6th July 2001 at 01:00
A week in the life of Yerbury primary school, Islington

It's a school run with a difference at Yerbury. Rather than clog up the roads and pump the air full of choking exhaust fumes, parents at this beacon school put their children on the bus - the virtual bus.

This pollution-free, walk-to-school initiative, run by parents, picks up from stops on several routes to school, and is a big hit with children, who enjoy a safe and sociable journey in the morning, says literacy co-ordinator Margaret O'Neill.

It is all part of Yerbury's wider commitment to environmental awareness, which includes an emphasis on healthy eating and a well-organised recycling system.

Yerbury, the largest primary in the London borough of Islington, also works hard on promoting links with the local, and the not-so-local, community. Pupils have provided shoeboxes full of provisions for children in Romania. And the choir and brass band regularly entertain local old folk at the nearby community centre.

Music is, in fact, a particular strength of the school, with every child learning to play an instrument.

A playground enrichment scheme has also been a success. Building work has transformed the playground; an old toilet block has given way to an attractive shaded seating area, for example.

This popular and oversubscribed school has been given the seal of approval by Ofsted, which commended its strengths in all subjects, as well as its caring, holistic attitude.

Follow that bus!

Snaps by staff

Transport of delight: the virtual bus makes its way to school

Pool talents: Year 3 take a dip

Sara,Kevin and Jake in the nursery

How old is that? Owen on a visit to the British Museum

Up it goes:Year 4 give it some stick in an architecture workshop

In the altogether now: Year 2's performance of the 'The Emperor's New Clothes'

Foremen five: Year 2 boys supervise the playground building work

To dye for: Year 5 investigate the finer points of batik

String trio: Jonathon, Georgia and Daniel perform in assembly

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