Great Whelnetham Voluntary Controlled School is a Church of England Primary School for boys and girls currently within an age range of four to eleven years. Children will stay in school until the end of year six when they will feed into King Edward School in Bury St. Edmunds. Children may also apply to attend Sybil Andrews Academy or Thurston Community College, or other schools of their choice.
The school serves the villages of Great Whelnetham, Sicklesmere, Stanningfield and Nowton, although many children from outside this catchment area are admitted as well. It is located in the centre of this area, very close to St. Thomas a Becket Church, with which it has strong ties.
There has been a school in Great Whelnetham on the same site since 1849, which is when the original building (now housing Cygnets Childcare) was built. Two classrooms were added in 1954. A more recent extension added a good sized hall and an office. A fifth classroom was created through remodelling an activity area and 2 further classrooms were built in 2015. We have recently built a kitchen for the children to be able to use which is an exciting addition. Adjacent to the school buildings there is a large grass playing field which includes a football pitch, and activity area. There is also a spacious hard surface playground, a garden area, and an enclosed 'Forest School'.
The school currently has seven classes, with small numbers in each. This enables staff to ensure that children are able to have individual help which is so important during a child’s early years in education. Children progress through the school according to age and ability.
The first three classes are:
- Reception ages 4-5 (Wrens)
- Year 1 ages 5-6 (Larks)
- Year 2 ages 6-7 (Robins)
The age group from 5 to 7 is called Keystone 1.
- Year 3 ages 7 - 8 (Kingfishers)
- Year 4 ages 8 – 9 (Owls)
Upper Keystage 2 consists:
- Year 5 ages 9 - 10 (Woodpeckers)
- Year 6 ages 10 – 11 (Swans)
The adjoining Cygnets makes provision for children from 2 years 9 months and also provides before and after school care.