MANY things make St Dubricus School special, according to head teacher Chris Blazey.

Somerset County Gazette:

Head teach Mr Blazey. Photo: Steve Guscott.

The first school in Porlock with 75 pupils aims to create a happy, loving, supportive and sharing community and Mr Blazey, who has been head for nine years, said: “I believe it is a unique combination of factors that makes our school special – there are the immediately obvious ones such as our good academic record, the impeccable behaviour of our pupils, the dedication of all of our staff and volunteers – and, of course, the wonderful purpose-built facilities we have here.

“But there are also many less tangible elements like our place at the heart of our rural community – we know all of our families; our links with the local church and our collaboration with other schools and, of course, the impact of our particular location.”

The remote site means pupils from the on-site nursery, The Oakes, up to year four, get to enjoy regular trips to places children in more urban environments would not get to experience as frequently.

Somerset County Gazette:

BENJAMYN Flynn, Isaac Mash, Doris Davis and Imogen Passmore with their instruments. Photo: Steve Guscott.

Mr Blazey added: “Our pupils regularly find inspiration for their poetry and art in the stunning countryside that is literally on our doorstep. 

“We offer a range of school trips from farm visits for lambing, to forest walks, outdoor poetry and art sessions.

“The very youngest children in the school and nursery take part in forest school. 

“The children go whatever the weather and they get very muddy sometimes.

“The range of activities is designed to foster a sense of real independence in younger children.”

That independence is further encouraged in the school council.

Somerset County Gazette:

ST Dubricius First School deputy head Alison Oakley helps Roxy Harrison. Photo: Steve Guscott.

Representatives from years two to four meet weekly and also regularly meet with other school councils so they can collaborate.

They have their own small annual budget, a dedicated noticeboard and they have been involved in projects including installing new play equipment last summer.

Mr Blazey believes the independence helps pupils achieve their full potential.

He added: “We want to help pupils become rounded, considerate people who are ready for the next stage in their educational journey.

“I feel very privileged to be part of our children’s very first days at school.

“I also enjoy seeing their young minds, and skills, progress over the years they are with us from nursery to year four.

“Supporting the development of my team is important to me – and, of course, I continue to learn too."