Headteacher Rosemary Scott runs a thriving village primary school in Bucklesham, Suffolk, which has grown 50 per cent to 107 pupils under her leadership. "We try to do everything here," she says, in between hosting a harvest lunch for local pensioners and taking the juniors swimming. "But above all we have a family atmosphere with happy, confident children.
That's our motto."
Bucklesham's Victorian school building is bounded on all sides by fields, including the second-largest asparagus bed in Suffolk. But on the horizon is a huge telecommunications station studded with aerials, and this is very much a21st-century school.
Rosemary Scott was nominated for our flowers, champagne and chocolates by Year 3 teacher Nora Hydes, who wanted to thank her for working tirelessly over the summer holidays. As well as overseeing a complete renovation of the staffroom, Rosemary was often in school helping to install interactive whiteboards in each of the four classrooms.
Rosemary admits the summer was hectic, exhausting even, but she says, "the staff are a brilliant team" and all the changes are reaping benefits this term. She'd been on an ICT course about strategic leadership and felt there was no alternative but to put some "devolved capital" into whiteboards. At the first training session of term even the caretaker was present. "It's just fantastic the way this technology is changing all our lives."
At Bucklesham, there are lots of working parties and parents are involved "as much as possible". The staffroom had been "a complete mess" and the children also needed an area for cooking; enter "one large dad", who seemed able to pull out old wall units within minutes. A pond, new paving and a wildlife area in the school garden have all been created with parents'
help. The school, which is halfway between Ipswich and Felixstowe, is in a loose federation with three other primaries, which have lots of joint activities, especially in Year 6. "When they leave us, we like to think they know 40 other children their age rather than just the 14 they've grown up with."
This week is Book Week, when a Hindu storyteller will be visiting and Year 6 children see a production of Romeo and Juliet at Felixstowe's Spa Pavilion. Drama workshops will follow with the federation schools - and it's not even half-term yet.
Heroes are out there, but we need you to reveal them in all their glory.
Think of the person in your school - teacher, classroom assistant, governor, cook - who always goes the extra mile. Then tell us about them in a letter or email to Sarah Bayliss at the address above. Go on, they deserve recognition. (Flowers kindly supplied by Marks Spencer.)