Kennet Valley School’s new headteacher, Katie Mallison, knew she wanted to work at the school when she first read the words that sum up the school’s values and approach to learning on their website – ‘Compassion, Curiosity and Courage.’ She told Marlborough.news, “I absolutely love the school and those three words are really important to me as a leader, for meeting with people and for making decisions. There is a deep sense in the school of the children being at the centre of everything and all decisions being made are being made for the benefit of the children.”
Katie has moved to Kennet Valley from a very similar village church school in Oxfordshire and has spent 14 years as a teacher. She loved Maths when she was at school and had intended to become a civil engineer but a gap year job working as a Teaching Assistant in a school changed her mind. However, as a teacher, she has been able to share her love of Maths and at her last school was the Maths specialist who led Primary Maths across an Academy Trust which included a large group of schools.
Kennet Valley School, she explained, has many strengths. “We are so fortunate to have the countryside on our doorstep – Lockeridge Dene, West Woods, local farms. Reception and Year 1 go on a discovery walk every Friday and Year 2,3 every Monday afternoon. These walks are closely linked to the Science and Geography curriculum.”
The school has many community groups who support them and “an incredible group – Friends of the School” who run all sorts of fundraising and extra-curricular activities. An Art Fair will be run by the Friends later in the term. The school is grateful to two local companies, Trust On Security and Jensen Wealth Management, who have sponsored hoodies for Year 6. Kennet Valley School offers an after school club every day except Friday. There are plans to start a Friday club which will also involve members of the community.
Katie explained the aims of the school, “We want our children to leave here with the strength in basic skills of literacy and numeracy so they can access the next stage of their education effortlessly. We want them to have the core set of values of being a good person running through them. We want to help them have the confidence and resilience to be successful at secondary school.”
On October 12 the school is running a ‘Stay and Play’ session from 2-3pm for 3 to 4 year olds. This will involve making potions. On November 15th 3 to 4 year olds are invited to join Reception and Year 1 on their discovery walk. However, Katie says, “Every day is Open Day at Kennet Valley School and if you would like to visit just contact us to arrange a time.”