Turvey lower school

the school

Turvey Lower is part of the North Bedfordshire three-tier education system. The children typically enter age 5 and spend 5 years at the school before moving onto middle school. Turvey Lower School was opened in September 1981 and replaced the old stone 19th Century Estate School House - now coverted into luxury apartments.

 

the problem

Basically, Not enough children. Eratic intake numbers is a major problem for small rural village school. Currently the school has 5 classes: Reception, Year 1, Year two and so on, totaling around 80 pupils. The school is never over subscribed.

The big headache for the school is keeping the class sizes and get the maximium funding to cover the costs. In the past when pupil numbers dropped below 11, the classes were forced to merge e.i. years 3 and 4 would become one class with only one teacher. As you can imagine this caused great stress to the parents and was not an ideal teaching environment for the staff and children.

 

 

The project

Turvey is a very affluent, picturesque, former country estate village. The school had previously tried to recruit children from outside the village, with little success. We couldn't understand why this was the case knowing how most parents strive to get their children schools in desirable areas and with small class sizes.

So we took a look at what the private school sector was offering and how they managed it with the added burden of fees. Suprise, suprise it wasn't much different to what was on offer at Turvey - beautiful historics surroundings, small class sizes, children fulfilling their potential and so on. It was the way they were marketing it. The State system is heavy on targets, education system and process. Its is very difficult for some one working in this system to step outsde and view it from the pespective of a parent with a 5 year old child looking to choose their first school. Their previous prospecus had been put together by teachers and governors with all the above prejudices.

We stripped out all the education jargon and focussed on connecting the school back to the village community. Gone were all the previous iphone class room shots, replaced with happy close up shots of the children in their every day activities.

 

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