West Rise is named national Primary School of the Year

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West Rise Junior School in Eastbourne has won the Primary School of the Year award at the respected TES Schools Awards.

The school in Chaffinch Road was described as “not a typical primary school and said the way in which headteacher Mike Fairclough and his staff incorporate innovation while maintaining high standards impressed the judges.

A TES spokesperson said, “The standard of the other schools in the running was very high, but as one judge said, In the end it came down to two questions. Which of the schools would I most like to teach at? And, if I were a child, where would I most like to be? The answer in each case was West Rise Junior School’.

“West Rise is not a typical primary. It is home to a million bees that are looked after by a dedicated team of pupils. And the bees are only the beginning. The children are also in charge of a herd of water buffalo, an assortment of farm animals, 120 acres of marshland, and the uncovering and rebuilding of the second-largest Bronze Age settlement in Europe. The way in which headteacher Mike Fairclough and his staff incorporate innovation while maintaining high standards impressed the judges.”

The accolade comes from the highly respected TES Schools Awards, now in their seventh year. The awards recognise outstanding contributions made by education teams and individuals to help students around the country to succeed, both inside and outside the classroom.

Winners attended a black-tie event in London, hosted by BAFTA-nominated writer and comedian Greg Davies, where more than 1,000 attendees celebrated all that is outstanding in education, from the efforts of individual teachers to the work of entire schools.

The awards have 17 categories, including secondary school, head teacher and healthy school of the year. New accolades have been introduced in 2015 for teacher-bloggers and early years’ settings, in addition to an award for the most creative school.

The winners were chosen by a panel of judges including the writer Anthony Horowitz, Dr Lee Elliot Major, chief executive of the Sutton Trust, and Colin Bell, chief executive of the Council of British International Schools.

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