COMMUNITY focus is one of the main aspects of Rogerstone Primary School.

Situated on Ebenezer Drive, Rogerstone Primary School sits nicely in a corner of a small estate with large fields behind and above it.

Holding 610 pupils aged 3 to 11, the school is fairly large with corridors decorated in children’s artwork.

Head teacher Steve Rayer, 47, who has been at the school for three years, has said that the school has completely changed since he has become head and it has worked hard on community relationships.

“We are open from 7am in the morning, and our breakfast club starts at 8am until school starts," he said.

“We are also open to 10pm at night as well because we have rugby, football, hockey, coding club and IT, lots of different club.

“From 5pm, the community can use our hall for various different activities. They do karate and Zumba and others. Roggie Rangers football club use it for those under 6 to seniors and Rogerstone Rugby club use it as well.

“There’s a lot more use of the school from the community, which is very important and impacts on the children’s learning as they get to join in with the activities after school as well.”

Mr Rayer says that maintaining a close relationship with the community is not the only thing that is important, as he believes the parents are now more comfortable to come into the school to chat than they did before.

“We have a great relationship with our parents now. We have an open door policy and I feel parents are comfortable coming in to discuss issues and I know they are happy to come in and talk to any of our teachers or leadership team," he added.

“It’s one of the massive changes at the school and it is important that they feel comfortable coming into the building as they never used to feel that way.”

Parents feeling comfortable in the school is also portrayed by the Parents and Teachers Association (PTA), who recently raised enough money to buy a branded van for the school to use.

One of the uses of the van is for a member of staff and group of children to pick up ingredients for the school café, Beanies.

Beanies is run by the children in the school, and all sandwiches, cakes and coffees are made by them and are on sale to the public.

“Beanies helps teach the children to learn to cook, but they are also learning when they are serving as well,” said Mr Rayer.

“The Year Five and Six children that do it in the course of the year, and the biggest impact is that they learn real life skills, they’re handling money, they’re using a till and they budget.

“They order all their own stock as well and go out in the van with one of the teachers to pick up ingredients so they’re constantly learning.

“They also have a little competition to see who has made the most money each week.”

But the children are not just learning life skills by working at the café this year, as they are also working on organising Roggie Fest, a festival which will take place to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Rogerstone Primary.

Sarah Cook, 36, head of the foundation phase at the school, has said the children were asked what they wanted to do to celebrate the festival, and that the event started off from there.

She said: “It’s what the children wanted, so each year group is taking on different things; one is dealing with advertising and another will deal with signage or refreshments for the day.

“Along with that we have chosen reps for each of the classes that come to our weekly meetings with the PTA, so we have a children’s representative there, and ourselves as senior leaders and the PTA.

“The children make suggestions, ask questions and have come up with flyers and different things.”

For the festival itself, which will take place on Tuesday, July 19, each child will perform on the main stage and various classes are set to perform throughout the day.

“All the children in all the classes will perform on the main stage,” said Ms Cook.

“But most importantly, Year Six will be headlining the festival, as it is their final year, so they will be headlining and performing Matilda by Road Dahl.

“It will just be a day where the parents in our community can come with a picnic with their children and celebrate the ten years they have had.”

The school is also considering hosting an afternoon tea event after the success of their Big Lunch event, where teachers from the primary school chauffeured 15 individuals aged 90 and above to the Rivermead Centre.

“We are thinking about offering an afternoon tea event for next year.

“The children and staff will go and pick up people in the community and bring them back for afternoon tea in Beanies.

“One of the gentleman we met at our last event was a prisoner of war and he was 99 and we will give him an opportunity to come back again with this event, then children can ask him questions as well.”

It is clear when talking to both staff and students that Rogerstone Primary is keen to keep motives high.

In its last Estyn report in February 2015, the school was said to have made ‘sufficient progress’ following their previous report in December 2013.

The report stated that Rogerstone Primary staff had improved the levels of pupil’s wellbeing and said: “Senior leaders have re-organised the use of the school’s outdoor areas at playtimes and lunchtimes.

“Pupils from different year groups now use different areas of the site at different times.

“This ensures that no playground areas are overcrowded and that all pupils have space to play safely.”

The Estyn report also stated that there had been improvement on teaching and leadership continuity and that there had been an advance on fulfilling the statutory requirements in relation to healthy eating.

Mr Rayer has said he believes the school is getting every year and he will never stop being proud of being the head teacher.

“The staff team here are fantastic and always get involved in our big events.

“I’m proud of where we are now and I hope that we continue to be so community based.”