CAERLEON Lodge Hill Primary School is celebrating continued success while looking ahead to a bright and prosperous future.

While 326 pupils from the combined nursery and junior school continue to go about their day, their new school is being built just next door.

The existing buildings have educated youngsters from the neighbouring community of Caerleon since the 1960s.

But the new build will herald a new era for the school, with all pupils set to be housed under the roof of a single-storey building.

The grounds will also include a drop-off area off Roman Way, a games area, a turfed sports pitch, running truck and a woodland learning area.

Pupils and staff will make the big move in October, with the rest of the works aiming to be completed by March 2019.

“We’ve already been involved in choosing the colours and furniture,” said Julie Saville, the school’s acting head teacher.

“We’re planning to take pupils onsite and show them the foundations of where their classrooms are going to be, so it’s a really exciting time.”

All new builds are subject to scrutiny within the community, but the school’s acting head says that the community have been “hugely supportive” of the project.

Mrs Saville is a stalwart of sorts – she has been a part of the school for 15 years, having been deputy head of the infant and primary schools before taking up her current role last September.

“While I was deputy head of the infant’s school I played a role in bringing the two schools together and we are now a united school moving forward,” she said.

“Since taking on the role I’ve had fabulous support from parents, governors and staff – everybody has been really positive.

“It’s good for me as I know the schoolchildren and the community, so I was able to start on day one to drive things forward.”

While under the stewardship of Mrs Saville and her two acting deputy head teachers, Laura Isaac and Nick Smith, the school has seen its share of success.

Last week’s release of the Welsh Government’s school bandings saw Caerleon Lodge Hill Primary secure its green status – the highest possible categorisation – for the second year running.

Mrs Saville said: “We have been moving forward with a new curriculum since September. We’re really pleased as everyone has worked so hard to get recognition.

“It’s extra special as we have done this with an acting head teacher and two acting deputy heads which makes it a huge achievement.”

The school’s mission statement is “Working together, learning together on our journey to success”, something which plays into Mrs Saville’s own personal teaching ethos.

“We plan to introduce values chosen as important by the children through whole school assemblies and in lessons,” she said.

“It is hoped that these values will then be evident across the curriculum and the school environment.”

But what is the secret to the school’s success?

“We pride ourselves on having a welcoming and nurturing environment, we have high expectations of the children,”said Mrs Saville.

“We’ve got to have high standards and we have to focus on high levels of attainment.”

The school is also fostering a sense of independence within their students, with children of all ages set to take part in a two-week entrepreneurial event at the end of the next school term.

They will plan, organise and fund the project, which will play into the school’s new curriculum.

Caerleon Lodge Hill also acts as a training hub for prospective teachers, with three University of South Wales students currently on placement.

“The school has examples of best practice so it would be wrong not to share that,” said Mrs Saville.

“The students also bring fresh ideas, and in turn we offer them support.”

One of the first sights that will strike a visitor when they step through into the school is that of two wall-length mosaic of Roman soldiers.

It is clear that the school are proud of the area’s rich historic past, with a Centurion and a Roman building featuring on the school’s crest.

“We cover all aspects of Welsh history but our Roman heritage plays a part, and we make good use of the amphitheatre as it’s right on our doorstep,” said Mrs Saville.