CLASS ACT: Smalley school celebrates a top year

A Smalley school has cause to celebrate after rounding off a year of achievements with a review of 2013.

Matthew Crawford, headteacher at Richardson Endowed Primary School, Main Road, compiled the “huge list” to mark “what a fabulous year we have had at school.”

Richardson Endowed School, reception class pupils on the great new play equipment

Richardson Endowed School, reception class pupils on the great new play equipment

He told the News: “I think we have something special here at Smalley and in the hustle and bustle it would be very easy to forget all the wonderful things that happen and take them for granted.”

Top of the list was the raising of nearly £20,000 by Team Eddy - a combined effort by teachers, children and parents inspired by pupil Eddy Parry who was diagnosed with bone cancer. Eddy is six years old and attends school in Class 1.

The school, which has 174 pupils, benefited from a brand new kitchen at the start of the year to cope with increased demand for school dinners which had scooped two awards for the quality of the food and for feeding the fastest-growing number of diners.

UK Coal also funded a new Early Year’s playground at the school, described by the headteacher as “a truly stunning playground. It looks like Disneyworld!”

Big hearted school kids also sent 120 shoeboxes to Romania with Year 5 teacher Mrs Boyles as part of the Link Romania appeal. The school was involved in the Brilliant Derby Project with author Andy Cope. Mr Crawford said: “Our Year 5s worked with him on The Art of Being Brilliant which included random acts of kindness - it was a lovely project.”

The school, which has 185 children, was one of a handful of Derbyshire school chosen to take part in the Open Schools Programme, which saw teachers from other schools observe lessons at Richardson Endowed School.

Discussing the school’s ethos, Mr Crawford said: “We create a shared vision at the beginning of the year - the whole community gets together and sets out a plan for improving the school and ways in which the community can get involved - so people have more ownership of it.”

And it seems the many extra-curricular activities have paid off academically, as the school also reported excellent results across all year groups in the summer tests.

Mr Crawford said: “I am very proud of our children and their behaviour and achievements this year.

“I also feel honoured to lead such a brilliant, dedicated staff team and would like to thank them for all their hard work.

“The children are working hard and their behaviour is fantastic. We are proud of our results and achievements - but we’re also proud of all the exciting things that have happened such as all the sports, music and extra-curricular opportunities and experiences that we offer.”