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Buzz of having a Beekeeper

OUTSIDE experts have a vital role to play at the 30-pupil Newton Blossomville Cof E first school, near Milton Keynes.

Headteacher Liz Miles invites in specialists to teach sport, art and even beekeeping.

Under the new primary strategy, all schools will be expected to work more closely with outside specialists, both teachers and non-teachers, to enrich the curriculum.

With all the school's five to eight-year-olds in one class, head Liz Miles teaches for most of the week alongside two support assistants and two part-time teachers.

She believes in drawing on expertise from within and around the school, such as that of beekeeper Martyn Buckle, who helps the children to produce prize-winning honey from Newton's own hive of bees.

Mrs Miles said: "We have started using lots of other people, mainly because we're such a small school with a limited number of people who work here, so we don't have the expertise.

"We have discovered a travelling theatre company which works near here who came in and did a 'Play in a Day' that was about Noah's Ark, so it covered RE as well as drama.

"For children, there is no better way of learning than having a hands-on experience of these things. It is a wonderful way of extending knowledge."

Outstanding was how inspectors described the school during their visit in 2002. Their report concluded there were "no areas in which the school could, realistically, improve further".

The 2001 report spoke of a "rich, interesting curriculum, coupled with strong links with the church and community".

HW

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