DINAS Powys Primary School is located on two sites on Cardiff Road and Fairoak.

It opened in January 2015 following the amalgamation of Dinas Powys Infants and Murch Junior Schools and is now an established part of the village.

An extensive programme of refurbishment has been undertaken on the older junior site.

The front has recently been remodelled with a new entrance and a canopy with seating for use as an outside classroom.

The head teacher, Mrs Julie Thompson, has led the infant school since 1990 and will soon be celebrating 30 years of headship. She said: “It has been a privilege to be headteacher of Dinas Powys Primary for so long.

“Every day is different, bringing its own rewards and challenges.

“I have witnessed the great success of our pupils and now have the wonderful experience of over 70 children of our past pupils attending our school.

“The whole team of staff ensures the best possible opportunities are provided for all our lovely children.

“It is difficult to choose a single highlight. I enjoy it all – from meeting the parents and their child on admission, to organising the annual budget and ensuring the school is well resourced and maintained.”

The school recently renewed its green status under the Welsh Government’s coloured banding system which recognises its high performance.

The New Curriculum for Wales, which will be implemented in 2022, has already been fully embraced by the school.

Staff have been trained in co-operative learning and emphasis has been placed on active participation in class.

The school prioritises the health and wellbeing of its students.

Mrs Thompson said: “The school has a recognised ethos of warmth, care, and love with an individual approach to all pupils and their families which ensures that children feel secure and make the best academic and social progress throughout their school life”.

In January, the school was invited to become a flagship school as part of the Jigsaw programme, a mindful approach to personal and social education.

This is further supported by the school’s Values Programme which promotes values such as honesty through books, lessons and visiting speakers.

There are also several wellbeing groups which support the children’s needs.

As part of its movement towards the New Curriculum, the school developed a new project this year, CF64: Our Local Area and Beyond.

This encouraged children to explore their local community and express what they liked about it.

As part of the CF64 project, Year 2 visited Peter Alan and are currently undertaking drawing work to be displayed in the estate agent’s window.

Year 1 were invited to the opening of the play park in the Edenstone Woodlands housing development where each student planted a flower bulb as part of the CF64 project.

The school received £100 from Studio Response for their participation.

As anyone who visits the school will know, books are highly valued. Mrs Thompson is personally committed to creating a culture of enthusiasm for reading and said that she enjoyed seeing children becoming readers and getting “hooked on books”.

“To be able to read opens all education to our children”, she continued.

“Research is forever reporting that a child who is read to or who reads for pleasure will become a success.”

The school’s library holds an extensive collection of literature and each term a portion of the school budget is allocated for the purchase of books.

On World Book Day, the owner of Griffin Books, Mel Griffin, will bring a pop-up book shop to Dinas Powys Primary where children can buy a book for £1.

The school also participates in eCalm in collaboration with Dinas Powys Library, meaning that every child is a member.

The school has its own student council, Pupil Voice, which is active on both sites.

The Eco Committee recently introduced an Eco Bear to encourage all pupils to be eco-friendly and this year the school had its Platinum Status renewed by Eco Schools.

The school has invested heavily in Lego resources and iPads and has received grant funding from Dow Corning supporting this investment in promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

As part of its commitment to the importance of STEM, the school participates in the National Primary Maths Challenge.

Two students from Dinas Powys Primary have reached the Bonus Round in this year’s challenge.

The school has achieved the Cymraeg Campus Bronze Award Charter that commends its commitment to the Welsh language and culture.

Strong links with outside agencies include CAVMS music tuition and JAFFA Club.

Last November, students from Dinas Powys Primary School performed Shakespeare’s The Tempest at The Riverfront Theatre, Newport, as part of the Shakespeare Schools Foundation.

They also sang at St David’s Hall with the Cardiff and Vale Christmas Showcase Cluster Choir in December.

The school’s two dance squads will shortly be performing at Barry Memorial Hall for Best Foot Forward on Wednesday, March 11.

For more information on the school, visit dinaspowysps.co.uk