Slade Lane, Abbotskerswell, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 5NS
Dear Parents and Visitors,
Welcome to Abbotskerswell Primary School.
Our philosophy is fostered on creating a school where children and adults can be happy, respectful, responsible and successful. As a community primary school we are very keen to provide children with a well-rounded education that will help prepare them for the wider world. All staff members take an active part in helping achieve this.
We are a small school at the heart of the village community where we have strong links and long-standing relationships going back to 1875 when the school was originally built. You will find that many of the current children’s parents, and some of the staff, used to attend the school when they were younger and in our entrance foyer you can find trophies engraved with some of their names, going back to 1973.
(See History of our School under Information for more detail and stories about the past.)
We have four classes. Megan Wilson teaches Puffin Class for our Reception and some Year 1s. Graham Lawrence teaches Robin Class with our Year 1 and Year 2. Helen Gill and our Special Educational Needs Coordinator, Lisa Walsh, teach Swift Class with our Year 3 and Year 4. Ann Williams and Lyndsey Kerswell teach Kingfisher Class with Year 5 and Year 6.
The children are divided into four houses (Priory House, St Mary’s House, Carsewell House and Henley House), chosen by the Student Council to reinforce our links with the local community. These houses are used to foster a sense of team work and healthy competition which support our positive behaviour policy. Children earn points for themselves and their house which translate into exciting trips, extra activities chosen by themselves and even vouchers provided by our excellent PTFA.
Pupils have a history of achieving well. Attainment at the end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 has almost always been higher than the average for other schools; sometimes significantly so.
As well as providing children with the best possible start for their secondary school journey, we also provide an excellent start to school life in the early years. Our five year olds make excellent progress and set the bar high for future achievement.
In July 2017 we were proud to achieve the Devon Inclusion Award at the highest grade possible: Enhanced. This is external recognition for the high quality inclusive education that we offer for all children.
The school has always provided a large range of extra activities and enrichment to the curriculum. For example, visiting specialists have taught various areas such as Lego Robotics, Handball and engaging Maths activities to stimulate thinking. The school council has visited the Houses of Parliament to support their work in improving the local Newton Abbot area. Adventurous types have participated in the Exmoor Challenge and others have taken part in Science, Creative Writing, Maths Challenges and the record breaking sign to sing.
The oldest children (those in Year 6) work hard in their final year to leave a positive legacy at the school. To facilitate this, they work on a Year 6 Leavers Award that includes a range of categories – Wider Community, School Community, Academic, Environment, Adventure / Personal Challenge, Legacy and Creative. Within these areas, the children earn points for different activities and at the end receive either a gold, silver or bronze award complete with a special leavers’ book of memories and photos.
The school has a strong tradition of performing arts with innovative music performance, choir singing and fully fledged amateur shows. For example, we staged a ‘Letter to the Trenches’ play for the village community. As well as live acting, it interspersed a professional film produced, directed and acted in by the older children as part of their literacy work. The anti-war themes resonated strongly with visitors, many of whom were moved to tears.
With the introduction of the new curriculum in September 2014, we are still working hard with the higher expectations to ensure our curriculum is engaging to help promote knowledge and progress. See Curriculum for more detail.
In addition to a Breakfast and After School Club to help working parents, there are a variety of creative, academic and sporting clubs that children can access. These include multi-skills, football, maths, history, computer programming and gardening. Competitions are also on offer – some that run between houses (such as an Apprentice Challenge to see who can come up with the best business and termly sporting events) and some that run between other small schools. Even as a small school we have examples of big sporting success such as when our golfers made it to the Devon finals.
Governors play a significant role in the success of the school. They bring important areas of expertise that helps to challenge and support us on our continuing journey. Our Chair of Governors, Catherine Denning, tells you more in the Governors section.
We are also supported by an excellent and very active PTFA who raise a lot of money for the school. Clair Tucker is the Chair of the PTFA and you can find out more about their work on the PTFA section. Raising money for new computing equipment is their current project. We have a state of the art interactive new screen in our Robin class this year and if it works well in supporting learning we will be investing in more as the funds are raised.
We are able to offer many exciting opportunities for the children because of our wonderful parents. Over the summer holidays, for example, a small army of parents built a Nature School which is set to enhance our curriculum this year.
We are very lucky to have a talented group of teachers and support staff who are motivated and like to make things happen. You can find out more detail about our Staffing Structure in the Staff section.
This is a happy place to be able to work and learn. If you would like more information or to have a look around, please feel free to make an appointment with the office.
For the most up to date information about our school please read the weekly messages from our Headteacher Mr Tim Hughes:
We take safeguarding seriously at Abbotskerswell Primary School. If you visit our school please take time to read the safeguarding information that comes with your visitor badge. To read our policy or to find out more information please view our safeguarding page:
Please visit the information page to access the full list of links to relevant documents, information and policies:
Quick links to some of the key information pages:
Find out about our amazing Hare & Tortoise event that is taking place at the moment!