A primary school based in a small village outside of King's Lynn has been announced as this year's Primary School of the Year, an award sponsored by Norse Catering, at the Norfolk Education Awards 2023.

Watlington Primary School has come a long way since Claire Chapman, its new headteacher, started one year ago. 

Claire has shown great passion and determination to move the curriculum forward, while showing commitment to the professional development of staff.

She has created a happy place to work and learn, giving the school and children a feeling of community. She works tirelessly to make the school the best it can be and create lasting, positive memories for all. 

Claire has gone above and beyond to support the wellbeing of children and parents. She is passionate about breaking down the barriers to learning for all children – regardless of their needs and their backgrounds.

Noting the multiple entries that Watlington Primary School received for this category, the judges were impressed by the sense of progress that is taking place within the school, as 
well as the clear sense of community. 

It was clear from the submissions that staff were being developed and children wanted to go to classes. The school is now said to be “a fun place to be and to learn”.

Samina Asif, assistant head of  Watlington Primary School, commented that the school was “really flattered and honoured” to be named Primary School of the Year at the Norfolk Education Awards 2023.

“It’s welcome recognition of the work that Claire has put in since she joined the school as headteacher and all the lovely input that we get from the community, the children and the staff,” she said.

For more information on the Norfolk Education Awards, please visit the website.

To find out more about all of this year's winners, please click here.

About the sponsor

Norse Catering, part of the Norse Group, provides schools, care settings and business sites with freshly prepared, locally sourced food that positively impacts health, nutrition, and wellbeing. 

Based in Norwich, Norse Catering serves approximately 20,000 meals a day across 160 Schools in East Anglia. It employs more than 700 members of staff, most of whom work and live in the community. Over 75pc of the ingredients used are sourced from local suppliers.

But it’s not just about the food on the plate. Norse Catering believes in helping to create positive memories for children and working in partnership with schools to provide hands-on learning and fun through food. 

The finalists

Bishop’s C of E Primary Academy

Staff at Bishop’s C of E Primary Academy work very hard to support each other, the children and their families. 

Many staff have worked at the school for well over a decade. They go above and beyond to cater to any and all children with extra needs, as well as enhancing the learning experience for all pupils.

The judges said they received a submission outlining the strong focus of the school on supporting students with additional needs and learning challenges, evidencing a supportive and caring staff team.

The judging panel was impressed with the way that the school ensures all children are supported to achieve to the best of their ability as well as the important place that the school has in the community.

Norwich High Prep School

Everything at Norwich High Prep School is designed to bring out the best in girls, so they are able feel safe and supported to step out of their comfort zones and stretch themselves. 

An already broad curriculum is further enhanced by a comprehensive Food Tech scheme and an award-winning STEM programme, designed to develop problem-solving skills through practical, collaborative projects ranging from making marshmallow flinging catapults to coding earthquake detectors. 

Norwich High Prep School impressed the judges with its commitment to bringing out the best in its pupils and tailoring education to help them thrive. 

They said the school emphasises learning, play and engagement, with positive parental feedback showing its success in achieving this.