What our Parents and visitors say:
On a more general note, I would like to say thank you for being so accommodating as a school. The staff are always friendly and welcoming. In addition, I have had many positive experiences around the building, with children always polite and offering to hold the doors open for me so that I can get through more easily with my trolley. It is truly lovely to visit a school which cultivates a culture for being kind and considerate.
Speech and Language Therapy Assistant
It was wonderful being back at Staverton this week. All staff were really welcoming, polite and I received an extremely warm welcome to the school at reception. Upon getting to the classroom I found well planned and ordered teaching resources and I also received excellent explanation and outline for the day from your staff.
I particularly enjoyed teaching RWI phonics, a program I had taught a number of years ago; the mixed age group of children were delightful, polite, well mannered, helpful and keen to demonstrate their learning. I found the Nightingales as equally delightful, polite, well mannered, helpful and keen to demonstrate their learning. I was impressed with how intelligent and capable the children were, especially those with English as an additional language and one child with difficulties with her speech was ‘as bright as a button’ keen to demonstrate her writing skills in author hour and math knowledge.
All children were keen to celebrate ‘marvellous mistakes’ – including my own mistakes (corrected with purple pen on the flipchart) demonstrating a growth mindset.
I noted that the behaviour of all children in school was impeccable and I could see well established behavioural routines and when asked, children in Nightingales could give a good explanation of why positive behaviours were important. My TA for the day was amazing and excellently supported the positive behaviour of children in the class following school policy for both positive and negative behaviours and gave me an excellent explanation of how I should feedback certain behaviour to a parent.
As a teacher not fully familiar with year 2, I was well supported by staff throughout the day and felt very comfortable to ask for support when required. Conversations in the staffroom were “real”, upbeat and positive – staff showed a commitment to improving educational and other outcomes of pupils.
It was brilliant to see the shared space, light and airy and free from clutter, a purposeful and usable space where children were well supported by staff to engage in learning. There was a purposeful busy buzz throughout the school and I felt that all staff were hard working and keen to go the extra mile. The classrooms were equally as calm with neutral displays, working walls and lots of natural light. It was brilliant to see an eco-friendly ethos – where children took responsibility for turning off the whiteboard when not in use, the light switch to off when leaving the room and recycling monitors at the end of the day.
I expressed one disappointment I had – I had previously looked around the school for a part-time position in year 2 and decided against applying as the majority of my experience was in Early Years, I had such a great time on Thursday and felt disappointed that I hadn’t applied – I would love the opportunity to cover supply at Staverton again in the future – Thank you for such a great experience.
Finally I would like to express my support for all the staff at Staverton CofE Primary School, Keep up the great work! An inspirational quote by Reinhold Niebuhr:
“I have the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”… “May my practice grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change: courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
Dear Mr Powe and the staff at Staverton,
I wanted to thank you and the staff at Staverton Primary for the warm welcome we all received from you and the staff at the end of last week on our preliminary visit. However, I wanted to explain just how much your kind reception has meant to all of us after weeks of worry for myself and my wife, and months of uncertainty and dislocation for our child and his mum after their escape from the war zone in the Ukraine. I appreciate this is an indulgence, yet I hope you all sympathise with me in my belief that it is only possible to understand and empathise with other people if you have knowledge of or have shared with them their first-hand experiences, and hopefully this explains the depth of our gratitude to you.
In physical terms your immediate offer of a place for our 9Yr old came as a godsend to us. It now means he has the stability of a school-based education where he can begin to build back some semblance of a normal childhood. This has brought to an end a distressing, horrendous six-week period of discussions with the local authority who, in my own opinion have completely failed in their duty towards this little boy and his mother. Yet, this letter is not designed to show how the system has let us all down, it is to demonstrate how your kindness and compassion has helped us to overcome some of our problems and provide the security and setting to allow Vanya to flourish.
In emotional terms your compassion has meant, and will continue to mean, so much to this family. From the first moment of my initial conversation with Mrs Sykes I knew this was the right school for this family. Unlike my previous dozens of conversations with so called education professionals, the absolute focus on the needs of us all was clearly apparent. The moment we walked through the main doors and were met with such respect and consideration I realised that the school’s ethos is a ‘real thing’, and not just a statement of vague aspiration or perhaps a meaningless sentence that sounds good on paper, especially for OFSTED. From the start you have shown you are prepared to espouse those values and apply them to help people whatever their needs might be.
