ST ANDREW'S Major Primary School is a Church-in-Wales school based on St Andrew's Road in Dinas Powys.

They cater for children aged from three to 11 years old with a nursery on site.

Headteacher Gen Hallett, who has been at the school for three years, said that Christian value are at the heart of everything they do.

She said: "Christian values play a big part in school life.

"We start the day with the daily worship and throughout the school day the staff and children talk about this."

Pupils from nursery and reception right the way up the school discuss what these values mean and have a themed value each half term.

This half term the value is that of courage.

They also talk about how these values are also applied to the local community and wider world as well as within the school itself.

Recently, 27 year one pupils took part in a family service at St Peter's Church where they delivered the sermon and the school has close links with the church.

The school also recently undertook its whole school harvest with the community and the parish and most of its fundraising is linked to the community of the church.

Pupils also get involved with the parish fayre and help raise funds for the church's charities.

The school also engages in other charity work including supporting the local foodbank.

They have also been involved with the Vale council's Big Wrap present giving project, Christian Aid and a crocus planting project.

Ms Hallett said: "We have a very active PTA who are very supportive of us.

"They do lots of events such as discos and even a circus.

"They also helped to purchase a set of iPads and outdoor equipment for the school."

The school is applying for a grant to redevelop their faith garden and install a creative amphitheatre.

Academically, the school is looking at the new curriculum and the process of transition and focusing on pedagogy, the theory and practice of teaching.

Ms Hallett said: "We do a lot of work with the Penarth cluster and the school improvement group.

"We are looking at ways to develop and to improve outcomes for learners."

Pupils take part in immersion days where they are introduced to new topics and take part in various activities and they identify which activities they can do to fulfill certain skills.

Ms Hallett said: "It is giving children ownership of their learning.

"Our last immersion day was in December and the governors came as well.

"We have great governors. They are very active and supportive."

The school also takes part in collaborative learning.

Ms Hallett said: "We are big believers in sharing good practice in school and out.

In the summer, the school plans to hold more co-coaching sessions for teachers so they can watch each other and learn.

They are focusing on the four core principles of the Donaldson recommendations to ensure that pupils get what they need and are equipped for future life.

Speaking about her experiences at the school, Ms Hallett said: "It is an exciting time. There have been lots of changes of staff and curriculum.

She added that, while schools face challenges and are up against it, "it is an exciting period in education."

"We want to provide the best we possibly can.

"There are raised expectations from Welsh Government and Estyn but this is no bad thing.

"They need to keep us on our toes."

They run a number of literacy, numeracy and well-being interventions for many pupils of all abilities to enable them to achieve their full potential.

Last term they had more than 80 places on interventions and a similar number are running this term.

The school is home to a number of extra curricular activities.

They have had a cycling course, a road safety course and some of the clubs that are running this terms include dance, coding, chess, hockey, debating, multi sports skills and a Welsh choir.

They also take part in a number of initiatives such as Anti Bullying Day and internet safety.

Ms Hallett said: "A group of Year 5 pupils are trained every year to be ‘Playground Pals’ to support younger children on the playground.

"They are trained by Bullies Out. Another less formal buddying system is in place between Reception and year six pupils.

"The older pupils love looking after the younger ones and it gives them a real sense of responsibility."

Pupils also get plenty of opportunity to go out on residential school trips.

Year fives travel to Llangrannog and year sixes to Manor Adventure.

Ms Hallett said: "It is an opportunity to develop other skills they may not be able to learn in school.

"We have active pupil committees such as the school council, values committee, an eco committee and club and lifestyle committee."

The school also has digital leaders from the pupil body who even train teachers on how to use apps and programmes.

The lifestyle committee has helped introduce the Mile a Day to encourage running every day.

The school also has rights ambassadors who teach others about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Ms Hallett said: "We have good links with high schools especially our feeder school St Cyres but also St Richard Gwyn, Stanwell and Bishop of Llandaff.

"We hold a joint school council there and attend their Christmas concert each year.

"We have great parents here. They are very supportive of us. We also have great volunteers who help with reading, maths and trips.

"We couldn't do it without them."

After the school recently moved up from yellow to green in the school bandings, they have now adopted a "Go Team St Andrew's" attitude.


Number of pupils: 233

Headteacher: Gen Hallett

Chair of governors: Sarah Jenkins Welch

School motto: Respect, Believe, Achieve.

Last inspection report: February 2016, Good