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Leiston: Headteacher outlines vision of high school’s future

PUBLISHED: 12:02 04 October 2011

Assistant head Gail Eastaugh and deputy head Emma Laflin, right with pupils at Leiston Community High School which will become the Alde Valley School from next September

Assistant head Gail Eastaugh and deputy head Emma Laflin, right with pupils at Leiston Community High School which will become the Alde Valley School from next September

Archant

A HEADTEACHER has spoken of plans to re-brand his school in time to coincide with a shake-up of the Suffolk education system.

Leiston Community High School in Seaward Avenue will be changing its name in September next year to the Alde Valley School. The shake-up will also see students wearing a new colour uniform and a new school logo.

The changes, which have been made in close consultation with the local community, have been timed to coincide with Suffolk County Council’s re-organisation of schools. From September next year the authority is moving from a three to a two tier education system in Suffolk Coastal, which will see the closure of middle schools in Leiston and Saxmundham.

It means the high school in Leiston will cater for pupils as young as 11-years-old for the very first time - boosting pupil numbers by around 260 to 950.

As a result it was decided to re-brand the school - a sign of its ambitious and bright future.

The name Alde Valley School was chosen to reflect its large catchment area, which stretches as far south as Tunstall, near Woodbridge, to as far north as Blythburgh, near Southwold, while also incorporating other towns such as Saxmundham and Aldeburgh.

The whole community has been involved with the changes, with the new logo designed by sixth form student Johnnie Wright. The middle school site in Waterloo Avenue will also be used as a new sixth form centre for the older students.

Heateacher Ian Flintoff said: “With one phase coming to an end we thought it was an appropriate time to re-brand.

“In a sense it marks a change from the high school just being associated with Leiston. Our catchment area is actually much larger, stretching to the wider rural community.

“However, there will still be continuity. The motto, ‘Achievement For All’, is Leiston’s motto and will stay the same. We will be building on the success of Leiston High School, which Ofsted has described as a ‘good and effective’ school. We have a good track record and we will look to continue that. The students are very excited. I think they recognise that it’s a great opportunity for them. ”

The changes have been co-ordinated by assistant headteacher and key stage three manager Gail Eastaugh.

She said throughout the process they had been engaging with the local community including the students, parents, staff, governors, businesses and other schools. “We were very keen to understand what people wanted the school to be like,” she said. “We worked closely with everyone. There has been a lot of discussion.

“We have taken the views on board and now have a very strong framework. It’s very exciting to see it now all coming together.”

There will be an open evening at the school on October 12 between 5pm and 8pm where people can learn more about the plans. All are invited.

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