Weston primary schools collaborate to ‘move forward’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 October 2017

Children from the six schools swapped the clasroom for the beach. Picture: Sheridan Robins

Children from the six schools swapped the clasroom for the beach. Picture: Sheridan Robins

Sheridan Robins

Six Weston schools have officially joined forces to become an academy network – and they celebrated in style with a fun day at the Tropicana.

More than 1,800 children from Bournville, Locking, Oldmixon, Milton Park, Walliscote and Windwhistle primary schools took part in activities including sandcastle building, sports on the beach and an exciting performance from Dizzy O’Dare – also known as the man inside the balloon.

Despite the event running over the past couple of years, this one was slightly more poignant as it marked the official joining of the six schools under the Extend Learning Academies Network.

MORE: Read more about the MAT here.

This means the schools are working together and are overseen by the network’s chief executive, former Bournville Primary School headteacher Adam Matthews.

He told the Mercury he is honoured to have taken on the role and his plans are to treat the schools as individuals as he says one size does not fit all when it comes to education.

He said: “It is the way things are moving. This is about six schools, which have the same aims, moving forward together.

“We have excellent schools in North Somerset and we all work together anyway, so this is a positive development. I want this to give teachers more time to teach and take the pressure off them doing so much admin – this includes headteachers.

“This is not about every school working the same way, as that does not achieve excellence, it is about what works for that school and making sure it is done in the very best way.”

Children from all of the schools were encouraged to get to know each other and enjoy a day away from the classroom and Mr Matthews is hoping to be able to organise more trips with multiple schools.

He added: “This trip is what it is all about and it is what I love about this job – seeing all the children.

“This is a learning curve for everyone and I now need to learn how to be a chief executive.

“But bringing them together is something I want to do more of. However, I am not sure we will be able to do it with all 1,800 of them very often.

“This is all about progression and we know it is not going to happen overnight. But I think this is going to be the best thing we ever did.”

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