Longtown Primary School made history this year, achieving an Ofsted ‘Good’ rating – the first time the school has ever been recognised at this level in its existence.

We are very proud to be part of Cumbria Education Trust since 2016, which has played a key part in our success.

The school has experienced a rapid turnaround since 2016 when it was taken over by Cumbria Education Trust, appointing Mrs Cate Floyd at headteacher in 2017.

With nearly 200 pupils on roll, we are smaller than average rural school situated in the parish of Arthuret, central to the community of Longtown.

The school provides education for pupils from aged three to 11, with many pupils transitioning to William Howard School – also part of the Cumbria Education Trust.

Headteacher, Mrs Floyd, said: “Our philosophy for learning is quite simply that we wish to be the very best we can be to help foster the abilities of each individual pupil.

“We acknowledge the individuality that each child brings and aim to give every encouragement and opportunity to develop his or her abilities to reach their full potential.

“Our children are at the heart of every decision we make. School is a community of children and adults working together towards important goals.

“We hope that, by growing within our school community, our pupils will become citizens who contribute to society in their work and leisure activities.”

The school had the full Ofsted Inspection earlier this year in May.

We received good in the categories:

n Overall effectiveness

n Effectiveness of Leadership and Management

n Personal development, behaviour and safety

n Quality of teaching, learning and assessment

n Outcomes for pupils

n Early Years Provision

As a school, and with the support of the Trust, we will continue to strive to improve in those areas identified for further improvement. It is our challenge to see that every element of our work reaches the highest possible levels.

This is a fantastic achievement for everyone in our school community.

The school has teamed up with Tree-mendous Learning CIO - who help young people in Cumbria by providing opportunities for learning in the natural environment - to secure funding from the local Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund – Hallburn Longtown.

This has enabled every pupil from Key stage Two to attend a number of days in a local Forest School at Broomhills, Longtown.

The sessions take place in the heart of an ancient woodland; where the children work side by side with nature growing in confidence, developing their thinking, life skills and team work.

Over the course of the forest school sessions the children grow in their knowledge of the forest, its habitat and all the wonderful creatures that live there.

They develop understanding of the world in which they live and begin to care and know how they can care for their own environment. “Fun, Fire & Friendship, is what forest schools means to me” just one of the amazing comments said by children.

Every session the children take part in camp fire cooking, develop skills with tools, play games and use natural resources for creative work.

It is wonderful to hear from high above the tree tops the children’s laughter, alongside the sound of the river as they play and learn with their friends.

Another WOW factor about us has to be our sensory based learning zone – The Ark.

Here children can access a wide range of support through adult lead intervention or resources based intervention to support and nurture their mental health and wellbeing.

Through specialist training and collaborative planning, staff we have been able to provide a group of children with a parallel curriculum which allows them to follow a topic lead approach, learning the skills for their year group in a smaller group.

Other children across school are targeted for different nurture interventions such as wellbeing, peer support and play therapy.

All children have access the Ark at break times and lunchtimes to explore mindfulness.

The Ark is our calm space, filled with lots of different sensory equipment to create a culture that promotes positive mental health and emotional resilience.

Within the Ark, pupils can explore relationships education learning how to build social skills and work effectively with their peers.

They are also able to work on their emotional development, accessing interventions such as ‘Positive People’ and ‘Happy to be Me’ alongside Lego Therapy and play based learning sessions.

Each class has well-being passes, that pupils can access when they just need some time to re-regulate.

This means that if they ask for a pass, they are able to drop in to the Ark make use of the calming space and have some time to develop their mindfulness before returning to class when they are able to re-focus.

Developing a love for reading is at the heart of our curriculum and a building block to this is cementing children’s understanding of phonics so that they can explore and enjoy reading while also ensuring they reach their end of key stage targets.

We use a multi-sensory approach, teaching the children four new sounds a week.

Children have the opportunity to undertake a number of leadership roles across school.

This begins in Early Years with children representing their class in School Council.

Each class in school have two school council members with Year six taking the lead roles of chair, vice-chair and secretary.

Meetings are child led and supported by Mrs Kenyon – School Council Lead Teacher.

This year School Council are currently choosing a local charity to support alongside raising awareness of school issues and effecting change for pupils.

Additionally, Sports Leaders plan and organise playground games as well as promoting active playtimes and leading school sports events such as sports day. Furthermore, the school have four house captains who represent each of the four school houses acting as role models for their teams and encouraging and promoting Longtown primary School values.

This week nursery have been on a sound hunt in the school forest. They listened attentively to the sounds around them, from rustling in the leaves, too unusual sounds from unidentified animals.

Reception have been practising their blending techniques with some fun games.

Cross the river and wizards being some of their favourites.

Year one have been getting messy this week, writing CVC words in shaving foam. It was a race against the clock and their competitive sides shone through.

We are extremely proud of our school and welcome people to come and explore what else we have to offer.

To arranger a visit please contact the school office on on 01229 791203.