New era for primary schools in the Thurston area dawns

New classroom at Walsham Le Willows Primary School -  Year 5 teacher Laurel Channing with two of her new pupils Phillip Hatt and Luke Sargeant.
New classroom at Walsham Le Willows Primary School - Year 5 teacher Laurel Channing with two of her new pupils Phillip Hatt and Luke Sargeant.
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It’s the dawn of a new era for schools in the Thurston area as they welcome an extra year group and launch new classrooms.

Seventeen primary schools in the Thurston Partnership are retaining pupils to form their first Year 5 groups as part of the two tier education shake-up and closure of middle schools.

Many of the schools have also received new classrooms to help accommodate their extra intake under the £3.75 million move.

Among those braced for the new era is Walsham-le-Willows Primary, which has recruited experienced teacher Laurel Channing to oversee 20 Year 5 and four Year 4 pupils in the school’s new classroom.

Head Angela Hunter said the pupils were looking forward to the move. She said: “They haven’t got that transfer between the end of Year 4 and middle school so that’s going to benefit the children. They’re going to continue with their learning. The teachers know them and exactly where they are - you shouldn’t see the dip as you might perhaps have seen before when they arrived at a middle school.”

Rattlesden Primary was gearing up for the new term with 17 Year 5 children and a new classroom. The school has teachers who have worked in middle schools and taken on an extra part time teacher.

Head Bridget Burke said: “The classroom has been done to a really high standard. It was quite a challenge actually because the building is set into the hillside.”

Suffolk County Cllr Jane Storey will open Woolpit Primary’s two new classrooms next Friday.

Meanwhile, its federation partner Rougham Primary has two classrooms to accommodate Years 1 and 2 to free up space for Years 5 and 6. A new hall and kitchen is also being developed at the school and will be ready in the spring.