Visitors to Rawthorpe St James C of E Infant and Nursery School will find a friendly, happy atmosphere. HAZEL ETTIENNE reports
CHILDREN, parents and the wider community receive a warm welcome when they walk through the doors at Rawthorpe St James C of E Infant and Nursery School.
This friendly school with a happy atmosphere has been praised by Government inspectors, particularly for its outstanding curriculum and exemplary care for everyone.
The inspectors’ report acknowledges how the school promotes pupils’ personal and academic development and prepares them for the future.
Headteacher Joan Rock said: “Our school provides for the children to learn in a well-resourced and vibrant environment and I am very proud of all the children who attend here.
“We are busy providing a place where children can succeed and develop using their many skills and talents.”
There is a wide range of out-of-school clubs, from cookery, sport, music and French. Also, a new steel pan club is proving very popular.
Enrichment days also give children the chance to work alongside experts in their field, with a healthy day reinforcing their understanding and the importance of exercise, diet and early bedtimes.
A stained glass window which welcomes visitors and which was designed and created by pupils with stained glass artist Shona McInnes two years ago is one fine example.
Community links are one of the school’s major strengths. Each term it holds a community cafe morning, when visitors from the wider area drink coffee, eat and chat about what is happening in Rawthorpe.
The summer term’s day was also a fundraising event, with strawberries and cream served by school council member’s to raise money for the Breast Cancer Care charity.
Grandma and community member Margaret Wadsworth said: “There are such a lot of people here. It is interesting to find out what goes on in the school and we always look forwards to what is coming.”
A new wildlife area has added a new dimension to children’s learning, helping them develop their understanding of the natural world.
In the allotment children have learned how to plant and grow vegetables. There is also a willow archway and lots of opportunities to search for bugs.
The school has resourced provision for children with a physical disability and six children are fully integrated into school life.
A newly refurbished and popular school library helps children develop a love of books and research. The Library Club is a popular outside activity.
Members of the school council play an active role in the life of the school and organise and manage a reward shop each Friday for children who have achieved well during the week in all areas.
They have also contributed to assemblies, playground ideas, helped with the School Travel Plan and suggested ideas for Walk to School Week.
Mrs Rock added: “We know that if children get a taster of something it may become an interest which they will take into adulthood. Everyone is good at something and it is our aim to find that talent or skill and develop it.
“We are extremely proud of everyone involved with this thriving church school and look forwards to the challenges as we move to the new federation with the junior and high schools on the Nether Hall Learning Campus.”