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Exciting first year for new Norfolk Catholic school 

The first new Catholic primary school to open in Norfolk for decades has had an exciting and eventful first year. Executive Head of Sacred Heart VA Primary School, Aidan McGovern, reports.

The launch of the new Sacred Heart Voluntary Aided Primary School, and Little Pedlars Nursery, marked the start of an exciting time of growth and opportunity for the children and families of Swaffham and surrounding areas.
 
The school is funded by the Government and supported by the Catholic Diocese of East Anglia. We began life on September 1, 2019, in the fantastic grounds of the existing all-through school, which has meant we have been able to take over facilities that many primary schools would be envious of.
 
Underwater750We have a dedicated computer room, a science lab, a home economics room, a library, a gymnasium and a huge sports barn with additional tennis courts, as well as a large field and outdoor learning areas.
 
We are a growing school with dedicated staff and offer classes from Reception through to Year 6 with places available in each year group. We have capacity to be a one-form entry primary school of 210 children.
 
The Catholic nature of our school means that we are universal in our approach to those who attend the school. The fundamental Christian values and ethos permeate the way in which we deliver the curriculum and support our families in their children’s learning journey and their faith. We have fun, enjoy our learning and are excited about the future.
 
As with all schools across the country, our first year has been interrupted by Covid-19. Our staff have been on hand to support the children as they continue their learning, both at home and, for those able to attend, at school.
 
This has taken different forms. Here are the thoughts of some of our children about the time during lockdown:
 
“I was excited because I could see my friends and teachers, but nervous because I wasn’t sure how school would be and I couldn’t get too close to my friends in the playground.”
 
“There were some changes in the school. We all have our own desks and stationery so no sharing and no quarrels, brilliant!”
 
“We are all enjoying being back because we get more teacher time and also more downtime stuff like art, colouring and puzzles.” 
 
“As there are only a few of us we get to do different things that we don’t usually have room for – like learning to do the Cha Cha Slide to help us with our maths position and direction vocabulary – we are all cool movers!”

 
During ‘Lockdown’ the children were very keen to do some art and decided to make an Underwater Sea Display to brighten up the gym/assembly hall, hoping it will cheer everyone up when all pupils return to school.
 
“I really enjoyed making it all, especially the squids and all the different techniques I had to use. I hope the display brings a smile to people’s faces.”
 
“I liked being in the art/science room, the older children use it normally. We made a penguin for Miss Lewis as they are her favourite animal.”

 
Year 6 voted to explore how rockets are made, and they designed and made their own.
 
We are gaining new pupils all the time and are looking forward to the new normal in September 2020. We are keen to attract even more pupils and encourage parents to contact us and come and see what our wonderful school can offer you.

You can learn more about the school on its website here.
 
Pictured above are children from Sacred Heart with their rockets (top), and with their Underwater Sea Display.
 



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