All about us

From the children in the school council

Dear Parent,

We think you should choose our school because we do lots of great things. We work hard in our lessons and the staff are really good at helping us but they are also good at making school really interesting and really fun. Some of the best things are:

  • We go on some great school trips. In Year 3 we go to Hooke Court to stay for three days and two nights and in Year 6 we go to Heatree Activity Centre on Dartmoor right at the start of the year. Every year the other classes have day trips to all sorts of places, both nearby in Devon, Somerset and Dorset and further away like London and Wales. These visits are always linked to work we are doing and help us study real things.
  • During the year the KS2 classes go swimming to the Flamingo Pool. This is much better than the pool we used to have on our field because the Flamingo Pool is much deeper. We have now changed our old pool to an Eco garden and we had an official opening in July 2011. We have already grown, picked and sold courgettes and peas and potatoes! Lots of parents have helped get it ready as well as the all-weather running track which will go round the whole of the school field, when it is finished.  
  • On Fridays we have Learning Wheel which is really good because it’s like being at secondary school. We have different teachers for Sports, French, German and Italian, Art Music and ICT. On Friday we also have Golden Time and that is where everybody who has been good and tried their hardest gets an extra 5 minutes break, so that they get more attention than the people who haven’t been good.  
  • Also on Fridays we have Star Book assembly where we get our certificates and trophies. We do this on the stage and sometimes we have special assemblies, either as a whole class, or maybe a group of children put together a little performance. It’s really good fun and we use the stage lights. In the hall there is also the school kitchen which makes us our school lunches. Most of us think Wednesday is best for hot lunches!
  • After school there are lots of clubs to take part in. We also have homework clubs at lunchtimes to help us keep up and we have musical instrument lessons during the week as well. We do lots of sport and at our sports day the Axminster Firefighters come along and help dress up Year 6 in their uniforms for a special relay race. It’s fantastic.

Mr. Harvell says we look after new children who join our school really well. We always look to see if they need help, even if we are not a prefect. It’s great to meet new children so we hope you will choose us.

From the headteacher

Dear Parent,

            Choosing your child's primary school is one of the most important decisions you will make with them. Primary school is more than a place where we learn all of our basic skills for a successful secondary school and adult career. After our pre-schooling, it is our next main experience of living independently of our parents and the beginning of us taking our place in the wider community. It is where we learn together and play together and form those bonds of friendship that will mean so much to us as we grow older.

I am delighted that you have shown interest in us and have asked for this information. We all hope that it will answer many of the questions you may have. However, no prospectus or web site can be a substitute for actually visiting our school to see the children and staff and experiencing what and how we learn and what we believe in. We have so many things to show you and we hope you will make an appointment to visit us. Just ring 01297 33005 to speak to someone in the office.

When you do come, I hope you will see the school as a place where the children and staff are warm and welcoming, where excellent standards of work are apparent in what you see and where, above all, everyone is happy and interested in what they are doing.

Yours sincerely

Mr. A. Harvell

About our school

Our School is bright and airy and gives the children a sense of space. The school building is attractively designed, in well landscaped surroundings and won an award for architecture when it was built in 1960. We have our own very extensive sports field and playgrounds.

 Our School, which has a high reputation for so many things, prides itself on having a strong focus on the building of essential learning skills, particularly English and mathematics, and a strong philosophy of making a positive contribution to the world within which we live. At the same time we embrace new approaches to learning that support this skills development. To this end we enjoy the best of new technology and continuously seek to provide quality facilities for the children.

Axminster Community Primary School is rather special; you have only to approach the school to see that it is different from others. There is ample evidence outside to show that there is a caring attitude to the environment and even more important is the fact that many people have remarked that this caring attitude is transferred to relationships within the School. We are proud of this fact. Children are at the heart of Axminster Primary School and each child is encouraged to achieve the highest standard possible in all aspects of school life.

Our most recent Ofsted report said “Pupils contribute well to the school and wider local community. Handling small budgets in their charity fund raising work and links to local business help pupils gain satisfactory insights into their future economic well-being. Pupils throughout the school respond well to the many opportunities to take responsibility. Year 6 pupils, in particular, are fully involved in the life of the school. They told inspectors how much they enjoyed this. Pupils feel safe and secure in school as a result of the good systems for mutual support and good levels of care from all staff. They show a good understanding of what is needed to keep fit and healthy and enjoy the wide range of sports and keep-fit activities provided by the school and partner institutions.”

Aims of the school

The staff of the school aim:

  • To provide learning opportunities of the highest possible quality within a broad and balanced curriculum
  • To help each child to discover and enjoy the potential richness of human life and creativity
  • To be responsive to the needs of individual pupils, socially, emotionally, physically and in their learning
  • To teach each child to become articulate, literate, numerate and I.T. literate in preparation for life in an ever-changing world
  • To encourage children to take responsibility for their own actions under fair and consistent guidelines
  • To create positive relationships between parents, staff and governors and close liaison with both pre-schools and secondary schools
  • To raise awareness of cultures and beliefs within our world
  • To encourage each child to develop their self-esteem and be kind and respectful
  • To develop a sense of pride in, loyalty to and responsibility towards the school, community and the environment
  • To provide a healthy lifestyle and safe practice


While many of the children who attend our school come from Axminster and the immediate neighbourhood, a number of children travel in each day from other villages in the Axe Valley and from South Somerset. This reflects the choice parents have on where they want their child to be educated.

