History of Our School
The original school was built about 1859 and was an old flint/cob building. The facade of this building can be viewed at the old school site, Chapel Lane. It was built on the site of the old tithe barn and pond by the Reverend Jamen Michael, Vicar of Sturminster Newton. The school mistress appointed was Miss Eliza Vivian assisted by two teachers.
When the school was built a bell hung above the main entrance. It is thought that the bell was removed during the 1914-18 war, to go towards the war effort. The bell housing was discovered in 1982 when the school was repainted and it was decided to replace the bell. At about this time in 1982 the HMS Sheffield was hit by an Exocet missile during the Falklands War and sadly, one of fatalities was a crew member who lived in Winterbourne Whitechurch, the neighbouring village to Milborne and a village in the school catchment area. When a new bell was presented to the school by the Royal Navy from R.M.A.S. Freshburn, it was dedicated to those who lost their lives in the Falklands campaign in 1982.
Since this time the bell called the 'Freedom Bell' traditionally rung on the last day of term by year 4 children hangs over the school entrance. It was removed and taken to the new school in 2001.
The history of the school has been well documented and access to these records is available on request.
The present school was opened for children in Easter 2001. It is a school with first class facilities enabling the best educational opportunities available.
School and Staff Development
in 2000 Ofsted asked us to further improve in areas of ICT assessment, writing skills, painting and challenge for high attainers. Action plans were put in place and progress continues for improvement. For example, the ICT suite is enabling children to learn skills more effectively than was possible three years ago and further expansion is planned. Staff have five training days each year plus school based Inset each week . In addition all staff continue to attend courses relating to teaching and learning linked to the school improvement plan. Funds are set aside in the school budget for this purpose.
Special Educational Needs
Some children have specific learning difficulties or exceptional abilities. We involve parents from the start in decisions about extra support and help with their child's education. We continue to support a policy of early identification of need and swift response, rather than allow children to struggle and lose their enthusiasm for learning. Often we can provide the help that is needed within the school, but occasionally we need the advice of an Educational Psychologist or the help of a peripatetic Special Needs teacher. At all stages we work closely with parents. The Headteacher has responsibility for the management of the education of children with special educational needs. As SEN Co-ordinator he is responsible for the day today operation of the policy and keeps the designated Governor up-to-date about how it is operating. Mrs Jo Richardson and Mr John Wright have responsibility for SEN on behalf of the Governors, and can be approached by parents regarding the provision for their child. They are kept informed of all cases of children receiving extra support and reports are given at Staffing and Curriculum meetings. Each class teacher is responsible for teaching children with special educational needs and ensuring that any individual education plan is implemented. High quality support staff with responsibility for children with special needs work closely with the class teachers.
At the end of the academic year we have registered 29 children as having special educational needs, 22 on school action, where help is provided in the classroom and 5 on school action +, where additional assistance is provided by the LEA. One pupil also has full-time one to one support because of special difficulties.
We have at least one teaching assistant assigned to every class who is able to offer considerable assistance in the classroom and able to work with small groups in class and out.
We have continued to try and challenge our most able children through extra reading clubs and mathematics and have adopted county guidelines for provision for able and gifted children. From September 2004 they have had opportunities to work alongside children of a higher age group and each term there is a different curricular focus. Very able children will have an opportunity through DASP to participate in an annual enrichment programme.