Teachers at Thorndon school use marquee, staff room and library as make-shift classrooms as numbers swell
- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
Parents and teachers at Thorndon CEVC Primary are rallying together as they work to raise £25,000 for a new ‘learning space’ for pupils to help them cope with rising pupil numbers.
Currently pupils from three different year groups – around 35 children – have to share the same classroom for many lessons.
Headteacher of the school near Eye, Tamsin Little, said her teachers were under “additional pressure” to cope with the 83 pupils on roll – which is an increase of almost 60% compared to two-and-a-half years ago.
She said: “It’s frustrating that we are a small school in a rural area…the feedback nationally about Suffolk is not brilliant, then we have this thing [the school’s situation].
“It is more challenging having three year groups in one classroom; we have to look at that in the county. If we want to make results as brilliant as they should be we need to look at facilities and what we provide, it’s not just about teaching and learning.”
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Nearby Stoke Ash Primary School, which had an ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating, closed last year after a dramatic fall in student numbers – with just three children left on its pupil roll after many parents chose to send them to Thorndon.
A county council spokesman said any of the “limited funds” available could not be used to help the school.
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“Thorndon Primary School has been very successful in attracting additional pupils in recent years,” he said. “Our pupil forecasts do indicate the school will be at or very close to capacity over the next five years, slightly increasing over this time-period.
“We do, however, feel that there are sufficient places at nearby schools that could take more pupils should demand for places in the area increase. It is not possible to prioritise funding for the school at this point in time. Officers will of course keep this under review in the future.”
Staff, parents and pupils recently heard they were not selected for a £25,000 grant from a national community fund to build the learning space.
The school’s rating was recently graded by Ofsted as ‘good’, up from 2013’s ‘requires improvement’.
To support the school’s project or find out more about it, call 01379 678392.