Cheselbourne Village School.
Cheselbourne Village School is situated in an attractive rural setting in Dorset, close to Dorchester. It is much smaller than other primary schools, with 46 pupils between the ages of 4-9 years old on roll, from the Reception Class to Year 4. Pupils come from a wide area of local villages and from a breadth of different backgrounds and all speak English as their first language. The school teaches its pupils in three classes, two of which contain pupils of mixed ages. In the recent past, the school has undergone extensive building work, which has greatly improved the facilities and accommodation.
The first school in Cheselbourne was built in 1861 in the grounds of the Rectory at the expense of the Reverend Thomas Birch. In those days, when children walked fair distances to get to school, it was quite common for children to be absent on the grounds that they had inadequate footwear or clothing. The regime was much stricter then, of course. At one time when a fire broke out (the sparks coming from a passing traction engine) the children were only allowed to evacuate the building when they could no longer see the other side of the school-room through the smoke!
The present village school was built in 1909 and many of the old Victorian features can still be found. Children used to attend the school until the age of 14. Girls and boys had separate entrances and playgrounds: girls playing at the front of the school and boys at the back, where there was room for football (some things don’t change!).
Cheselbourne Village School provides its pupils with a happy and harmonious environment and a good education. Pupils overall reach above average standards by the time they leave the school and make good progress when measured against their earlier attainment.
Teachers successfully encourage good attitudes to learning, good behaviour and very good relationships. Pupils are well cared for and guided by the staff and their personal development is well nurtured.
We started our Healthy Schools Programme in 2003. Our objectives in the first year were to:
substantially increase the children’s active time outside the PE curriculum by including physical activity in daily lessons. Research has shown that active breaks enhance learning and we are proud to be among the first to have put national policy into practice
strengthen our PSHE and Citizenship schemes of work. A very satisfactory offshoot has been the establishment of an elected School Council
After being accredited as a healthy school in 2004, we continued the above and added two new objectives:
healthy eating; the children have their own water bottles, so that they have access to water throughout the day, and all children receive a free portion of fruit or vegetable every day at snack time. Children in Reception and Years 1 and 2 are funded under the government’s free fruit and vegetable scheme and the school itself funds Year 3 and 4 children
drugs education; in a first school like ours, this involves teaching children about keeping safe and about potential dangers and hazards. As part of this project, the children visited Streetwise and took part in a theatre workshop run by the Bournemouth Theatre in Education group