THE ‘Kingsmead Way’ is the only way for the students of the Wiveliscombe school... and that’s something that bodes well for their future, according to head teacher Mark Griffin.

Since taking over the reins in September, the 53-year-old has had nothing but good things to say about the school where he enjoyed the happiest years of his teaching career almost 20 years ago.

Reflecting on his first year as head, he said: “It’s gone very well. The school I came to is clearly a very good school with so many things about it that are outstanding.

“It’s a school ripe to move from outstanding to become truly exceptional.”

His stint is the Yorkshireman’s second at Kingsmead after working there as a drama teacher in the 1990s.

Returning at the helm, he took over from Geoff Tinker, who stepped down after 11 years, and is already looking to make his mark at the 789- pupil school – starting on its doorstep.

Mr Griffin said: “Lots of the elements are in place – the teachers are stunningly good and the students are so keen to learn.

“That mixture means the school will go from strength to strength. There is this thing described as the ‘Kingsmead Way’, and itis the way we behave in the school as a body of people and it makes for a very pleasant and industrious atmosphere.

“However, the role we play in the town is an area that is lacking in the school.

“It doesn’t reach out to the community as much as it should.

“That will be a plank of work we have to do in the near future because it should be, despite becoming an academy, a community resource used as much as possible.”

Also on its doorstep – quite literally – a state-of-the-art science block has popped up which is due to open for the start of the next academic year.

The school is also working to enhance its promising sport curriculum, which Mr Griffin feels often goes unnoticed.

He said: “One of the problems is we don’t shout about ourselves enough but, yes, there is work to be done in some of the areas which are important to children, such as arts and sports.

“Those are things some schools see as add-ons but I want to see it as central to the learning experience.”