It’s a family affair at Rattlesden Primary School

Many of the new pupils starting at Rattlesden Primary have relatives working at the school, or siblings at the school already.   It's a family affair!
Many of the new pupils starting at Rattlesden Primary have relatives working at the school, or siblings at the school already. It's a family affair!
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The first day of school is a potentially nerve-racking experience for most youngsters but the situation has been made all the more easier at Rattlesden Primary thanks to close family connections.

Of the 16 pupils joining in September, 11 have cousins, brothers, sisters, mothers, aunts and grandmothers already in the school.

It is a sign of the village’s tightly knit community and headteacher Bridget Burke says the family connections help smooth the transition for the four-year-olds.

She said: “We’ve never had so many children who have all got relatives in the school. We’ve only got one or two who haven’t got any connection to the school. It gives them confidence because they’ve had the opportunity to come up to school to collect brothers and sisters and attend social events.They’re familiar with the surroundings - they know the adults and their names.

“It’s really helpful to have an older brother and sister to be playing with at playtime.”

Among the relatives are office manager Val Nunn, whose grandson William starts next term, cook Jenny Corbyn who will serve grandson Charlie.

The close links continue with sisters Ronda Tasker, who has a son Flynn, and Natasha Leonard, who has a son Logan. The pair, who are both teaching assistants, are aunt to Kelsey. Office worker Hazel Hunt is also aunt to Sophie Tipple.

The new pupils have enjoyed three visits to the school already to prepare them.

The school is having a new classroom built to take on Year 5 as part of the county-wide move to two tier education.

Mrs Burke added: “When changing to take Year 5, there was a little bit of concern we might be increasing the number of families that come to the school but actually there are brothers and sisters of the children already here.”