I am not just a grateful guardian, I am a retired teacher, and as so feel qualified to say that you have a truly wonderful school. It is being led by a dedicated team of caring people with clear common goals, apparent from the students themselves all the way through to support staff and his class teacher Mrs Gurr and the head teacher too. Gospel values are easy to cite but difficult to consistently apply, and it is obvious to me that this isn’t the case in this school. Nothing was too much trouble for you, and we surely could not have had a better experience anywhere else.
I can’t make you aware of every circumstance, but please believe me when I say that this couple have been through terrible times and remarkably, they have maintained their belief that all will be well in the future. They have put their faith in us as hosts, and now we must place our faith in you too. We will endeavour to support and promote this school and look forward to working with you helping where we can. However, please promise that you stay true to your ethos and values, because I sense you are all building something truly special and distinctive here,
With best regards
It was good to see you today and it was a pleasure to attend your school. I am just sending you this email to let you know what a lovely atmosphere I found. As always I was made to feel very welcome from the moment I walked through the door. The positive school ethos is clearly visible and can be felt throughout the building.
Behaviour Support Assistant
Oh, it was my pleasure! What an absolutely amazing school, team and such brilliant students.
I was utterly bowled over by the kindness, talent, inspiration of everyone!
Best, Alex Cotter
Many thanks for inviting my colleague and I in to Staverton Primary School to deliver Bikeability Level 1 and 2 training to the Year 6 groups. It has been an absolute pleasure to teach your pupils and you should be very proud of all of them for their behaviour, engagement and desire to learn, even though the weather has been just plain horrible for most of the week. A real highlight of this week has been teaching R and particularly M who was very nervous on day one and who the teachers weren’t sure how well he would cope with the learning and riding on the road. These two boys stood out as outstanding pupils from a very good school group, and the way they worked and supported each other in paired riding and others in the group was just fantastic.
As I said when I left the school today, having worked in Education as a senior lecturer and as a professional coach since graduating, I place a huge value on creating a fun, supportive, safe and engaging learning environment, outcomes then tend to take care of themselves. Visiting many of the Wiltshire schools, I can objectively say that what I have seen of Staverton this week, fills me with optimism for the future generations. From the welcome we have had, the engagement of the Head, which rarely happens, to interactions and observations of all staff, you should be incredibly proud of the learning environment you have so obviously worked so hard to establish. I know teaching as a profession can be thankless, under resourced and under paid, for the many hours you put in outside of school, but you are really touching the lives of the young people in your care and some of the reward is seeing them starting out in the right way on their life journey.
It is not often I give feedback to schools but I genuinely wanted to congratulate you and very much look forward to returning next year to meet the next Year 6. Very best wishes and keep doing what you are doing – everything crossed that you get a fair pay award to.
Bishop Road ECT Visit: Staverton Church of England Primary School
Response to Visit
Please find below a collection of our thoughts from our wonderful visit to your school as discussed, which we hope is useful.
The school was incredibly inclusive. This was epitomised by the shared learning hallway, which was a productive space where the adults and students were working together.
Mr Powe’s responses to our questions were incredibly perspicacious and articulate and it is obvious how much he really enjoys his job. The strategies that he has brought in to make the children, parents, and teachers feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves is truly inspirational.
It was so nice to go into a classroom where every voice was valued and it had such a positive feeling in the room. The other teachers were lovely and so welcoming and the tour was great. You can tell that every child feels they are a part of the school and that it is a real community.
The school felt like a very welcoming and friendly place with great teaching and intervention areas. I loved the early years area with the AstroTurf, mud kitchen and reading tepee – it was a great area for young children to explore and learn different skills!
All of the children appeared thoroughly happy to be in school and engaged in their learning throughout each class we visited.
I absolutely loved the calm and friendly atmosphere the classrooms and communal areas had, and how confident and proud Jesse and Isaac were when giving us a tour. You could tell the school was a welcoming, caring ethos for adults and children alike.
