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Seal of approval at end of new school’s first term

Parents at Selby’s newest school have given teachers and staff a massive thumbs-up as it comes to the end of its first term.

Staynor Hall Community Primary Academy, run by York-based Ebor Academy Trust, opened in September and now, one term in, feedback from the school community has hailed its “brilliant teamwork” and “excellent standard of teaching”.

“With a brand new school, starting from scratch is easier,” said Gail Brown, Executive Headteacher, “It means we have started the way we mean to go on.”

Innovations that are proving popular include an online, interactive community where class teachers can communicate directly with parents using a smartphone app. The paperless environment means messages get out quickly and the school knows they have been read, or not.

All children take part in compulsory “family dining” where they take it in turns to serve each other on tables, eating set menus alongside teachers to encourage a sense of belonging.

“I am really impressed with the school so far,” said Julia Booth, mum of Benjamin, aged five. “When he started school, Benjamin could not hold a pencil. He is now coming home and writing his name and spelling a lot of the words he is learning at school without any encouragement. The best thing is the fact that he seems to enjoy it, and it is great to see him grow in confidence.”

John Tweedlie, dad of Alex, said: “It’s been a fantastic experience from the start until now and I can’t wait to see what’s down the line – although it doesn’t have to come too quickly!”

Aquilla Softley, mum of two-year-old Harrison, said the school and its Tiny Steps provision was “a breath of fresh air”. She said: “Harry went from not liking being separated from me, to not stopping talking about school and his friends. Moving my little boy here has been the best decision I made and I couldn’t praise the school enough.”

“Happy children are learning children,” said Sophie Watson, mum of Tyler. “We are so grateful to the staff and would highly recommend this school. It has an up-to-date fresh take on education and the children are set to thrive.”

Hannah Tasker, parents to James, aged seven, Lily, aged five and Amy, three, said: “I have previously volunteered as a school parent governor, and the knowledge I gained around primary education and the things I have seen so far in school, I would say good luck at working towards an ‘outstanding’ OFSTED judgement. From what I have seen already, I think you are well on your way.”

Ebor Academy Trust runs schools across Yorkshire. Camblesforth Community Primary school is set to join the trust from 1 January.