From Gazette & Herald: MP joins in celebrations of success at village school

DEVIZES MP Claire Perry is the latest dignitary to join in celebrations to mark the transformation of a village primary school.

The last time Mrs Perry visited Chirton Primary there were just 19 children on the roll and the school was under threat of closure. But with support from the MP and a little royal help the school is now thriving with 50 pupils and an extra classroom.

The school believes publicity about letters sent to Prince William and Kate suggesting Chirton as an ideal school for Prince George as part of English persuasive writing task helped its growth.

Associate headteacher Amy Bekker-Wrench was delighted that the MP could see the turn around and also used the occasion to press home the need for a new school hall to accommodate the growing number of children.

Mrs Perry spent time with youngsters from the two oldest year groups who wanted to find out what life was like for a politician. Pupil Harry was particularly impressed by the news that Ms Perry had shaken Barack Obama’s hand.

Members of the school council gave her a tour and when she asked them about their vision for the future of the school they all used the opportunity to press home their need for a new hall and she promised to support them.

Mrs Bekker-Wrench said: "The children really enjoyed the opportunity to pose questions to a Member of Parliament and role playing the passing of laws in the House of Commons. A number of them have since expressed an interest to go into politics.

"We are hoping that a small group will visit Westminster during the summer term”

"Ms Perry commented on her pride at the continuing success of the school, recognising the tireless efforts from Governors, parents, community, children and staff in making the school vision a reality. The future now looks very bright."

Mrs Perry said: "Chirton was scheduled for closure in 2012 but is now a thriving village school full of creativity and talent and also full of new ideas for the future.                   

"The work we all did to secure the future of the school is being repaid in spades and I look forward to many more years of working with them."

In November one of the school's original pupils from the 1940s, John Cannings, declared open the school's new classroom and remembered what times were like in his childhood