Stower Provost School started in a small way in 1850, with the old school hall serving as the village school. This continued as the sole schoolroom until 1904 when another building was added. By 1926 the number of pupils had dropped to 48 and the Government Inspection that year was so critical that the Headmaster resigned. In 1931 the attendance had declined still further to 25, but during the Second World War the school admitted seniors and also children from London. In 1941 there were 35 Dorset children and 48 London children.
In the 1950's the main bulk of the building was added - excluding the Hall and the present kitchen which were built in 1972. The timber classrooms were erected in the 1960's along with further refinements such as central heating and the tennis court. The swimming pool was built at around the same time, by the parents. It was during this time that many small schools in the surrounding villages were closed and the pupils absorbed into the school; in 1969 there were 142 pupils on roll. Numbers have fluctuated since then; there are currently 95 pupils.
In the late 1980's the kitchen - originally used to cook and serve hot meals - was divided, enabling the Headteacher and School Secretary to have their own offices. The kitchen is still used, although hot meals are no longer served, by pupils doing cookery and for events held at the school.
During the 1960's the caretaker was allowed to live in School House and this continued until 1993. The County Council finally offered School House to the School and the Governors have converted the ground floor of the building to form a Library and a Computer Suite. The upper floor is now used as meeting and storage rooms with kitchen and bathroom facilities. Part of the School and School House are Grade II Listed Buildings.
THE AIMS OF OUR SCHOOL
Stower Provost School aims:
¨ to maintain a happy, secure and stimulating environment in which pupils feel confident and eager to learn;
¨ to show high expectations, to recognise achievements and to celebrate successes whether they be individual, as a school or as a community;
¨ to enhance and fulfil every pupils’ potential;
¨ to develop pupils’ self-discipline and independence;
¨ to encourage pupils to treat each other, visitors and the community with respect and tolerance, showing responsible attitudes towards others and towards their environment;
Our school is located in a unique and beautiful rural setting with views of the Blackmore Vale and the Dorset Downs. We are a community school, and our catchment covers a number of villages, Buckhorn Weston, Kington Magna, Stower Provost, East and West Stour, Stour Row and Todber. However, 44% of our children come from outside the catchment, a measure, we hope, of our reputation for helping all our children develop to the best of their potential, not just academically but as well rounded members of our community. We have a history of strong sporting traditions and extra curricular activities. We are particularly proud of our outdoor pursuits programme, which includes camping in the school grounds and residential trips, every two years abroad. We put particular emphasis on behaviour and expect all our pupils to be kind, considerate and caring towards all members of our community.
We follow the National Curriculum and the children enjoy a balanced and broad programme of learning throughout the school. We recognise that children learn best in different ways and we aim to ensure that all our children experience as wide a range of stimuli and learning styles as possible. Excellence and enjoyment is our aim.
In Reception, Yr 1 and 2 (Key Stage 1) we are particularly proud of our “Learning Launch Pad” where children are encouraged to develop their independent learning skills using a rich variety of play experiences. This introduces them to a huge range of important educational experiences and life skills, which we feel are essential in providing each child with a well rounded learning experience, developing self confidence, self motivation, independence and autonomy. It’s also lots of fun!
In Key Stage 2 (years 3-6) we have introduced interactive white boards which are very popular with the children and teachers. We are developing our ICT suite and expanding the library to widen opportunities for independent learning and research.
The school has a large field incorporating a hockey pitch, football pitch, running tracks and long jump facilities. This provides ample opportunities for the children to develop, measure and improve their skills. There is also a tennis court and adventure playground and large indoor hall. The school has its own outdoor solar heated swimming pool in which the children are taught the basic techniques and styles of swimming. Older children visit the Gillingham Leisure Centre for a series of lessons to develop and improve deep-water skills.
There are several lunchtime and after school sports clubs activities including netball, football, hockey and cricket when teams are formed to take part in matches with other schools and local tournaments. We also offer the opportunity to take part in athletics meetings from yr 3 upwards.
We also offer a variety of extra curricular clubs, which include French, ICT and craft.
DEVELOPING THE WHOLE CHILD
We aim to ensure that all children develop attitudes necessary for their self fulfillment and development as active and responsible citizens. Pupils are expected to be courteous and well mannered. At the beginning of each year we encourage children to discuss and create their own class rules.
This gives them ownership of their behaviour and conduct in school. At Stower Provost we offer children opportunities to take part in activities they may not normally encounter. This includes camping in the grounds for Year 3 and 4 and in years 5 and 6, the opportunity to travel abroad alternating with an adventure trip in the UK every other year. These types of activity can have a very positive effect in building children's confidence and self-esteem and help in collaborative working. Many other day trips take place during the year linked to particular topics.