The school is a co-educational, Church of England Primary School, serving children from the year in which they are five until they reach the age of eleven. The school is part of the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust (DEMAT).
Our catchment area covers the villages of Swaffham Prior and Reach, with children also attending from other surrounding villages.
We have a lovely field for sport and play time, a pond area, a vegetable garden, a nature area, an outdoor swimming pool, a tarmac playground with an adjacent grassy area on which FoSPS have funded a trim trail. The sheltered and surfaced area adjacent to Hedgehog class allows some of the curriculum to be taught outside.
In our designated Nature Area, which we use to enhance outdoor learning for all children, are bird nesting boxes, bird feeding stations, insect ‘houses’ and a pond. We have close links with Wicken Fen who support us with maintaining and developing the area.
Our main external entrances are coded for security purposes. Our mobile class room houses our library and is available for group work and class music sessions.
The school car park has a gate, for security purposes, which is locked during the school and overnight and should not be used for parent parking or turning cars in Station Road. We encourage walking to school or supervised cycling for those who have not passed their cycling proficiency (we have a cycle shelter available). Parents may use the village hall car park and walk through the side gate. The side gate is also locked during the school day.
Transport to school
Reach children may travel on the Bottisham Village College bus, providing they have a bus pass, details of which can be obtained from the school office.
A Brief History
The school was originally run entirely by the church and situated at the bottom of the church steps, but in the 1920s, the LA decided that it was in a very poor state of repair and should be replaced. They offered to build a new school – but under their control. There was a great deal of opposition to this loss of control, which resulted in the local squire and the vicar putting up the money to build the present school in 1928. This is the building, which now houses our hall, offices and kitchen.
As the school was nearing completion, Henry Morris began the Village Colleges and it was decided that the senior children should transfer to Burwell, rather than Bottisham. This caused such uproar in the village that the police put a guard on the new school to prevent the senior pupils from entering. Parents retaliated by employing a teacher privately to work with the seniors in the village hall, although some children did attend Swaffham Bulbeck School instead.
There followed a period of great unrest, which resulted finally in the head teacher’s resignation in 1934. There were then 60 children on roll. Gradually things began to settle down but with the advent of the war in 1939, evacuees began to arrive, and numbers fluctuated between 60 and 100. After the war, in 1947, the school finally came under the control of the Local Authority although retaining its Church of England status. At the same time school meals were delivered from Burwell.
Children from Reach started attending the school in 1960 with the closure of their village school.
The classrooms in present use were built in 1966, and the two sections connected by a covered way at a later date. The mobile classroom was added as numbers increased. In the last few years, further modifications have made the school accessible to disabled children. The library extension was added in 1997 and the new classroom in 1998, to be followed by a new staffroom in 2003. We now have a school which is comfortably adapted to its present use, but one which reflects and reminds us of its past.
As well as promoting friendship, our Swaffham Prior
buddy bench helps our children to be aware and
compassionate towards the feelings of others.