Thank you once again for the opportunity to visit.
The Bishop Road ECTs.
‘It is a joy to visit Staverton Primary School.
From the moment you walk through the door the staff are welcoming and caring.
It is clear the children enjoy learning and being together in an environment which allows them to be themselves.
Children’s needs are met in an environment of calm, care and compassion which allows them to flourish.’
It was simply that on entry it was quite clear that books were valued and treasured and readily available
Multiple copies displayed prominently and well Bright cheerful welcoming staff
I have been visiting Staverton Primary School for about 6 months to support a young child. I previously supported his father, when he was at secondary school and his aunt and uncles when they were at primary school a number of years ago. I really enjoy visiting Staverton – each time, I am welcomed with smiles and friendliness. The teacher and TAs are pleased to see me and are grateful for the work I do with their pupil. The other children in class are lovely and want to join in with whatever I’m doing. Mr Powe has been great, there have been various issues around the child I support and he has always been available to talk to and is as helpful as possible. All in all, Staverton Primary has always shown me professional kindness and given me whatever help I have needed. It has a lovely atmosphere which is evident in the children and staff.
I have been working in Staverton school for a few years as a Bilingual Assistant supporting EAL children. I have always found everyone very welcoming. I am not a member of the school’s staff although I always feel like one. The atmosphere is always warm and friendly, I go to the staff room without any hesitation. I look forward to the day when I am going in to provide support. The pupils in the school and not only the ones I support are always happy to see me. I have a very good working relationship with the teachers, they are always very supportive and make my time there a very enjoyable experience. I feel confident that if I make a suggestion, they listen to me and are open to discussion.
Overall, I really enjoy my time in the school.
Bilingual Support Coordinator
I would like to pass on my positive feedback in correlation to the welcoming staff team. Specifically, the receptionists who always present themselves as genuine, and eager to communicate. As a result of these members, the overall ambiance of the school is inviting and friendly.
Mrs Knight and Miss Jefferys devote themselves to provide ample support to Vanya during such a difficult period of time.
Wow! What an incredible two days hosting all of your children! When I arrived at the library on Thursday morning, I’d heard how wonderful the class visits were the previous day. The five classes I had in were so well behaved, engaged and truly sweet and helpful with one another – and funny too! One mum (and one of your teaching assistants came in after school asking to see two books that I’d read that her child had been going on and on about. She’s buying them for your school. I don’t know if you’ll thank me or curse me because they are very rude but also quite hilarious.
Annalie, you are one of the best reading champions I’ve come across. Since our first year of partnering up your passion has never waned. Thank you for organising these two days so well.
Thank you from me the team for coming in and helping us share Trowbridge Library with your families and school community.
We’ll need to book in your Summer Reading Challenge assembly soon. I’ll email this week.
I’ll sign off now, but Basil wrote something below as well.
Thank you for bringing your children into our library on Wednesday and Thursday this week. They were attentive, polite, and obviously enjoyed coming here which is a testament to the excellent care that your colleagues obviously take with their classes.
We like putting short posts out on Facebook to say what we have been up to so we would love to see any photos you could share with us.
And I was pleased to meet with Ed – your plan for a literature festival next May sounds really interesting and we would love to be involved with it.
Very best wishes,
Feedback from the CSL curriculum group on a walkthrough:
- Entrance hall, foyer welcoming clutter free, pride in the school
- children are calm, really settled, classroom environment, serene, clutter free
- Writing in biro surprised me.
- Use of the space, high ceilings, calming, middle area for interventions.
- Narrow spaces, pockets
- Real sense of pride, spaces are purposeful-
- Identity is strong, reading is central.
- Colourful, personalised,
- Displays are up to date.
- working walls, flip chart paper and washing lines. Updated as you’re teaching the children.
- Being consistent about the right things.
I have been coming to Staverton one afternoon a week as the on-site IT support since September 2021 and I am always made to feel welcome and part of the Staverton family. The happy and collegiate spirit amongst the staff at Staverton is clearly evident and I believe having a head teacher that is open and supportive contributes to this sense of family.
