National expert guides primary school before big move

AN EDUCATION expert has been helping a Somerset primary school to improve its Ofsted results before it settles into a new �4.6million campus.

National Leader of Education Claire Axten, is visiting Churchfield Primary School, in Burnham Road, regularly to support the headteacher and staff, review lessons and become involved in the appointment of new teachers.

The 458 pupils of the school are currently housed in the former St John’s Junior School, also in Burnham Road, and nine other classrooms in temporary buildings there.

Work on developing the former Beechfield Infant School site into the new primary school is due to finish in September. The infant and junior schools were merged in September 2010 and in a recent Ofsted report the school is praised for the pupils’ behaviour and attitude despite the large number in a relatively small space.

The inspection has resulted in the school being placed in special measures and Mrs Axten’s visits are part of the improvement process. Headteacher Wendy Nelder said merging two schools has produced some difficulty but the focus is on the pupils’ education.

She said: “We are already addressing the Ofsted findings. We are focusing on the children’s education and Claire Axten has certainly been making a difference with her input. Bringing two schools together has presented some difficulties but moving to the new site in September will have a positive effect on everyone here, and put the memory of being an overcrowded school in temporary buildings firmly behind us.”

Somerset County Council’s cabinet member for schools John Osman said: “The Ofsted inspection has given a clear indication of how Churchfield School can improve, and the council has been supporting the school since it was created 18 months ago. There is a determination for Churchfield School to become known for quality, and I’m sure we will see that once it occupies its new site.”

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