New head arrives to welcome news that schools will get new premises

September 28 2018
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STUART Woodburn had a great start as Head of Primary at Merchants’ Academy in South Bristol - in his first week he learned he would be getting a new school building. The primary department of the all-age school and its partner autism special school Venturers’ Academy to be relocated alongside the secondary department in Gatehouse Avenue.

STUART Woodburn had a great start as Head of Primary at Merchants’ Academy in South Bristol - in his first week he learned he would be getting a new school building.

The primary department of the all-age school and its partner autism special school Venturers’ Academy to be relocated alongside the secondary department in Gatehouse Avenue.

Bristol city councillors grant planning permission for the new schools, next to the Merchants secondary school in Gatehouse Avenue.

Mr Woodburn said this was excellent news and would enable the school to offer its nursery and primary pupils the inspiring educational environment they deserve.

The primary school and Venturers’ Academy, which are both part of Venturers Trust, are currently housed in the dilapidated buildings of the former Gay Elms Primary in Withywood Road.

Mr Woodburn comes to Merchants’ Academy from being deputy head at Morden Mount primary in London, where he helped take the school from Ofsted special measures to a rating of Good, with outstanding features.

“I want to put Merchants’ Academy on the map,” he said. “I want it to become a school where children are successful, achieve well and develop as well-rounded individuals. Not everyone is academic but they all have talents and it is our job as teachers to find and nurture them.”

The fact that children can join Merchants’ Academy at the age of three and stay until they leave at 18 for university or work is a big advantage, Mr Woodburn believes. Primary children have the benefit of being taught foreign languages, science, PE and music by specialist subject teachers.

 Mr Woodburn said he was delighted to be joining a school in Venturers Trust, which is sponsored by the University of Bristol and the Society of Merchant Venturers.

“It is really important to be part of a group of schools working together and drawing on a wealth of resources,” he said.

Places are available in all year groups, including nursery, at Merchants’ Academy. For further information visit www.merchantsacademy.org