Snapshots

2nd March 2001 at 00:00
(Photograph) - A week in the life of Naseby CE primary school, Northamptonshire

This is a genuine small village school. There are only 55 pupils and one full-time member of staff, the head, Leah Stirrat. "It's tremendously hard work, but I love it - it's like a giant family," she says. She is helped by four part-timers and a number of assistants. One of these is 80-year-old Eda Prime, who comes in twice a week to hear children read. Before she retired she was caretaker at the school for 43 years and, before that, a pupil. Another assistant is Sylvia King, who teaches gardening. But last winter when it got too cold to go outside, she taught the children sewing and entered them in a national quilt-making competition; they won first prize in the under-16 class. The village's main claim to fame is as the site of the civil war battle of Naseby (there is a Cromwell cottage). This is shown in a set of 96 six-inch ceramic tiles the childrn made for the village hall recording the area's history - its first recorded appearance is in the Domesday Book. Back to today, the school is set to grow to more than 60 in September. "But," says Mrs Stirrat, "with only two classrooms and a small room for lunch, the building's getting too small."

Snaps by Gavin Fogg

It's a breeze: Joshua and Sara collect weather data which they then log on a computer. The equipment was donated by Powergen

Key stage: Eleanor, Sara and Becky play their violins

Hang free: Lawrence tends the school gardens; 1,000 bulbs were planted for the millennium

Word perfect: Mrs Prime hears Daniel read. Left: Sara and Sam banking for food technology

Ringing tine: the original Victorian bell is tolled for the start of lessons

Mmmmm: Sam samples a cake from the school kitchen

A thousand years of history: Joanne works on a design for the title panel in the village hall


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