'This means the absolute world': Northampton school wins national ‘primary school of the year’ award

Briar Hill Primary School has been praised for being “warm, welcoming and loving.”
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A Northampton primary school has been recognised as ‘Primary School of the Year’ at the national Tes Schools Awards.

It was announced that Briar Hill Primary School, part of the David Ross Education Trust (DRET) won the prestigious accolade at the awards ceremony held at the Grosvenor Hotel in London on Friday, June 17.

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It was a special evening for the school, which Judge Dame Alison Peacock praised as being a “warm, welcoming and loving school”, adding: “I don’t think we have enough loving schools.”

Briar Hill Primary School pupils celebrating their national award win.Briar Hill Primary School pupils celebrating their national award win.
Briar Hill Primary School pupils celebrating their national award win.

Principal of Briar Hill Primary School, Janey Cooksley, said: “Winning this award means the absolute world. The children in our community go above and beyond every day. We believe that every child deserves the very best.”

Briar Hill Primary School, in Thorn Hill, was shortlisted for the awards earlier this year after judges said it was an example of a school that goes “above and beyond for the community.”

A panel of industry expert judges were impressed by reports that throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, Briar Hill - rated ‘good’ by Ofsted in its last inspection in November 2021 - served not only as a school, but also as a food bank, and as a community hub to provide holistic support during the height of the pandemic.

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Leaders from Briar Hill, which is also rated as one of the best schools in Northampton for outcomes and the second-best school in Northamptonshire by the Good Schools Guide, said that “making sure pupils are happy at school is a priority.”

Staff from Briar Hill said that they see their school as “more than a school”, understanding that their impact extends beyond the classroom and into the everyday life of the community.

CEO of David Ross Education Trust (DRET), Stuart Burns, said: “We are all incredibly proud to see the hard work and commitment of staff and students at Briar Hill Primary School recognised nationally.

“The school’s high performance is clear to see from their results and it is wonderful to see that they are being rewarded for their focus on wellbeing, as well as their pride in being a warm and happy school.”

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