GEORGETOWN Primary School in Tredegar is much-valued school within the small community that it serves.
Opened in 1989, the new school building replaced the old building which had served the community of Georgetown since 1877.
An increasing number of pupils in the area led to the development of a ‘lower site’ in the early 2000s.
The school now houses 364 primary school pupils along with 66 in part-time nursery.
When the Argus visits the nursery, most of its inhabitants are dressed as superheroes, with the youngsters using their favourite comic book stories to help with their written activities.
Both pupils and staff have worked to make use of all of the space available with colourful creations cover every inch of the school’s hallways and classrooms.
Amanda Hulbert has been teaching at the school since 1995, before becoming its head eight years ago.
Recently the school has had a lot to celebrate, having moved up from yellow into the green category – the highest categorisation in the Welsh Government’s banding system – in January.
“It’s excellent to be recognised by the Welsh Government, the success has been really down to the commitment of our staff,” said Mrs Hulbert.
“They’re all passionate about their jobs and passionate about the reputation of the school and all work together to ensure all pupils reach their full potential.
“Quality is expected at all times and the passion for excellence for all pupils is a driving force for our school.”
Education at the school has been nurtured through programmes such as Accelerated Reading and NESSY, a computer programme aimed to help children with dyslexia with reading, writing and spelling.
Following its most recent Estyn inspection in 2013, the school was deemed to be making good progress and has good prospects for improvement.
“The school benefits from strong partnerships with a wide range of individuals, groups and agencies that enhance pupils’ learning experience,” a report reads.
“The partnership with parents is a strength of the school and parents value the level of care and support that their children receive. There are well-established and beneficial links with the local community.”
Georgetown Primary is also a Fairtrade school, with its pupil-led committee guiding the school towards renewing its Fairtrade status in 2016.
Zoe Penny, education for sustainable development and global citizenship co-ordinator at Fairtrade, said: “Georgetown has a dedicated and enthusiastic Fairtrade committee, Fairtrade R Us, who are committed to promoting and embedding Fairtrade issues and learning throughout the school.”
Pupils have also been heavily involved in the recent Fairtrade Fortnight, with children throughout the year groups learning about the initiative through games, powerpoint presentations and quizzes.
They also took part in a Fairtrade KitKat competition, with their tasty efforts being displayed for all visitors to see in the entrance foyer.
Heritage is something else that the school as a whole take seriously, having recently celebrated St. David’s Day earlier this month.
Both foundation and key stage children are split into houses and take part in an annual Eisteddfod.
Competitions range from Welsh poetry reading to cookery and arts and crafts.
Huw Morgans, the school’s Welsh co-ordinator, said: “As a school we believe it is highly important to continue to foster a positive attitude towards embracing our Welsh heritage and further encouraging the use of of the language as a vital part of the curriculum.”
The school also has a full council, an eco-committee, and sport and school ambassadors.
Pupils showing good skills and enthusiasm within IT are also chosen to become digital leaders, teaching younger students how to become more comfortable using technology.
When not in the classrooms, the children are given ample room to stretch their legs and take part in the Daily Mile, a nationwide scheme that Georgetown adopted on March 6.
The aim of the exercise is to “help all children improve their physical, emotional and social health and wellbeing”.
There is also a space for students to keep fit through dancing, with the small sports hall contained within the main building hosting dances of varying types throughout the week.
With the school being tucked inside the southern area of Tredegar town, Mrs Hulbert believes the small community has helped to forge such strong links.
She said: “Being a small community everybody knows everybody in the surrounding area and with this we get huge support from parents, the PTA, and the community.
“We aim to ensure that everyone has an equal chance and opportunity irrespective of race, religion, sex, class or disability. We believe in working together so that everybody feels valued and included, as our motto ‘Together We Learn’ says.”