Cerne Abbas First School is a Church of England Voluntary Controlled First School, situated in the village of Cerne Abbas, in the heart of the Cerne Valley of West Dorset. The school serves a wide rural community, which includes Cerne Abbas itself and the neighbouring parishes of Up Cerne, Minterne Magna, Nether Cerne and Godmanstone, as well as several other smaller local villages.
Built in 1844, the village school is believed to be the oldest in Dorset. Today, it is a bright and well-maintained, three-classroomed Victorian school of banded flint and stone, with a hall, offices, staff room and secure playground. With just some 24 boys and 27 girls between the ages of 4-9 years old on roll (as at: 1st November, 2006), pupils come from a broad cross section of local families and all speak English as their first language. The school is a church school and encourages Christian values of respect, caring and sharing in all we do. Prayers and assemblies are a normal part of our school life.
Please Note: To find our location, use the interactive Google™ Map below. The zoom (closer) control is activated by clicking on the "+" sign. By using your cursor, the map can be "dragged" up or down, left or right.
The School Governing Body
The school's governing body is comprised almost entirely of people from the immediate local community and works in partnership with the Headteacher and staff. It is the agency through which the school is accountable to the local authority. Cerne Abbas First School is fortunate to have an extremely committed, supportive and active governing body.
School Governors are mostly unpaid volunteers. Members represent different interests, viz: the local authority, the church, the parents, the teachers and the community. They are ordinary people with careers of their own and not educationalists, but their responsibilities as governors are quite considerable. The governors are, among other things, responsible for:
• how the school uses its money;
• for the character of its individual curriculum and organisation;
• for the choice of staff;
• ensuring that the school gives parents the information they are entitled to by law; and
• for ensuring fairness to individual pupils and staff in certain kinds of dispute.
Governors need to be supporters of the school, ambassadors, interpreters and critical friends. They take an active interest in the day to day life of the school and make regular visits to the classrooms to learn more about how it operates and to support the staff.
Cerne Abbas is a delightful village, tucked into the folds of rolling downland in one of the most beautiful parts of rural West Dorset. Steeped in history, the village is famous for its 180ft giant carved into nearby Trendle Hill, as well as for the Benedictine Abbey ruins dating back to 987AD, plus a wealth of picturesque, period buildings, including the beautiful parish church of St. Mary's.
Extensive community involvement draws on local talents for the benefit of pupils and ensures that the school is at the heart of, and actively involved in, village life. For example, pupils join in village country dancing events and races on Pancake Day. As well as attending school events, such as the Summer Fete, members of the local community (as well as parents) can also be found giving of their time as voluntary helpers within our classrooms.
Photograph Copyright © John Allen. Reproduced with kind permission.