New era looms for small village school

Headteacher Claire Jones and nursery teacher Susan Joyce with pupils at Acklington First School.
Headteacher Claire Jones and nursery teacher Susan Joyce with pupils at Acklington First School.

A small north Northumberland school is chalking up big changes by opening its doors to nursery-age children for the first time.

Staff, parents, governors and pupils at Acklington C of E First School are delighted to be welcoming three-year-olds from Easter.

The school, which is one of the smallest in the county, has only ever received youngsters aged four and over.

The change comes after an application to take nursery-age children, which was made by the school in December, was approved by Northumberland County Council.

School staff and governors believe it is a positive and beneficial step, with one representative describing it ‘like getting a private education for free’.

Headteacher Claire Jones said: “I am so happy that we are opening our doors to nursery-age children.

“We have a very well equipped Early Years Unit with great outdoor learning facilities and a popular forest school area.

“It makes perfect sense to offer children in our village and further afield a place in our school before they are of Reception age.”

The governor for Early Years, Tracey Clerkin-Shone, was also delighted at the news.

She added: ‘’I think it is great that children living in and around the village can get their children settled into their permanent school from age three.

“Because it is a small school with lots of staff, it is like getting a private education for free and children gain so much confidence because of the high levels of attention they receive.”

Parents and carers who are interested in enrolling their three-year-old should contact the school to make an appointment to have a look around and discuss your child’s needs with the headteacher.

Contact 01670 760335 or email

The school in Acklington has a long history.

It was built in 1852 and opened in 1853, making it one of the oldest schools still in operation in the county.

The first pupil to register in 1853 was 10-year-old Ann Egdele.

Since that time, hundreds of pupils have enjoyed their early education at the village school.

For more information about the school, visit the website at