Methwold and Hockwold schools merge

An amalgamation of two schools in west Norfolk became a reality this week when the proposal was given approval by Norfolk County Council's cabinet.

The merger was first mooted in March by governors who felt a move to incorporate 93-pupil Hockwold Primary School, near Thetford, with 750-pupil Methwold High would best utilise funding, staff and recourses.

Hockwold and Methwold Community School will now open in September, meaning many pupils will be taught at the same school throughout their education.

Although the proposal is formally to close Hockwold Primary as a separate institution and extend the age-range of Methwold High from 11 to 18-year-olds to four to 18-year-olds, younger pupils will still be taught from the Hockwold buildings.

Denise Walker is already head at both Hockwold and Methwold and the two schools work closely together. She will now become the head of the merged school.

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She said: 'My biggest aim is to break down the barrier which exists between key stage two and three so the children and young people see it as a natural progression through from four to 19 years old and are building on their skills and learning.

'At the moment there tends to be a dip in the first year of high school because of the enormity of the change. I also think there's an opportunity for staff to gain experience of working in a different context. Hopefully we can give professional development opportunities for all staff across both sites.'

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Resources will be shared and the budget for September would be the combined amount the schools would have received.

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