As I come to the end of my first year at Ashwell I am delighted to be able to share with you some of the exciting things that have been happening around school. It has certainly been a time of change at the school and it has been wonderful to see how positively the community has embraced these changes.
Ashwell Primary School continues to be a happy, nurturing school where everyone is made to feel welcome and we are fortunate to have a fantastic team of dedicated staff, supportive parents/carers and governors, as well as being an integral part of the village and the local community. The children are at the heart of everything we do and we work closely in partnership with the other local schools, nurseries and playgroups.
The summer term 2017 saw the completion of phase 2 of our outside development. Thanks to funding from the Henry Colbron Trust, we have been able to continue to transform the outside space for our children. Following on from the opening of the multi-use games area in November last year, the children now have use of a new extensive climbing frame, hiding dens, a hobbit house and an outdoor classroom, all of which are based on a fantastic artificial grass and rubber mulch area, enabling them to be used all year round. In addition to the extra play space that it provides, it also encourages the children’s physical development which is so essential at this stage of their lives.
To complement the recent improvements to our outside space we recently applied to the Tesco ‘Bags of Help for local projects’ funding scheme. A huge thank you to anyone who popped a token into our bid in Tesco’s. We were awarded £5,000 to install a Wildlife and Nature Garden on a section of our meadow. This has provided a contrasting space for our children to spend their breaks peacefully, relaxing and socialising with their friends. We have also planted over 100 trees and shrubs around the meadow, which we had obtained from the Woodland Trust.
At the end of the summer term the school said thank you and goodbye to two of our long standing governors. Mr Peter Chapman and Mr David Short have given a great deal of time to the school over many years. As Chair and Vice Chair, they have led the school through many changes. I want to thank them for their time, hard work and dedication.
Many of you who have passed the school since the summer will have seen the extensive building work that has been taking place. We are currently in the process of having the roofing, windows and doors replaced. This is essential and long overdue maintaince. We hope that it will be completed early in 2018.
It was delightful to be able to celebrate the harvest as a whole school in the church again this year. Coming together as a whole school community is a special time and being able to visit our local church really makes this occasion special. It is a fantastic opportunity for the children to be able to reflect and think about how fortunate they are while also doing their little bit to help others who are less fortunate.
Finally I would like to thank everyone for making my first year of headship so enjoyable. Finding out about the local community through the huge number of events that take place has been a wonderful experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed the spending time at Ashwell at Home and the Ashwell Show. I am also proud to be part of Ashwell School and the education and experiences that we are able to provide for our children. None of this would be possible without the support, enthusiasm and dedication of the hardworking staff, governors and parents/carers as well as the children. I also look forward to ensuring that the school continues to play a central part in the life of the village in the months and years to come.
Simon England, Headteacher