Northdown Primary School in Margate is a good school in tough circumstances. It has 342 students (the national average is around 250) and 62.5% of them are eligible for free school meals – the average is below 30%. More than a quarter of students don’t speak English as their first language. The number of disabled students, and those with special educational needs, are both above the national averages, too.
And with all of that – it’s received a ‘Good’ in the latest Oftsed inspection, driven up from ‘Satisfactory’ by a new headteacher and academy status. I was worried about schools, moving to Margate; but I don’t think my children could be at a better school. It’s better than their previous schools in Worthing, and better than the schools my oldest went to there as well.
The day-to-day teaching is superb, the support we’ve received as parents new to the area exceptional and quite emotional, and the off-site trips (including a choir concert in St Paul’s Cathedral, a visit to a West End show and a trip to Hampton Court Palace) brilliant. While we appreciate those – the impact on some of the poorer children in the area must be incredible. At the St Paul’s concert, I met parents who’d never been to London before.
And now, it’s time for Harvest Festival,- a tradition that I remember from school as always being slightly meaningless. We took in donations of food, that were sent away, somewhere, for someone else. Well – Northdown Primary have closed that gap, in a tough area where over 32% of children are living in poverty. As usual, everyone will bring in donations of food and drink. These will be made up into eight hampers. And every child will receive a ticket, free of charge, for a raffle; with eight children getting to take home one of the hampers.
Such a neat idea; tough, practical, and teaching children about philanthropy at the same time. So – if anyone would like to make a donation, get in touch.