Who We Are
Bignold Primary sits in the heart of Norwich. Named after one of Aviva's founders, Thomas Bignold, it is one of the oldest schools in the area. The link continues today, as many parents of children at the school are Aviva employees or work with Aviva, business to business.
The school is proud to serve a diverse catchment that includes families from a variety of cultural and socio-economic groups. More than a third of our pupils currently receive or have received free school meals, and that number is up nearly five percent from last year. This is a significantly higher proportion than the national figure. We serve many families from different parts of the world, and more than a quarter (27.8%) of our pupils do not speak English as their first language. Once again, this is a higher proportion than the national average.
A School on the Rise
After receiving a ‘requires improvement’ Ofsted rating in 2013, the school leadership, staff, and students all worked incredibly hard to turn the school around. In 2016, the school was proud to earn an overall rating of ‘good,’ with ‘outstanding’ ratings in three key areas: effectiveness of leadership and management; personal development, behavior and welfare; and early years provisions. Ofsted inspectors reported that, “School leaders have created a culture of excellence whereby pupils and staff can thrive.” They also found that “Pupils are confident, courteous and polite. ... They show great pride in their school. They take on roles of responsibility with maturity and are well prepared for the next stage in their education and life in modern Britain.” School leadership and teachers are conscientiously addressing remaining weaknesses, and are determined to earn an ‘outstanding’ in the next Ofsted inspection.
Bignold Primary is committed to the development of the whole child, body and mind. Physical exercise is important for maintaining health, improving concentration, developing coordination, and practising teamwork and good sportsmanship. Children also need opportunities to play independently outside, to use their imaginations, and to develop social skills. The outdoor play space for Key Stage 1 (ages 5-7) has become sadly run down and is inadequate for these purposes.
It needs a complete revamp. We envision adding a new play structure for children to climb, pathways to explore, a mural to inspire imaginative play, and a storytelling circle. Planting spaces for gardening would beautify the area and allow children to learn first-hand about plant development, something they are also studying in the classroom.
Given the opportunity, Bignold would also like to improve the Key Stage 2 area (ages 7-11), which would benefit from some additional apparatus to complement the existing well-used trim trail set up.
Bignold Primary prioritizes its role in the community, building relationships with local churches and charitable organizations. We believe it is important for children to learn the values of good citizenship and community involvement, as well as tolerance, open mindedness, and appreciation for different cultures. For these reasons, we are proudly a Schools of Sanctuary school: Norwich a City of Sanctuary. We would very happily offer use of our revamped outdoor space for refugee programs, including those offered by the neighboring church and the New Routes Integration Partnership.
Bignold has a hard-working PTA which has dedicated itself to raising money for the playground revamping for the past year. But more funds are needed. This money would help a hugely important school in Norwich continue to encourage children’s development outside of the classroom in a stimulating and life-enhancing environment. The benefits would extend beyond the school walls and out into the wider community - something that's very important to everyone involved in the school.