ACKLINGTON C. of E. FIRST SCHOOL - In The News
The pupils of Acklington School are often featured in the local
newspapers for their various achievements and activities. Below
are some examples of press coverage they have received.
ACKLINGTON SCHOOL IN FEDERATION TALKS
following article was published by the
Northumberland Gazette on
Thursday 28th May 2015
Consultation has begun over proposals for a hard
federation between JCSC and Acklington C of E
If the plan is approved, JCSC – comprising the
middle school South Avenue site and the high
school and sixth-form at Acklington Road – would
work with the first school under a new, single
JCSC chairman of governors Scott Dickinson said
the aim was to build on the strong foundations
between the three schools and bring them closer
together. He said it was an exciting time for
Mr Dickinson said Mrs Graham made a valuable
contribution to the success of both schools.
He added that JCSC is in a strong, emerging
position, offering fantastic education and is
delighted to welcome Mr Heath, who is a
‘well-respected senior education leader’.
In a statement, Mr Heath said: “I am absolutely
delighted to have been given the opportunity to
join the JCSC team on an interim basis during
this period of transition.”
The proposal for a hard federation follows
discussions between the governing bodies of JCSC
and Acklington C of E First School, which also
has a nursery.
The vision is to retain the three-tier structure
across the three separate school sites,
providing all-through education from early years
to sixth form, under one executive headteacher.
The governing bodies say it would provide
continuity, the chance to share leadership,
resources and expertise and provide
opportunities to improve teaching and learning
across all the schools, as well as providing
long-term sustainability. Mr Dickinson said
there would be no job losses if the plans went
If approved, the two separate governing bodies
would cease to exist and a new federated
governing body of 17 current governors would be
After the consultation period closes on July 10,
the two governing bodies will make a final
decision on whether to federate. The verdict
will be announced by July 13 and, if approved,
the federation will start from August 17.
More information, including a response form, is
PUPILS LEFT PUZZLING OVER CHALLENGE DAY
following article was published by the
Northumberland Gazette on
Thursday 26th March 2015
A north Northumberland first school hosted a
schools’ puzzle challenge day last week after
receiving a Kickstart Grant for British Science
The event at Acklington Village Hall was hosted by
Acklington CE First School last Thursday.
at Acklington First School enjoy the activities
during their puzzle challenge day.
During the day, pupils were joined by some of the
children from Amble First School, Amble Links First
School, Broomhill First School, Grange View CE First
School and Red Row First School to experience
practical team puzzling and problem-solving
activities, as presented by the Happy Puzzle
The company’s programmes use large 3D team puzzles
and challenges, which all look incredibly easy until
the students start trying to solve them.
Educational psychologist and programme creator Gavin
Ucko said: “It’s learning without a pen and paper
and it gives teachers a rare opportunity to take a
step back and watch their students in action.
“Often, it’s the students you least expect to excel,
who turn out to be incredible leaders and the
inspiration that leads a group to success.”
Joint acting headteacher Gail Van Schalkwyk said:
“We are very excited about this project and
extremely proud to have the opportunity to host the
Happy Puzzle Company.
“Developing inquiring minds and resilient children
is at the heart of Acklington CE First School’s
curriculum. We are delighted to be able to share
this learning opportunity with others schools in the
CHILDREN ENJOY BEING ACTIVE
The following article
was published on 4th January 2015 by the
Children at Acklington C of E First School have
used their sports grant to receive 10 weeks of
PE lessons at Alnwick’s Willowburn Sports and
Combining swimming lessons with a range of
sporting activities proved a great success,
giving the children at the school an opportunity
to participate in gymnastics, bouldering and
Children were also given the chance to use the
trampolines and the sports hall to further
develop their skills.
Even the nursery children joined in the fun and
participated in all of the sessions.
The schoolchildren said they had especially
enjoyed the bouldering wall, although
three-year-old Isaac said: “I like the
trampoline the best.”
The PE and sport premium is designed to help
primary schools improve the quality of the PE
and sport activities they offer their pupils.
Teachers and parents at Acklington were in
agreement that the quality of teaching provided
by staff at Willowburn was excellent and
children showed great enthusiasm.
As a result of the experience, many of the
children have signed up to join sports clubs
after school and at weekends.
PUPILS HELP OPEN ACKLINGTON FARM SHOP
A farm shop and cafe has opened in
Northumberland in a diversification project.
Cavil Head Farm near Acklington village received
over £177,000 through One North East's Rural
Development Programme for England (RDPE)
programme to transform redundant buildings on
the site as part of a long-term aim to create a
leisure and holiday centre in rural
The new shop has created 12 jobs and features an
on-site butcher, ice-cream parlour, coffee shop
and large children's play area.
Around 30 local businesses are being supported
through sale of locally-grown products.
Pupils from Acklington First School attended the
The farm was bought by the owners of Warkworth
Farm and is a working tenanted arable site.
Manager Neil Cox said: "We are thrilled to see
the farm shop open as we start to transform it
into a small leisure and holiday centre."
Pictured from left with Acklington pupils: Effie
Fenton, head teacher of Acklington First School,
Andy Dean of Northumberland County Council, One
North East's Adrian Sherwood and teaching
assistant Susan Smith.
In 2008 Acklington reached the national finals of "The Village
of The Year" competition. The pupils from
Acklington School welcomed the judges to the
village and sang some Northumbrian songs to
them. The village (which had already been
voted the best in Northumberland during 2007)
was praised for its fantastic community spirit and a real sense of
things happening”. Acklington School, and its
pupils, played a major part in the village's
Staff, governors, parents and pupils from
Acklington School were delighted to win second
prize in the recent Journal's "Tokens For
Schools Competition". More than 50 schools in
the region entered the competition, which was
run in association with Barclays Bank.