The expected number on the school roll for 2012/13 will be in the region of 185 children; this will include children newly admitted. Children are mostly in single year classes except in Early Years where some vertical grouping exists to ensure smaller teaching groups. Additional needs are catered for by differentiated teaching and extra support. Class teachers provide the core of the teaching programme with specialist teachers providing an enrichment curriculum during the week.

Formal information sessions for parents are held several times a year to discuss planning and progress as well as reports and a record of achievement but we encourage parents to visit the class teachers regularly to keep up to date with their child’s progress. There is no substitute for the one-to-one contact.

At the end of their primary school career the majority of our leavers join The Axe Valley Community College, The Woodroffe School or Colyton Grammar School. However, those children who travel in from a distance sometimes choose other secondary schools outside the Valley.

Parent, Teachers and Friends Association

The School has a very active Parent Teacher Friends Association. All parents are automatically members of the P.T.F.A., free of charge. The P.T.F.A. plays an important role in the life of the school. It provides equipment and facilities, the "luxuries" which the Education Authority has not the resources to provide. For instance, our P.T.F.A. was instrumental in refurbishing the library, in furnishing the School with computer equipment and providing new curtains for the hall. However, the P.T.F.A. also serves to provide a social link between School and home and many events during the year reflect this.

Stepping Stones Nursery

The school is host to the Stepping Stones Nursery. The nursery takes place every afternoon from 1 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. and is run independently of the school, although we do have an input into the curriculum content and ensure that a quality service is delivered by representation on the management committee.

The day to day business of the nursery is organised by fully qualified staff consisting of a nursery leader and assistants. Current charges and availability of places can be obtained from the school office. Parents of children registered to attend this school are strongly urged to register them for the nursery as early as possible, as there is always a waiting list. By attending Stepping Stones Nursery in the year prior to starting school the children benefit from an excellent pre-school programme that prepares them for the Reception class.

Rainbow playgroup

The school is also host to the Rainbow Playgroup which provides pre-school education and care for children aged three years to five. Details can be obtained through the school office.

Governing body

Axminster Primary School has a team of elected governors who are able to advise on the general welfare and structure of, and matters concerning the School. There are representatives on the governing body from teachers, parents, the local Authority, the local community and together they provide a broad spectrum of experience and ability. Governors usually serve for a term of four years.


Ms. J. Rockett
(Chairman 01297 35843)


Mr. P. Hayward


Mrs. I. Knight


Mrs. P. Aird
(Vice chairman)

County Council

Mrs. E. Smith

County Council

Mrs. E. Streeting

County Council

Mrs. L. Coley

Parent Governor


Parent Governor

Mrs. E. Heighway

Parent Governor

Mr. J. Bolton

Parent Governor


Parent Governor

Mr. A. Harvell

Headteacher Governor

Mrs. L. Smith

Mrs. P. Corbett

Staff Governor (non-teaching)
Staff Governor (teaching)

Mrs. A. Double


Mr. J. Bullen

Associate Governor





Mr. A. Harvell


Deputy Headteacher

Ms.  I. Edginton (part time)

Special Needs Co-ordinator

Class teachers & senior role

Mrs. J. Oaten



Mrs. P. Corbett (part time)



Mrs. D. Butler


Class teachers

Mrs. J. Petherbridge



Mrs. N. Grindrod



Mrs. R. Harris



Mr. G. Watson



Mr. J. Bullen


Teaching Assistants            

Ms. S. Smith



Mrs. A. Ives



Mrs. S. Cox



Mrs. L. Smith



Mrs. L. Whitehead



Mrs. L. Butler



Mrs. S. Murnane
Miss L. McCann



Miss L. McCann



Mrs. B. McAuley

Special Needs


Ms. D. Bale

Special Needs


Mrs. K. Pike


Admin. Assistants

Mrs. S. Murnane
Ms. S. Gardner/Mrs. Y. Ayres

(part time - mornings)
(part time – afternoons)

Cleaning Assistants

Miss McCann
Ms. S. Sky



Mrs. J. Featherstone





Kitchen Manager

Mrs. E. Williams


Kitchen Assistants

Mrs. M. Best



Mrs. C. Prill


Meal Time Assistants

Ms. S. Smith



Mrs. Y. Ayres



Mrs. L. Whitehead



Mrs. L. Smith



Mr. S. Cloud



Ms. D. Bale
Mrs. B. McAuley
Mrs. R. Smith
Mrs. L. Featherstone



Special Needs

Grounds Maintenance

Mr.  P. Smith


Learning Wheel

Mrs. S. Burleigh

Modern Foreign Language Tutor


Mrs. D. Hogarth

Art Teacher


Mr. D. Murnane

Sport Coach


Mr. P. Linnett

Music tutor

Addresses & Contacts

Axminster Community Primary School
Stoney Lane
EX13 5BU
Telephone: 01297 33005
Fax: 01297 34557

Axminster Primary School is a co‑educational, county school and comes under the authority of :‑

Devon County Council
County Hall
Exeter EX2 4AS
Telephone:‑ 01392 382000

The Strategic Director of People is Jennie Stephens
The Head of Learning & Schools is Sue Clarke