Three local primary schools have new heads in place for the start of the academic year.
Beech Grove Primary School Head, Ms Sara Tirrell, comes from London, “although I was born in Stevenage,” she explained. Having taught for 12 years in Harrow where she was Head of Lower School in a primary school of similar size to Beech Grove, she is looking forward to living and working in the South West. “I’m very familiar with this part of the world having friends in Devon and I’ve spent holidays here.”
Asked what changes she is looking to make at Beech Grove she said, “None at the moment. I want to get to know the school, its staff, pupils and their parents before I look to make any changes. Most schools run according to a similar routine and schedule through the year so there’s time to look at how Beech Grove works before changing anything. There’s a good staff here and I’m looking forward to working with them.”
Sampford Arundel Community Primary and Stawley Schools are federated under the Headship of Mrs Jacqueline Collier. She comes from Wales but stated “I’m English and recently moved here having spent the last 5 years living in Wales with my husband. Previously I taught in London and Cornwall before taking a Deputy Headship in West Berkshire. In Wales I was both a Deputy Head and Headteacher, both roles I have really enjoyed. After many years visiting Somerset and experiencing the wonderful wildlife and many outdoor pursuits the county has on offer we finally decided to make a permanent move to Somerset.”
When asked about plans for the schools she said, “The staff in both Stawley and Sampford Arundel Primary Schools have worked hard over the last year to develop planning in line with the new curriculum to ensure that things are already in place.”
“I feel a key part of my role, working between the two schools, is to maintain the ethos and practice which is well established in each individual school. Having completed a rigorous recruitment process I believe that I’ve begun to get to know the staff. Even in a short time I can already see that both schools benefit from a talented, caring, motivated, supportive and dedicated staff who share my passion for creating the very best learning opportunities for every child. It’s this dedication and passion I look forward to supporting.”
“Both schools benefit from caring communities with close ties to the schools and I’m looking forward to fostering these relationships and spending time getting to know parents, governors and members of the local community.”
“I’ll be working a 50% split timetable between the two schools to ensure that I’m a visual presence in both of them throughout the week. The previous Headteacher managed his time between the two schools very effectively and I intend to follow his pattern of work to this end.”
Rockwell Green Primary School Head, Mrs Morwenna Dunstan, is already very familiar with the school, staff, parents and pupils having been on the staff for 5 years as Deputy Head. “I’m really excited about being able to make changes,” she said. “We will start this school year with a new special needs unit and a new website. We have a brand new entrant (NQT) to the profession taking over Year 3 and new names for each class which I hope will be less confusing for parents. The school has a really strong staff and we’re all spending the day together at the Otterhead Forest School for INSET training before the term starts. Our own Forest School will begin after half-term.”
Rockwell Green’s new motto is ‘Challenge-Achievement-Joy’.