Pupils off to a real flying start at new free school

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A new primary free school in Bedford has started life with a bang this term – with pupils getting creative with their science and cooking skills - and receiving visits from Pudsey and Santa.

Great Ouse Primary Academy near Biddenham, which opened its doors to pupils in pre-school, reception, year 1 and year 2 in September, is a member of the high performing Sharnbrook Academy Federation (SAF) and acts as a feeder to Lincroft and Sharnbrook Academies.

The primary school has had a brilliant first term, with students getting involved in a number of fun activities including celebrating Diwali with creative Mehendi patterns, and designing and displaying clay poppy installations in the school garden for Remembrance Day. Pupils also tried out their cooking skills by making their very own Chinese spring rolls and sweet and sour chicken, tasting their creations afterwards using chopsticks.

The staff at Great Ouse have also taken a creative approach to teaching this term, bringing learning to life through a series of practical activities. Science lessons have been a particular highlight with pupils launching rockets filled with vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, and investigating air resistance by strapping on parachutes and testing their speed out in the playground.

Visitors have been welcomed, with Pudsey making an appearance after parents and children raised £180 for Children in Need. The school’s most recent special visitor was Santa, with pupils dressing up in festive gear to meet Father Christmas, in support of The Keech Hospice in conjunction with before and after school club provider, Dawn Until Dusk.

A strong and committed team of staff is headed by the principal Paul Ives, who formerly worked at Margaret Beaufort Middle School in Riseley.

Mr Ives said: “We are delighted to have had such a positive start to the year, delivering a high-quality education in a way that is engaging and inspiring. The range of activities children have enjoyed this term including cooking sessions, practical science experiments, sports and music lessons show that our excellent teaching team are consistently ensuring that learning at this important formative stage is made fun, varied and interactive.

“We are all incredibly proud of the achievements, attainment and progress of our new pupils this term. Parents and carers as well as the local community have engaged with Great Ouse Primary Academy and been very supportive in so many ways. We’re now very much looking forward to lots of fun and festive activities in the run up to Christmas to round off a wonderful first term.”

Parents who would like more information, or would like to apply for a place to start now should contact Tracy McDonagh at Sharnbrook Academy Federation on 01234 907895.

For those wishing to start reception in September 2018, please apply via Bedford Borough Council on 01234 718120 or by email at admissions@bedford.gov.uk. Visits to the school are welcome and appointments can be booked by calling 01234 907890.