Bridge Street, Sturminster Newton, Dorset, DT10 1BZ

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Why William Barnes Stands Out

William Barnes Primary School is situated in an attractive Edwardian red brick building in the conservation area of this small, friendly yet growing market town.  The school has provided a high standard of education for the children of Sturminster Newton for many years, with the school celebrating twenty years of successful OFSTED inspections in 2017.  Our ethos is summed up by the motto or mission statement “Where every child counts.”

Staff believe that every child can achieve their potential if they work hard and are provided with consistently high-quality teaching and a fun, nurturing, caring and friendly environment.  The curriculum focuses on combining academic success with exciting and enjoyable daily experiences so that the children look forward to coming to school and realise their potential.  At William Barnes, parents are welcomed into the school and encouraged to volunteer and get involved in their child’s journey through his or her primary years.

Some of the school’s many strengths include:

  • consistently good progress in national test results – the school came second in Dorset in 2017 for the progress of more able children – an ethos based on “Growth Mindset” and “Learning Powers”
  • residential trips in years 4,5 and 6 to outdoor education centres on the Isle of Purbeck and the Dorset coast
  • a comprehensive programme of outings, trips and educational visits
  • a welcoming and appreciative attitude to parental involvement with many opportunities to volunteer and get involved
  • support for parents/carers through a Family Jigsaw programme
  • termly Family Learning Weeks where parents are encouraged to come to school and join in with activities and events
  • music tuition including guitar, ukulele, clarinet, samba, brass and violin
  • two annual productions – Key Stage 1 at Christmas and Key Stage 2 in the Summer
  • an excellent reputation for competitive sport – School Cluster winners for Tag Rugby, Athletics, Aquathlon and Cross Country Running in 2017, 2018 and 2019, Netball winners 2022
  • strong emphasis on emotional well being – staff are trained in attachment and trauma friendly pro-social behaviour management
  • School Games Gold Mark Winners in 2016 – 2021 and aiming for Platinum in 2022.
  • opportunities for children to develop leadership skills as Sports Ambassadors, Young Interpreters, Eco-warriors and House Captains
  • a whole school swimming programme delivered in our own pool onsite
  • an active curriculum including daily including Wake and Shake and Daily Mile
  • winners of National Gallery’s Take One Picture Project on a number of occasions
  • regular visits to school by authors (Gillian Cross of Demon Headmaster fame recently spent a day at the school) and artists
  • strong links with St Mary’s Church with regular assemblies and visits for festivals and events
  • a thriving and enthusiastic PTFA
  • whole class IT lessons using iPADS and laptops with site-wide Wifi network
  • on-site pre-school Stepping Stones expanding with large extension