The winners were those schools listed below who
managed to collect most tokens per pupil. The
prize money for each school is also shown:
1st Linton First Sch £2,500
2nd Acklington First £1,500
3rd Harbottle First £ 500
4th Norham First £ 500
Staff at Acklington School intend to spend the
prize-money on a mini oven and kitchen
equipment, plus a dishwasher to ensure the
children's water bottles remain hygienic.
Thank you to all Journal readers who supported
the school's appeal for tokens. It was a great
The school was featured in the Journal
on 25th February 2010. The full article is
Acklington First School
Children at Acklington First School help each
other out to make sure everyone does well at
school. The children help each other to develop
not only in school but also as people, and their
increasing maturity is noticeable as they move
through the year groups, working, playing and
making decisions with increasing independence.
Coupled with a supportive environment provided
by hard-working teachers and good community
links, the school has had inspection reports
that truly reflect their achievements.
The exciting topics the children cover in the
lesson plans is also combined with interesting
trips; for instance, the school has been to
Cumbria and Edinburgh Castle.
There is little the school could improve on but
they have managed to increase the number of
staff covering their Early Years provision, and
will now be improving the equipment to enable
learning both indoors and out all year round.
New head Effie Fenton said: "We are a small but
perfectly-formed rural school, with currently 26
children attending, and we are very proud of our
caring, family atmosphere and excellent level of
support for the children. As a church school we
are at the centre of the local community within
the parish. Children make very good progress in
their learning and development throughout their
time at Acklington."
Name of school:
Acklington CE First School
Headteacher: Ms Effie Fenton
Chairman of governors: Mr
Number of pupils: 22 (plus four
Type of school: Voluntary
Controlled Church of England First
Pictured right: Acklington First
School pupils see how many coins will be
needed for the school's copper kilometre
they will be doing for charity
Main findings of most recent Ofsted
"Acklington C of E First School is a
good school. Pupils are well cared for
and thrive in a supportive environment
that is at the centre of its community."
"A family atmosphere exists within the
school and pupils say they feel safe and
well cared for."
"Pupils become more mature as they move
through the school. They work, play and
make decisions with increasing
"Pupils have a very good sense of right
and wrong, and older children ably
support younger members of the school
community in developing their moral
"Attendance is outstanding. Pupils say
they enjoy being at school."
"The curriculum is good...and has been
developed around themes that have been
chosen to be exciting and relevant to
How would you describe the school's
ethos and values?
From Church Inspection: "The Christian
ethos permeates all aspects of school
life and brings positive values and
attitudes to teaching and learning,
leading and managing."
The school's aims and values are given
priority in ensuring that all in the
school community respects and values
The impact on children is seen through
the good quality of their development as
valued and happy individuals and in the
good standards they achieve.
We at Acklington C of E First School
believe that every child deserves to be
happy and given the opportunity to have
a journey which values them as
individuals in a Christian environment.
We strive to provide the children with a
learning environment that both supports
their academic achievements and embraces
the whole child creatively, physically,
spiritually and morally. An environment
where the children feel safe, valued and
supported, and of which we are all
What are the school's main strengths?
We are a small but perfectly-formed
rural school, with 26 children
attending, and we are very proud of our
caring, family atmosphere and excellent
level of support for the children. As a
church school we are at the centre of
the local community within the parish.
Children make very good rates of
progress in their learning and
development throughout their time at
Our creative curriculum, where children
learn skills and knowledge through
exciting topics, and take part in a wide
variety of visits to places as far
afield as Edinburgh and Cumbria, is
considered a strength by children,
parents and visitors.
What areas are the school trying to
We have already raised the staffing
levels in the Early Years and Key Stage
1 class to ensure an excellent ratio of
adults to children, allowing a very high
level of adult support for thinking,
discussion and learning (1:7 in the
mornings, 1:9 in the afternoons). We are
now planning to further develop our
Early Years Provision by carefully
resourcing and equipping the area to
develop learning through play, indoors
and outdoors, all year round.
There are several new members of staff,
including a new headteacher, and
everyone is working together
enthusiastically to constantly improve
the experience for children at
What extra-curricular activities and
out-of-school provision does the school
We offer a variety of sporting
activities to the children, including
netball training and tournaments and
lunchtime football club on Fridays.
There is a toddler group on site on
Thursday mornings, run by parents, for
parents and their little ones to get
together, with a wide variety of
Last term, Class 2 pupils learned how to
play the ukulele in a course of lessons!
A menu of out-of-school clubs changes
throughout the year.
There are many activities on offer to
our children run by the Coquet
Partnership Extended Services during the
holidays. Also, the village hall in
Acklington runs a sports club on Friday
evenings which is well-attended by
children from our school and other
How does the school get involved in
the local community?
Parents are incredibly supportive, and
run a lot of fundraising events for the
local community to take part in and
For example, we are having afternoon tea
(rather than a coffee morning!) on
Thursday, March 4 from 1.30pm to 3pm
where anyone can come and enjoy tea and
We are also having another popular
"pampered shopper" event on the evening
of Thursday, April 1 in the village
hall, where you can browse a wide
variety of stalls from outlets such as
the Body Shop while enjoying a massage,
hair consultation or manicure from salon
professionals, and 25% of everything we
raise for the school fund goes to a
charity chosen by the children - this
term it is Unicef.
What is the school's proudest
We have a fantastic website, where you
can see photos, videos, and the latest
information about all our proudest
achievements at Acklington.
The children also update an online blog
(diary) about our latest news, which you
can navigate to from our website.
Acklington First School pupils at