08 March 2016

Mere Green grows with the community

Mere Green School welcomed 16 new pupils to its outstanding learning community, in response to a rising demand for school places in the area.

The popular school opened its doors to an additional Year 2 class to accommodate a growing local population, following a major regeneration scheme in Mere Green. Not only have the pupils settled in well, but the whole school has grown in more ways than one.

The move is the latest in a number of initiatives that Mere Green has made to increase places across Nursery, Reception and Year 4. The school’s long-term plan is to grow with the community and to eventually become two or three form across all year groups, depending on the need.

Headteacher Anna Balson said:

It’s been wonderful to welcome the Year 2 children and their teacher Luise to our school.  Our priority has been to make sure they’re happy and settled: everybody has been working together to help them feel completely at home.”

Anna recognised that there was a need for additional spaces in Year 2 when she met with parents at the start of the school year. The headteacher found that because of an influx of families to the area, along with the popularity of Mere Green, some children were on waiting lists, or travelling distances to other schools.

Anna said:

It was clear there was a real community need for places. We had the capacity and the right environment to offer those children a quality education on their doorstep at an outstanding, family orientated and all-inclusive school.”

It became Mere Green’s mission to offer the families places, and the school made the vision a reality in just a matter of weeks.

We wanted to act quickly, so we took the lead to increase numbers and were overwhelmed to receive such support for our decision. The whole experience has been empowering: it’s about doing the right thing, and driving our own destiny to give these families the best life chances.”

Anna, who was praised by Ofsted for ‘leading with great skill and determination’ said the school’s outstanding reputation for excellence and its relentless drive to raise standards has led to a rise in applications.

She said:

This will only enhance our vibrant learning community and make the school even stronger. It will enrich the whole area. We’re extremely grateful for the support we’ve received from the local authority, from parents, pupils and our close-knit community. This is because we all share one common purpose: to do our best by these children. And, as part of the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership – we already know that by working together we really can make a difference.”

Beginning their journey together

Meet the teacher

Year 2 teacher, Luise Minto, joined Mere Green from Little Sutton School. Speaking about her class, she said:

It’s great that we were all new together, so we could start our learning journey at the same time. The children have settled in brilliantly and are making good friends, which is fantastic. Everybody is full of enthusiasm and there’s a real buzz around school right now.”

Luise aims to harness the children’s confidence in the classroom and help them feel comfortable in all areas of school. Mere Green boasts a strong support system and Luise knows that both she and the children will benefit from the combined expertise and support of Team Mere Green.

She added:

Mere Green has a friendly and nurturing environment. Staff and children are happy and outgoing and it’s just like one big family that we’re all proud to be part of.”

Happy families

Francesca (left) and Anastasija Tongue

Anastasija Tongue (pictured above, right, with her daughter Francesca) is one of the parents who has benefitted from Mere Green’s decision to expand Year 2. The elated mother-of-two moved to the area from Macedonia, and while she found a place at Mere Green for her son James in Year 4, her daughter, Francesca, had been travelling to an alternative primary school some distance from home.

Miss Tongue was on several school waiting lists and admits she had been playing a “difficult” waiting game. She even contemplated moving away from the area, had a place not been found for her daughter.

She said:

We were so happy when Francesca was given a place at Mere Green. It’s much easier to have our children at the same school.  It’s going to make a huge difference to us as a family: we can make plans, settle in properly and look forward to the future.

Mere Green is a lovely school and everybody is really nice. Francesca was really looking forward to starting, and my son is enjoying school too – it’s even better now that his sister has started as well!”