CONGRATULATIONS to Crosthwaite CofE Primary School, which has won the Golden Apple for Best Primary School

Headteacher Matthew Jessop explained: “The staff, students and community all socialise and work together. Our students help out and are integral in the small, local community.

“The pandemic had minimal impact on us, in terms of how bad it could’ve been. Two years ago we had an increased technology drive in terms of supplying students with hardware.

“Therefore, online learning was no problem for us. It was lovely hearing six and seven year olds teaching their grandparents how to work the technology.

“Of course, you can’t replicate the school experience fully but compared to some we came out quite well.

"I've found it quite incredible how we've managed all this while almost doubling in size over the last 10 years. It's testament to everyone here.

“This award is for everyone: the governors, teachers, students and everyone’s families. It would be lovely validation and recognition of that. It’s a pretty special place.”

The other nominations were Beaconside CofE School and Bassenthwaite Primary and Little Ducklings.

Beaconside CofE Primary School had an equally measured response to the turbulent 18 months we’ve had.

Headteacher Nick Page said: “The return to school this academic year was equally well considered and staff ensured that parents and children were kept up to date with the new school routines and reassured about the measures in place to keep children and staff safe.”

“The thought that was put into managing bubbles and bubble closures was impressive - especially just before Christmas when they had several bubble closures in quick succession.”

Bassenthwaite Primary School and Little Ducklings Nursery is a small school north of Keswick.

Ensuring that the children get a variety of experiences, the school started Welly Wednesdays to give pupils the outside environment in the school playground as it has not been possible to fund transport to forest school this year.

Organising extra educational activities outside of the classroom, with organisations such as TriKidz who have visited the school to provide Triathlon training experiences to years 1-6 gives the children an opportunity to try out different sports, learn new skills and have positive external influences from inspiring teachers.

This breadth of extra-curricular learning helps to shape the children and give them the social skills and confidence they need to progress through their educational programme.