Yattendon Church of England (Aided) Primary School is situated in the village of Yattendon which lies some six miles North East of Newbury. Like so much of West Berkshire, it is in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In the village there is our school, a pub, a shop with a post office, a butcher and greengrocer, a hairdresser and a brewery with a shop. The school building was built in 1892 and given to Yattendon village by Alfred Waterhouse in memory of his son Alfred Maurice Waterhouse.
The school has grown considerably, particularly since the late 1980’s when it doubled in size in less than 10 years. An extension to the building was added in 1996 which became the new junior classroom, with the original school room becoming the school hall. The school was divided into three classes in 1997. In 2006 we added an outdoor classroom for our Foundation Stage children. In the summer of 2012 we extended the school to four classrooms, to allow teaching to meet the needs of each key stage and to support our aim to become outstanding. Our intention is to continue to ensure the building is developed to meet the continuing needs of the children and staff at Yattendon.
The school serves a catchment area including the villages of Yattendon, Burnt Hill, Frilsham and Ashampstead. We also attract children from outside catchment due to the schools continuing focus on ensuring each child meets their full potential, a creative curriculum and excellent pastoral care. Most children move on from Year 6 to the local secondary school, The Downs, although some do join the independent sector.
The attractions of our school are many - a lovely building, a beautiful rural environment with a large playing field and playground for our pupils to enjoy, committed teachers, support staff and governors. We have a strong support team in place for the children and also, within the administration team, a Business Manager. The school boasts a very active Parent Teacher Association (Friends of Yattendon School - FOYS) which runs events such as quiz nights, silent auctions and social events for parents and teachers. In the past they have paid for a new storage shed and the refurbishment of our library.
Our active school council represents the views of all the children and hold charitable events throughout the year such as cake sales to raise money for a chosen charity. Strong links to our church allow the children to enjoy many of the highlights of the Christian year including: Ashing on Ash Wednesday, Remembrance services, Christmas Carols by Candlelight service, Christingle and regular worship. We believe in the children participating in many different activities and offer a range of whole school activities including regular trips to support the curriculum including an autumn St Frideswide walk.
The school maintains sporting links with our local independent schools Bradfield College and St Gabriel’s. In addition we work with other local schools in a number of areas: sport, curriculum development, staff training and inset days.
The school offers a large outdoor space with a variety of areas; field, outdoor classroom for foundation stage and playgrounds suitable for a various activities. The school believes strongly in providing after-school clubs that meet the interests of all our children. Sports such as netball, tag rugby, multi-sports, judo, football and table tennis in addition to a gardening club, dance classes and a Choir. The school encourages all pupils to take music lessons when offered through Berkshire Maestros - recent opportunities have included recorder, cello and clarinet. The school also employs sports coaches. All children are encouraged to take part in both creative and performing arts through a programme of events throughout the year such as our annual summer production and Nativity play.
Our school is set in a beautiful location, with fields and woods nearby. It has its own pond and vegetable garden where the children can pond dip or join the gardening club. We make full use of the countryside in our outdoor education programme, including our woodland walks in Foundation and Key Stage 1. Yattendon village is part of the Yattendon Estate; the school maintains close links with the Estate through membership of the Governing body and through its charitable trust, the Waterhouse Trust, which makes an annual financial grant to school.
We are very proud of our school and our prospectus provides a clear, concise view of our organisation, our Christian ethos and everything that we have to offer. It confirms that everyone associated with the school is fully committed to improving the opportunities for the children in our care. Children are at the heart of everything that we do. We believe that every child is an individual and has a unique offering to the school and the community in which they live.We believe that by having the highest standards and expectations, we will build on individual strengths through a rich and varied curriculum. We enable children to discover and respect themselves so they will be better equipped to respect and value others around them. We encourage children to live by strong moral and spiritual values.
We choose to utilise our budget to achieve generous staffing levels as we consider this to be of primary importance, particularly in the early years. As a church aided school, we also receive part of our funding from the Oxford Diocese. We currently have in excess of 50 hours of learning support assistant time in the classroom. We aim to ensure that all children have support every morning for literacy and numeracy. Additional hours are then allocated as appropriate. We welcome the involvement of parents in the classroom. We currently have parental support with clubs, reading, and supporting to run our new library.