Headteacher’s article for Stonesfield Slate: July 2021

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The end of an academic year is a great time to reflect (and recharge!) and I am delighted to say that Stonesfield Primary School has gone from strength to strength during the last year. Despite the challenges and pitfalls COVID-19 has thrown at us, our resilient staff have improved our curriculum and refined the teaching of English and maths. We are proud to see that this has reflected in the high standards achieved by our children, particularly our year 6 leavers. Our pupils never fail to amaze us and in recent weeks they have reached the Science Oxford grand final, earned Junior Forester Awards and completed Level 3 cycle training (meaning our leaving Year 6s have the skills and confidence to cycle to Marlborough School through the grounds of Blenheim estate).

Our recent parent survey highlighted extremely positive views from parents who recognised the higher academic expectations and improvement in teaching. Parents said that their children are happy and safe in a warm, nurturing inclusive environment. One parent summed up The Stonesfield Way perfectly: ‘A good balance between academic rigour and outdoor activities. The teachers are friendly and encouraging and know their pupils well. All my children are excited and keen to go to school every day.’

Unfortunately, having avoided any positive COVID-19 cases since March 2020, the term ended with three pupils testing positive and two classes having to self-isolate. Plans had to change at the last minute: no transition sessions for our new starters; no parents in for Sports Day and Leavers Assembly; frantic farewells as staff and children realised that self-isolation would take them into the summer holidays. Please look after yourselves and our village community over the summer – it is vital for our children to return to normality in September.

Finally I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has marched down The Stonesfield Way this year and contributed to making Stonesfield Primary School such a brilliant place for children to learn and thrive: staff, pupils, parents, governors, our external partners, and our army of volunteers.

Have a lovely summer.

Ben Trevail