Yanwath Primary School’s new headteacher says its pupils have a “really exciting journey” ahead of them.
Cate Floyd moved up to Cumbria in 2017 to become headteacher at Longtown Primary School, which, like Yanwath, is part of the Cumbria Education Trust.
During those two years, Longtown secured its first rating of good from the education watchdog Ofsted.
“I am quite proud of that,” said Mrs Floyd.
She started as executive headteacher at Yanwath in January, with a crossover period between Longtown and Yanwath — moving exclusively to the Yanwath role since the start of September.
Mrs Floyd said working for the Cumbria Education Trust was absolutely amazing as it embodied everything she valued and strived for — improvement, working with the community, and working in partnerships.
She explained that being part of the trust means they were part of an extended family of schools and had support on hand if they needed it, but the day-to-day running of the school is exactly the same as any other school.
Prior to coming to Cumbria, she was assistant head at Mount Pleasant Primary School in Accrington, but she said her ambition was always to become a headteacher.
Having completed a teaching degree at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, she worked in Essex for a couple of years before moving back to her home county of Lancashire — but said she always wanted to move to Cumbria.
“It was just a fantastic opportunity,” said Mrs Floyd.
In Lancashire, Mrs Floyd worked as part of the north North West Maths Hub which was looking at developing a new maths curriculum alongside practical resources across the school to enhance school improvement.
“Because my passion is school improvement, it very much depends on what that school needs to improve.
“When I was in Lancashire we were looking at maths in particular because the school had low maths results — they got 54 per cent the year before I joined we then jumped to 87 per cent.
“Then when I went to Longtown the focus was different.
“Here at Yanwath, the improvement has been through developing leadership, the curriculum and further developing links with the community — so we get more children to come to our school.
“At present there are 165 pupils and it has capacity for 210,” said Mrs Floyd.
At the moment, Mrs Floyd said, the school was having a real drive on languages.
“We are developing our language skills from nursery all the way up. We have children in nursery learning French nursery rhymes. In Key Stage 1 they are counting in French and learning greetings, and in Key Stage 2 they go on to the national curriculum for learning languages,” she said.
In addition, sports and the arts are going to be very much to fore, with a view to getting the school’s football and netball teams back — which is something which parents have said they very much want to see happen.