Today on Bishopston Mum is a local parent’s review of Brunel Field Primary School which is situated on Arthur Milton Streeet in Ashley Down, Bristol.
Brunel Field Primary is part of the Ashley Down School Federation, to which Ashley Down Primary School also belongs. It has an Ofsted rating of 1: Outstanding.
Was Brunel Field Primary School your first choice and, if so, why?
Brunel Field was our first choice of school for many reasons. First, however, was the fact that, while it was a recent addition to the community, it had been born out of a parent-and-community led movement to provide essential increases in school places in “nappy valley’ – otherwise known as Bishopston!
We were also reassured about the quality of education because the schooling was being overseen by the team at Ashley Down Primary, which would have been my first choice had Brunel Field not been built. And second, the location is very close to our home, so all-in-all we were thrilled to have made it through the gates.
What qualities and advantages do you feel Brunel Field Primary has over other schools?
There is a great sense of unity within the pupil population – they all feel very involved in each others lives and work and have great interaction, mainly I feel because of the way the lessons are all based on similar values throughout the year groups.
The standard of teaching is excellent and I believe it has an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted report, which is a great achievement.
What (if any) are weaknesses of this school?
It’s hard for me to find fault with the school because I of the hard work I know goes on the impact this has on my child has been of very high value.
One thing that is not a fault of the school’s at all, but is a Bristol City Council problem for not having enough school places, however, the catchment area for Brunel Field is tiny because of the number of new families who moved into the area during 1998-2003. However, this might change in the years ahead as the house prices have gone bonkers so fewer young families will be able to afford to move here – which obviously has plusses and minuses too.
What do you think of the school building, facilities and size of the school?
We were very lucky to have joined when the school was not even half full, so it was a real luxury to have so much space in newly-built environments. The school I think is a perfect size (two classes of 30 per year) and, while it is certainly no longer half full, the capacity is still good and there is now much more of a ‘buzz’ and life around the place, which is what a school should feel like.
The school’s building is great and has a very light and airy feel to it, while the outside space is forever evolving and being invested in by the school and PSA.
When we joined the school we were promised use of an area of the grass at Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, which sadly seems to be at a bare minimum. This is a shame and it would be nice to see more access to the grounds if possible in the coming year.
What do you think of the staff at Brunel Field Primary School?
I think the staff are really where the school excels as the teachers seem generally brilliant – certainly in our case they have been fun, understanding and versatile in their approach to my child’s class. Any learning points or difficulties for us personally have been dealt with well and there is an open door policy with the teachers that I admire and have taken advantage of at times.
What are the school’s values?
I feel the values of Brunel Field centre around caring for the child and allowing them to understand their own space and individuality within a learning environment. That they are allowed time to think, play, explore and to respect themselves and each other with a healthy dose of not taking themselves too seriously! I think it really helps them feel that they are part of a collaborative community who help each other out and don’t take things for granted.
Do kids receive homework/reading/tasks to do at home?
We are very much encouraged to provide practical ‘real world’ knowledge to their learning but at the moment there are very few set tasks apart from regular reading and helping bring things to life.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I’d like to say I think the PSA do an excellent job and I’ve certainly often thought that without them there would be far less of a community feel and that things would not get done so quickly.
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For more information about Brunel Field Primary School and about other local primary schools, please visit the Primary Schools Information page on Bishopston Mum.