Symondsbury Church of England VA Primary School

The Church of England

A Welcome from our Headteacher

Hello and welcome to Symondsbury Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School.

We are a very caring school. We seek to retain and develop the values of family friendship and promote a sympathetic, tolerant and considerate approach to relationships throughout our community. With space for only 112 pupils, our children all know each other well and as they grow they are gradually encouraged to take on responsibility for each other and for the school.

On entering our school, your child will be entering a world where learning is at the heart of everything. We treat everybody as an individual and try to create a wide variety of opportunities so that every aptitude is valued and has the means of expression. We have a talented and creative staff who all work together as a team to ensure that the children in our care receive the best and broadest education possible, achieving high standards whatever their particular strengths and weaknesses.

We promote traditional Christian values and discipline, with Religious Education and worship central to the life of the school. We are fortunate in the strong support we receive from parents, the church and the wider community and this enables us to provide an exceptionally wide range of extra-curricular opportunities for your children.

We are part of the Bridport Cluster of Small Schools as well as the larger West Dorset Schools Collaboration (WDSC).

We hope that you and your children will share the strong sense of pride we all feel about our school and look forward to welcoming you into our community.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Emma Roberts

Aims of our school

We are an ambitious school.  We work hard to ensure that every pupil can achieve their full potential during their time with us and become the very best version of themselves that they can be. 

It is about being a good friend as much as mastering mathematics.  It is about learning to ask questions and to embrace challenges as much as it is about accurate spelling.  It is about independence and team work, self-belief and consideration of others, just as much as it is about good grammar and confident reading.  We celebrate success, we think carefully about how we can do better and we listen to and learn from each other.

Above all, we are a happy school that puts the pupils at the heart of all we do

“We like to make other people happy by helping them.  We have lots of fun learning at our school”  (Alice in Class 4)

Our aims, as a Church of England School, are to:

  • Create a happy, safe environment where all children feel valued and where all their achievements are celebrated. 
  • Help each child acquire, through a carefully planned and challenging curriculum, the skills necessary to develop full potential in all areas of learning. We believe that this should be built on a foundation of essential Literacy and Numeracy skills and a confident and positive approach to learning. 
  • Support each child as a whole person, by helping them to develop morally, spiritually, emotionally, culturally, physically and socially, giving due weight to these aspects of their education. 
  • Encourage each child to be a respectful and caring citizen. 
  • Encourage children to be confident, positive and independent in their attitude to learning and life.
  • Support children in adopting a healthy lifestyle.
  • Ensure that children are given the appropriate care and guidance to keep safe throughout their lives.

We work in partnership with the children, their parents and the community to achieve these aims and we seek to model our ethos and values in all we do. 


School History

Symondsbury Church of England School was founded in 1868. The first school in the village, the Dame School, was situated at 1 and 2 Barton Cottages and tuition cost a penny a day. The present school, on the site of the old Poor House, was built by the generosity of The Rev. Gregory Raymond, Rector of Symondsbury, who provided £1,500 for the school buildings and £1,500 for Raymond’s Charity. Since then the school has flourished and always tried to adapt itself to changing times.

Originally the school taught children from a largely agricultural background who left school and went to work aged 12, later at 14. Holidays were adjusted to include harvest and potato picking. The school supplemented reading, writing and arithmetic with evening needlework classes for the girls. Children tended gardens on the school field. The headmaster and his family lived in the School House attached to the school. The school was the centre of the village and many local events and parties took place in the school building.

A war memorial in the village churchyard bears testimony to the 28 men killed in the First World War, most of whom would have been pupils at the school. After the Second World War, when the school leaving age was raised to 15, Symondsbury School taught 5-11 year olds. The number of pupils in the school increased dramatically and a temporary classroom was erected to accommodate them. This was succeeded by the two beautiful new classrooms in use today as the reception and KS1 wing. The school has been extended further since then, providing a well-equipped computer suite and additional teaching area.

Symondsbury School’s strong connection to the church has been sustained throughout the years. Today the children maintain close links with the church and community. For instance, a small group of local people come into school each week to hear the children read.

In these days of easy mobility the school attracts children from a wide surrounding area as well as from the parish. The fact that several families who have attended the school for at least three generations continue sending their children to the village school speaks for itself.

 Extract from the original Raymond’s Charity Trust Deed dated 1868

 The school shall be opened and closed daily with prayer. After morning and evening prayer, a hymn shall be sung by the children. Some portion of the Bible shall be read daily by the children in which they shall be examined.

The boys and girls shall be instructed in reading, writing, arithmetic and geography. The girls in addition to the above shall be taught plain sewing, marking, darning, and cutting out garments and knitting.

The hours of instruction shall be from 9am to 12 noon and from 2pm to 5pm, excepting from November 1st to March 1st when the school shall be closed at 4.30pm.

The children shall have 3 weeks holiday in the harvest and leasing time and 2 weeks at Christmas, including the week in which Christmas Day shall fall; a whole holiday every Saturday, on Coronation Day, and a half holiday every 6th April and 11th October.