Big changes afoot at school from the new academic year

Longhoughton CofE First School. Picture by Jane Coltman
Longhoughton CofE First School. Picture by Jane Coltman

Big changes are taking place at Longhoughton C of E First School in September.

The school will become a primary from the start of the new academic year and it will also be introducing a nursery facility.

This will see it catering for children aged from three to 11 – although the 11-year-olds will not be admitted until 2017.

There are currently 78 children on the school roll and this will increase to around 96 in September.

On top of this, there will be a name change and a new logo – which hasn’t been unveiled yet –while staff are working hard to be ready for the switch to primary. At Monday’s meeting, headteacher Tracey Critchlow said: “We will endeavour to provide the best possible education to the children, which is something we have always done.”

Parish council chairman Bryan Ellis asked if she had any concerns about 10 and 11 -year-olds walking to school unaccompanied.

Mrs Critchlow said: “We already have a system where once children in Year 4 get to the summer term, their parents can write to us and say they would like their child to be able to walk unattended.

“We will still be operating this, but parents need to give us that permission. If there are any issues that children aren’t behaving, I will take it up with the parents.”

Criminal damage and anti-social behaviour are issues in village

Police are encouraging residents in the area around Longhoughton C of E First School to report any suspicious activity at the site, after a spate of recent incidents.

Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Ken Mouat said: “There have been a few problems with damage at the school and there have been a few break-ins.

“We will be doing a letter drop to encourage people to ring any incidents into us. If there is anyone in the school grounds, even if it looks like they are not up to anything, call 101. We can always find out what they are up to.”

He added that police are receiving a lot of concerns about anti-social behaviour and criminal damage in Longhoughton. One of the most recent incidents was damage to a fence along Elworthy Road.

On the back of the recent anti-social behaviour and criminal damage, CSO Mouat said that police will aim to have more of a presence in the village.

He also encouraged people to contact police about any incident.

He said: “We are trying to increase people’s awareness about ringing 101 and to report things. It allows us to send staff where they are really needed.”

Coun Eleanor Phillips told CSO Mouat that there had been some incidents with boy-racers and that vandals had drawn a phallic symbol onto a wall recently.