Now, as their inaugural academic year comes to a close, we visit the schools again, this time to ask their founding principals what they’ve learned and enjoyed during their first roller-coaster year at the ‘helm.’
Our second founding principal to, ‘take the WSA hot-seat’ is Samantha Steed, principal at Ranches Primary School.
Describe Ranches Primary School in one paragraph?
Ranches Primary has established itself as a top choice for families, seeking a secure foundation in British education. Traditional strategies for learning are prioritised and enriched with innovative and collaborative study; more importantly, the wellbeing of our pupils has, and will continue to be at the heart of everything we do.
Describe the last year in 3 words:
Focused, vibrant and rewarding
What have you learned about yourself over the past year as a founding principal?
The journey from A to B is more interesting if you encounter some unexpected twists and turns so I’ve learnt not to worry too much if I deviate from the pre-planned route!
Are you ‘on-track’ with your plans for year one outcomes? If not, can you explain?
Our DSIB new school inspection was a very positive experience and overall we were commended for our first year’s achievements. In particular, pupil outcomes have exceeded expectation. We are continuing to enhance our learning environments although resourcing and purchasing is quite a time consuming process.
Have there been any surprising positives over the last year?
It can take some time for a new team to form and work smart, however, our staff came with experience and performance has been outstanding.
The friendliness and encouragement from colleagues working in the educational field has been appreciated.
Did you experience things you didn’t expect/plan for? How did you overcome these?
We didn’t plan for so many new pupils to join throughout the year. However, each family has been welcomed and the children are learning valuable life lessons in supporting others and making new friendships. I am touched by the acts of compassion at Ranches Primary.
If you could go back one year in time and give one piece of advice to your old self, what would it be?
Worry less about what didn’t arrive in the last resource delivery. Schools are successful because of their atmosphere, energy and innovation all of which can be sourced for free!
What will be your primary focus for year two?
We are developing our curriculum to align our concept learning approach with the UK curriculum. It is an exciting project and our teachers are motivated to keep moving forward.
Sport will become a major part of our enriched curriculum; as pupil numbers grow the opportunities to play against other schools is open for us.