Changes afoot at first school

A north Northumberland first school is set to start the next academic year with a new name and uniform, after defederating from other local schools.

From September this year, Alnwick South First School will be known as Swansfield Park First School.

And the children will wear a new uniform featuring a new logo designed by the pupils themselves.

The school has held a competition for the children to create the new logo and will be launching details at the school later this month.

In February, the Gazette reported that the school, which was part of the Aln Community Schools Federation, along with the Duke’s and Lindisfarne middle schools and the Duchess’s Community High School, was consulting parents and staff on whether to leave the federation and reinstate its own governing body.

At the time, headteacher Jenny Smith said: “The reason is that there are a lot of challenges within the Federation with one governing body to oversee the problems. It (leaving the Federation) would give us 12 governors and the rationale is to increase the capacity.”

Due to the defederation, the school has had to change formal documents relating to governance and has taken the opportunity for a fresh start, as the name dates back many decades when there was a north and a south school in Alnwick.

Mrs Smith said the school always explains its location in relation to Swansfield Park and that the word park itself helps to underline their learning-through-play ethos.

“The name no longer reflects our child-centric approach nor our place in the town,” she added.

“Our logo was very dated too so really that design needed to be much more child-led. The children are thoroughly enjoying designing a logo which reflects our school.”

The new logo meant that the school sweatshirt/cardigan had to be redesigned and will now be purple.

The non-branded uniform items are changing to ensure that parents are able to buy them all readily from stores such as supermarkets.

The school’s governors were concerned about affordability and therefore all pupils will receive a free sweatshirt/cardigan and book bag.

• The Duchess’s Community High School is also looking at introducing a new uniform.