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School in Focus: Castle Mead, Trowbridge

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Fri 15 Jan 2016

School in Focus: Castle Mead, Trowbridge

AS the only school in England to have a bat as their school logo, Castle Mead Primary in Trowbridge is inclined to take a walk on the wild side with its learning.

Since opening its doors in September 2014, after builders discovered Bechstein bats on the site, a conservation area was established and all the six classes and a nursery class are named after bats.

The school is part of The Mead Academy Trust consisting of three schools: The Mead Community Primary, operating on two sites at Hilperton and Wingfield; Castle Mead School and River Mead School in Melksham (formerly Kings Park Academy).

All schools in the trust are modelled on the same principals, whilst developing and establishing their own identity.

Head of school Tracy Boulton said: “At Castle Mead we strive to make learning irresistible and to engage our pupils in the excitement learning brings. We aim to provide an environment that is stimulating and inspirational with rich exciting opportunities to help everyone achieve their full potential.”

A key experience for children last term was being involved in the Tim Peake Space Project and pupils have been preparing to become space biologists and embark on a voyage of discovery by growing seeds that have been into space.

In September, two kilograms of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station on Soyuz 44s where they will spend several months in microgravity before returning to earth in March. The seeds have been sent as a part of Rocket Science, an educational project launched by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency.

Castle Mead School will be one of up to 10,000 schools to receive a packet of 100 seeds from space, which they will grow alongside seeds that haven’t been in orbit and measure the differences over seven weeks.

The children won’t know which packet contains which seeds until all results have been collected by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and analysed by professional biostatisticians.

Over the last year, the school has also been involved in a national initiative for children to take over museums. Last November, Year 4 pupils took over running Trowbridge Museum for one day and were able to run workshop sessions.

Year 4 teacher Beth Taylor said: “The takeover was such an amazing opportunity to bring learning to life. The children are so engaged with their learning and so the takeover had real purpose for them and whenever we are working on a museum project they don’t want to stop.”

Castle Mead’s school ethos and vision is to develop their pupils' skills as leaders and to support them to be respectful citizens who make a positive contribution to society.