Links with the Local Community
At West Hill Primary School, we attach great importance to developing strong links between the school and local, regional and national communities. Within our curriculum, within Citizenship education, our Healthy schools and Eco-Schools work, our School Council, through assemblies, concerts and special events, we involve our pupils in the local community, so that they learn how to participate in a practical way in the life and concerns of their neighbourhood and communities. Working with parents, local residents, the business community, public services, global charities and voluntary services teaches the children to become active citizens.
Our Headteacher is a member of the Village Hall Management Committee. She attends twice termly meetings to discuss the smooth running of the Village Hall, which is used regularly by the school, as well as by other local clubs such as Badminton and Short Mat Bowls.
The school has excellent links with the Residents Association of West Hill. We discuss local issues, such as road safety and traffic calming, and we have worked closely with them on our School Travel Plans. The Residents Association has run poetry and road safety competitions for the school and kindly sponsors prizes for the children, such as a ‘Walking to School’ Trophy. Mrs. Nield is invited to attend some of their evening events.
Our outstanding Garden Club has developed great links with local businesses and organisations, for example, Otter Rotters, Otter Nurseries and Bardon Aggregates.
Mac, the Pastoral Co-ordinator of St. Michael’s Church in West Hill, leads assembly in our school at least twice each term, as do other local church leaders. Every Christmas, children in Years 3 and 4 celebrate a Christingle Service at the Church.
We believe that the role of the children as global citizens is greatly enhanced by involving them directly in helping others. This is done, not just by raising money, but through whole school assemblies and through class lessons in Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship, as well as through teaching and learning in curriculum areas such as Geography and Religious Education. The children designed our school ‘mural’ to show four important words are ‘Care’, ‘Tolerance’, ‘Trust’ and ‘Respect’. Generosity is discussed in terms of giving time, help and friendship, as well as raising funds.
We have excellent links with many local schools through sporting activities. We participate in football and tag rugby tournaments and friendly games arranged through local schools or through our Learning Community, all of which the children really enjoy. We are always looking to increase the number of sports matches we play.
We have very good links with the local press, particularly the Sidmouth Herald, the Ottery Advertiser, the Ottery Gazette, the Express and Echo and the Western Morning News. We value highly the part played by our local media in supporting school events and celebrating the children’s achievements.
We are always anxious to develop strong links with the local and wider community. We would like to extend this to a variety of local business and industry where possible.
The Governors are extremely grateful for the number of people from the village community who come to help in school in a whole variety of ways including running clubs, listening to reading and giving talks to the children.