned programme of Educational Visits. These begin in the Early Years with day visits to places of interest, and progress to residential visits in the junior years. The visits are designed to add another dimension to projects under study and as a learning opportunity they are unique and valuable. Your support is greatly appreciated as only through your voluntary contributions can this important part of the curriculum take place.

From Reception year the children participate in residential visits. All children are invited to a ‘sleepover’ on site. Y2 and Y3 children have two nights each at Wembworthy in a re-modelled Victorian school in the centre of Eggesford Forest. Years 4 and 5 have a three night experience at Georgeham and finally, Y6 have the opportunity to visit France.

We have now established an ‘ Innovations Week’ in the late Summer term. Many of our ex-pupils return for work experience in Y10, and we also have a host of volunteers. A theme is picked in September and we spend a week on it, using all types of art and design. The first theme was ‘Hands and Feet’ – and this year it is ‘The Seaside’.


St. Helen's is a Church of England Voluntary Aided School and our policy on the teaching of RE is provided by the Diocese of Exeter. It is also necessary for the religious education element of the curriculum to be in accordance with the Trust Deed. The following extract is Devon's statement on R.E.:-

"....Religious Education is given in accordance with a syllabus agreed by the local Education Authority on recommendation of a standing Advisory Council and Syllabus Conference which includes representatives of various denominations of the Christian Church in Devon as well as representatives of the Authority and teaching profession. It is open to parents to request that their child is wholly or partly excluded from any activities involving R.E. at the school. Any such request should be made to the Head Teacher...."

We value and promote the teachings of Christianity so that the children will become caring citizens. We acknowledge and tell the children about the nature of the other major world religions. Our aim is to give children the knowledge and understanding they need to live in a multi-cultural society. An act of collective worship takes place every day.

We have a daily act of Worship in school, and regularly in Church. It can be as a whole school, within Key stages or as a class.

Our school life is centred upon our approach to these sessions. All are encouraged to participate as they progress through the school, and so develop a confidence that permeates their approach to life.

Parents may remove their child from worship sessions if they wish.

The whole community is included at St. Helen’s. The church, parents, senior citizens, come in to help at school and with extra curricular events such as the annual musical production.

primary schools in Bideford, secondary schools in Bideford, schools in Bideford

Editorial office:
tel. + 48 (094)