Soft Egg IT support
Dear Ed, (and Laura)
Thank you for your warm welcome. It is so good to see the improvement and the impact you have had on the school. You should be proud of your personal achievements you have made in such a short time. Well done again for all you have achieved and for the positive experiences this will provide for the children in your care.
Ex head teacher
Thanks for a cracking afternoon with Goldfinches. A big thanks to Ms Harvey for keeping the group together and on track. The children were very confident and honest. A big thanks to them for working so hard as a team to write, read, water and blow raspberries:) I particularly enjoyed the redeployment of various items to carry water, especially the wheelbarrow, excellent resourcefulness.
I have visited a number of your year 6 students with The John of Gaunt Year 7 Team as part of our transition programme. I just wanted to share with you what a real pleasure it was, your school is friendly, welcoming and has a positive feel from the second a visitor walks in and is greeted by your friendly and professional reception team, to the displays (what an incredible tree with the birds – I have display envy!!) and of course your year 6 children who are a credit to you and to themselves. I am genuinely looking forward to working with them from September. It is always a positive visit when we come to your school.
Head of Year 7 at John of Gaunt
Just thought it was worth letting you know that J and O (later joined by A) showed real community spirit tonight when they decided to start trying to clean off some of the graffiti in one of the parks in Staverton. An idea that they came up with all on their own.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a lovely email. We were all so touched by your thoughtful and generous comments. It’s always nice when people notice and appreciate what we’re trying to do beyond just the playing! I don’t think we have ever been made to feel more welcome in a school and it was a real delight to work with the children (and staff). Their engagement, attention and insightful questions were testament to all the work you have been doing in developing them as musicians. The flowers and card from reception class were an unexpected and total delight, with some extraordinary artwork that again showed what close attention they had been paying during the performance – some real artists to watch in there!
Many thanks again for welcoming us into your community, and for making music such a central part of the children’s education.
With very best wishes,
Part of classical music trio
I just wanted to say how lovely it was to visit Staverton. The school has come a long way in the last year and there was a lovely sense of purpose in the classrooms I visited today. Even in the corridors children were calm and well behaved. A credit to you, your team and the lovely students in Staverton!
As an English teacher, I was very impressed by the quality of work I saw your Year 5 students producing when they visited our Year 5 Taster Days.
The majority of the students showed a real confidence in attempting to use new vocabulary. A significant number were also able to use this new vocabulary in the correct context. I could see a real love of language beginning to emerge here. There were some sparky imaginations on show, and I was delighted by some of the character descriptions they produced at the end. Some of your TAs highlighted students who struggled with English or had recently received additional phonics intervention: Quite clearly, these strategies are working, because everyone was accessing the task well and enjoying it, too. The behaviour of the students was also a real highlight: Your students were polite, respectful and warm at all times. They listened well and focused on their work with very little encouragement from me.
Overall, it was a real pleasure to teach them.
English Teacher at Clarendon
Good morning Ed,
It was very good to meet you and I very much enjoyed the tour of the school. I particularly liked the positive and colourful messages portrayed in the tree of birds and the school motif. It is very interesting to see a strong theme of positivity and confidence woven into the day to day for the children to absorb as they learn.
S and I felt compelled to email you all following the recent Ofsted report.
We both feel that is not a fair reflection of Staverton and the excellent education both of our girls have received. We fully recognise how much hard work and effort has gone in to shaping Staverton since Mr Powe has taken over. You all go above and beyond for all of the pupils and following all of the difficulties that Covid and now the cost of living crisis has brought, we all think that you are fantastic at your job and feel gutted that this was not recognised by Ofsted. Please rest assured that you are all very much appreciated by the M’s! Enjoy your well-earned weekend.
“Very helpful staff and teachers. They go out of their way to help me with any problems. My children love their teachers too.”
“Great communication between, teachers at parents, there to help. Well organised. Great at recognising a child’s needs”
“Communication, caring a real interest in the individual childs needs – also making harder subjects more fun!”
“They take the time to understand the children in their care and they celebrate the child for who they are. They listen. They are really friendly and it feels like a community.”
“The school has an increased sense of community, has handled change over the pandemic exceptionally well and is a safe and friendly environment for my children to learn in. Really impressed and wouldn’t want my children at any other school.”
