Pioneering Exmoor schools' federation celebrates second birthday

PARENTS and the community were invited to an open day at the West Exmoor Federation of Lynton, Parracombe and Kentisbury primary schools to find out how their pioneering union is blossoming in its second year of life. The three joined forces in January 20

PARENTS and the community were invited to an open day at the West Exmoor Federation of Lynton, Parracombe and Kentisbury primary schools to find out how their pioneering union is blossoming in its second year of life.

The three joined forces in January 2007 to create their federation, with one headteacher, one budget and one aim - to ensure youngsters could continue to go to their local school.

Throughout Thursday the schools celebrated their continued success with a variety of specialist activities at all three schools, open to parents and members of the community, to go along and see how this fairly unique solution to securing the future of all three schools was faring.

At Kentisbury the federation's Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children were taking part in Forest School outdoor learning activities in the grounds, including a mini beats hunt, nature treasure hunt and learning about trees.


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Years 3 and 4 were at Parracombe attending a dance workshop with a team of professionals and students from Ilfracombe College, while and Years 5 and 6 were at Lynton taking part in ICT learning with representatives from the college.

Throughout the day a range of organisations were on hand to talk about various community services too. At Kentisbury there were health professionals, police, special educational needs professionals and children's centres. At Parracombe Ilfracombe College and Pilton College visited with their Year 7 staff and at Lynton Early Years displays.

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The Federation has attracted a great deal of professional interest from other schools around the country and on Thursday morning headteacher Jane Peacock and deputy head Clare Cooke gave a presentation on the story so far to parents, governors, councillors and officers from local councils.

"We are getting a lot of national attention at the moment and a lot of people are being sent to us to find out about federation good practice," said Mrs Cooke.

"Nationally we are well known, so I think the open day was about spreading that message locally."

In the afternoon there was a Federation Sports Day at Parracombe and since each school has retained its individual identity and house system, the schools' houses combined for the afternoon to form four larger teams.

"The day has been a fantastic success, the children have really enjoyed being in their age groups," continued Mrs Cooke.

"They loved the joined up sports day, with for example the only Year 3 girl in one school able to take part within a group! We have had fantastic support from the parents, PTFAs and college and a great turn out form the community."

After the Sports, the Federation year 4 and 5 ensemble performed for parents and visitors, following ongoing workshops work with Wren Music and have performed at a range of events.

The afternoon concluded with the cutting of a Federation cake, created by teaching assistant Kirstie Freer, to symbolise all that has been achieved so far and a cream tea provided by the three schools' PTFAs.

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