Letter to Prospective Parents from a Parent Governor

Dear Prospective Parents

As one of 4 children who grew up in Hartfield and attended St Mary’s, I have now seen all three of my children enjoy the experience of being part of this lovely village school. The Community of Hartfield has nurtured them from the start and the natural transition from the wonderful Playschool in the village gave them a confident beginning to their life long education. The small school has always been welcoming and communicative. The small class sizes have provided gentle friend ships and most importantly to me as a parent, a settled and secure community from which the children can feel confident in themselves as individuals. Each child has been recognised and acknowledged for their own achievements, small or big.

It has been great to see my own children access the wonderful rural environment of Hartfield through the topic work and curriculum St Mary’s have covered. They have thrived with the individual attention offered with small class sizes. One child, summer born was nurtured well and given the support needed to encourage his academic progress. The teachers were able to quickly assess his attainment and from that provided extra support in maths booster groups. This lead to his incredible progress and very high attainment in maths by Year 6. Consequently he is now achieving extremely well in top maths sets at secondary school, no doubt as a result in early intervention and recognition of his hard work and subsequently thorough enjoyment of maths.

Children are recognised for the effort they put into their engagement in learning and are encouraged to challenge themselves. With the mixed age classes there has always been the opportunity for children to work at the level that is right for them. The differentiated work has meant children have instant access to teaching that will raise their attainment by being exposed to challenges of the older peer group. It has also provided real pride and self-confidence in the mastery of their skills when working with the younger children in each class.

They have enjoyed big adventures to France, camping on the Ashdown Forest and trips to London, but also small adventures to the Briar’s field centre, walking the local Forest Way and using the wonderful croft in the village for Sports Day, the Fun Run and other annual events.

The Church has always ensured the school is anchored to the community, along with the school being involved in annual fetes and community events such as the ‘Children’s Book Festival’ and Community Theatre. The church building has been a wonderful space for the children to perform in, and helps nurture a sense of community with Christmas Nativity services and end of Year School productions such as ‘The Tempest’ or ‘The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe’ Opera.

I look forward to my role as a parent Governor and am excited to continue to be involved in the education of children in the community.

Louise Sanders, Parent governor

July 2015