“The school is friendly, staff are approachable. My children are happy here. Strong focus on reading. There are more clubs and extra curricular activities on offer now than previously available. Lots of positive changes in school recently”
“Friendly approachable teachers/staff, great support system for children.”
“Kind caring staff. Knowing my child is safe and looked after. The level of learning.”
“headmaster is sooo supportive! most teachers have been amazing towards both of my children. my children feel safe and comfortable in the school.”
“Positivity, approachability, child centred.”
“My children are very happy and keen to attend. All staff are friendly and approachable. I like that Mr Powe is present in the playground. They are offered a lovely range of education activities. These very particularly innovative over lockdown. I think the school is open to change & get the impression this is an ongoing development. There is a positive & encouraging ethos generally. School visitors have been inspiring. Playground developments are great.”
“Staverton is a friendly school under a new head who is doing wonderful things for the school and the children. My child feels happy at school and enjoys learning She feels valued and cared about.”
“Everything! The staff are fantastic, so friendly, helpful, and informative. They are great with the children in every way and my two boy’s couldn’t be happier! Staverton school’s strength is how close of a unit the school has become, the new Head teacher has made some incredible changes inside and out and it shows as the children are so happy. Everyone works together to achieve the same thing and that’s the children’s well-being in every way. The sense of family is very much there and that is a huge credit to all of the staff that work there and if I had my time again I would love to have gone to school at Staverton!”
“The communication has been excellent since Mr Powe joined- we are constantly updated with what is going on in school and being involved with what the children are doing which is amazing- the whole ‘no walls’ thing is brilliant. Staff are always so kind, open and friendly and there’s a real community feel to the school now that wasn’t quite there before. We are so excited to see what happens next at Staverton and the girls both love coming to school, which is all we could ask for!”
“Clear, thorough and regular communication. Vastly improved leadership with a collaborative approach making parents fell welcome, included and part of the child’s learning journey. Broad curriculum; including music and languages as well extra-curricula activities. Access to children’s workbooks at parents evening and end of year enabling celebration of child’s work. Updated school; modern outdoor play and exercise equipment and internal improvements.”
“I could not be happier with Staverton, my children are thriving and are so happy which is what every parent wants for their child. I have come across lots of parents in my job who are looking at schools for September and I have recommended Staverton to all of them. I just want to say a massive thank you and keep up the good work. Mr Powe has changed Staverton from just a school to a school with a heart and a school with a real community feel. Thank you again.”
“Staverton is a welcoming and fun school to be part of. I have always had a lot of time for all the staff but since the new Headteacher the school has excelled further with its communication, activities for the children and equipment for the children. I am very proud to be part of the school.”
“It has the feel of a much smaller ‘village’ school. The staff know the kids very well and the kids respond to that. Communication from the school to the parents is very good. Senior staff are always accessible to parents to discuss any issues. If a child is struggling for any reason, support is offered quickly and progress is monitored for improvements. Fixtures, fittings and facilities have massively improved and are continuing to do so.”
“Communication from the head. Friendliness, how easy it is to speak to a teacher, how involved parents can get, the new school meals, the varied opportunities the children get.”
“The supportiveness of the staff. They are constantly offering new clubs and exciting opportunities for the children. They are very good at communicating everything out to the parents. The sense of belonging.”
“It seems almost unreal and a little sad, that this will be our very last correspondence with Staverton School, having initially had our eldest son Isaac, start back in 2011 and now Noah finish in 2021. Both of which have flourished at the school in very different ways.
We wanted to say a huge thank you to all at Staverton school and although as parents’ we have witnessed much change over the years since 2011, the one thing that has always remained is the heart of the school and the way in which the children all seem to have a certain belonging and ownership within the school. Teachers, teaching assistants and all staff you have been truly inspiring to our two, you’ve seen them through highs and lows and taught them so much for which we will be forever grateful. Mrs Gurr, thank you so much for this past year under difficult circumstances, we can’t thank you enough.
Mr Powe, you’re a breath of fresh air to Staverton School and many thanks for pulling off a great residential for our kids in the 11th hour. Much appreciated.
Enjoy your summer. Wishing you all the best.