One of Dorset’s smallest rural schools has welcomed a new headteacher to spearhead its role in the village community.
Sixpenny Handley First School in North Dorset – which has just 89 pupils – is now led by Rachael Musselwhite.
And Rachael’s first mission is to develop stronger links for the Heath Academy Trust (HAT) school with the village community.
She said: “It is a privilege to join Sixpenny Handley School and work alongside a fantastic team of parents and teachers.
“I’m looking forward to working with them all to ensure the best possible outcomes for our pupils.
“We are very lucky to be at a school in such a beautiful and friendly setting. I’m keen to further develop links within the community – I very much see my role as helping children discover their role within village life.”
Rachael, who was previously deputy headteacher at fellow HAT school, St Ives Primary, is also a keen sportsperson and musician and will be encouraging more participation in both.
Sixpenny Handley First School makes the most of its smaller classes and outdoor environment promoting a curriculum that puts learners at the centre of all it does.
It has four classes from Reception to Year Four, with each class averaging just 23 pupils.
CEO of Heath Academy Trust, Justine Horn, said: “We are delighted to have someone of Rachael’s calibre lead this very special school.
“To be a pupil at Sixpenny Handley First School is to be very privileged indeed.
“The small class sizes ensure children get lots of attention and in addition they go to a school in a very beautiful setting with large outdoor areas.
“We very much welcome people to come and visit the school and see for themselves how special it is.”
Sixpenny Handley regularly hosts tours of the school, which are led by its Year 4 pupils, followed by a discussion with the headteacher.
The school is also inviting the local community to attend its nativity service on December 10, its pantomime on December 12 and carol service followed by mince pies and mulled wine on December 18.
More details can be found on the school’s website at www.sixpennyhandleyschool.co.uk