A HEADTEACHER is getting to know her pupils in her first few weeks at the helm of Lifton Primary Academy.

Katy Rooke-Bruce took on her new job at the start of term and is busy finding out more about pupils, teachers and the wider community of Lifton.

Paying tribute to her predecessor Melanie Cripps who has retired after ten years, she explained that she wanted to find out people’s views before making any changes.

‘Something I want to do, which is quite a common thing when there is a change of leadership team, is to refresh and update the school vision and values.

She said she would ‘work with children, staff, parents and governors and the community to update what is really important for the chidren who come to the school, what values we embrace’.

This was important ‘because over time values do change, staff change, children change and we get new groups of people with new ideas and it would be nice to align with the Learning Academy Partnership too.’

The primary school is part of this partnership of academy schools, in the Bude area of north Cornwall and in South Devon. Lifton will soon be joined by two other West Devon schools, Gulworthy and Lamerton in the trust. Katy said this would give the opportunity to share resources and wisdom.She is no stranger to West Devon, having grown up in Tavistock, and been a headteacher at Bere Alston Primary School, her first headship. ‘I’m familiar with our rural schools that have quite a close-knit community, as village schools do. What I want to look at is how we can continue to be part of the community.’ Katy started her teaching career in 2007 and outside the classroom, she has also worked as a specialised leader in education, supporting teachers across the region.

‘I am really passionate about teaching and learning and being an advocate for making sure children get to their next phase of education prepared and ready – and we do so much of that work at primary school. We are looking at making sure that they do that personal development as well as the academic side. It is a holistic approach.’

She said in her decision making she would be guided by ‘what is important to parents, children and the community’.‘When you start a new job you are trying to get to know new processes but also new people. Everyone has been so welcoming and that makes it much easier.’

She added she was looking forward to seeing Lifton in the sunshine: ‘I did say to somebody, does it rain in Lifton every day? but everyone talks about how beautiful it is here in spring and summer. I am really looking forward to it.’