Family centre opening highlights successful time for Bloxham Primary

Cherry Tree Bloxham NNL-170105-110904001
Cherry Tree Bloxham NNL-170105-110904001

A new centre for families and their under-fives opened in Bloxham on Wednesday.

The Cherry Tree Centre replaces the Butterfly Children’s Centre which was closed following government cuts earlier in the year.

Alongside Bloxham Primary School, it offers play sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9.30am-11am for families with children aged five and under with lots of toys, a baby area and arts and crafts activities.

The opening of the new centre comes as great news for the school which is celebrating a welcome Ofsted report following an inspection in March.

Inspectors found the school good, saying it had a ‘warm, open and supportive culture that enables staff and pupils to develop confidence and succeed in their work’.

Less than a fortnight after this report, the school heard the results of its Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) which described the school in even more glowing terms.

“Bloxham is an inclusive school, with a highly developed Christian ethos, which ensures rapid progress in learning by all pupils,” said SIAMS inspectors.

“The distinctive Christian values are actively encouraged by inspirational leadership from the head teacher and senior leaders, resulting in very high standards of behaviour and high quality relationships across the school.”

The school’s head, Matthew Ingall has been recognised as a National Leader in Education in a government scheme in which the country’s best school leaders and their teams offer support to other schools.

Another accomplishment enjoyed by the school has been this spring’s award of an Artsmark Gold achievement which celebrates schools that champion the arts and strive for excellence in arts provision.

Bloxham Primary School’s last SATS results in 2016 put pupils in the top ten per cent of schools in the country.

Mr Ingall said: “Results like this come from a whole group of people - staff, children, parents, governors and community leaders - all working together.

“‘We were already pleased to be part of the Oxfordshire Teaching Schools Alliance which is a great network for sharing teaching and learning excellence across the county, but these latest results and awards are, if you like, the icing and the cherry on the cake.

“We have so much to be thankful for here. We wouldn’t have been able to open our new Cherry Tree Centre without the support of our local parish councils for example.

“I’d like to thank and congratulate everyone involved with the school, not least of all our wonderful children and staff for all their hard work and commitment.”

Mr Ingall said the school’s next goal is a Festival in the Playground for music and fun.

The event will be held on Saturday June 17 from 2pm-9pm.

Bloxham Primary has 413 pupils and 17 teaching staff.