SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT: Cawthorne’s Endowed Primary School, Abbeystead

The idyllic village of Abbeystead lies just under eight miles from Lancaster.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Thursday, 26th November 2020, 7:00 am

It is nestled in the Forest of Bowland on the Duchy of Westminster estate, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The village has everything a picture-postcard, quintessential village should have: thriving community, babbling brook, bustling parish hall, hearty woodland and heaps of history.

Cawthorne’s Endowed Primary School is at the very heart of the village and boasts its very own long and illustrious past.

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Some of the staff and pupils at Cawthorne's Endowed Primary School in Abbeystead. Photo by Kelvin Stuttard

The school was initially founded in 1664 by William Cawthorne and is still fulfilling its motto to this day: Veldoce. Veldisce. Veldiscede.

This translates as: ‘We teach each other. We learn together. We leave prepared’; this runs through everything that the school does.

The small class sizes and high staff to pupil ratio, means that children receive a very individualised-style of teaching and are able to fulfil their potential in an incredibly caring environment.

It is this caring, family-like environment that all of the children and incredibly dedicated staff, ably led by Patrick Corbett, the headteacher at Cawthorne’s, are delighted to be a part of.

Patrick said: "The school has a fantastic family feel and the children support one another, developing life-skills as they go.

"As a resident of Lancaster myself, I am constantly amazed at just how close the beautiful village of Abbeystead actually is!"

The photograph shows the children all ready to keep fit and active in their PE uniforms.

Allowing the children to come to school in PE kits on a Monday has particularly helped the children in the Nursery and Early Years.

"With the children ready in their PE kits, we can really maximize the learning time, rather than spending time on putting pumps on the right feet!’, said Poppy Unsworth, the Nursery and Infant teacher.

The children access high quality education, using the Early Years Foundation Stage and National Curriculums, from the nursery to Year 6.

Perhaps more importantly than that, the community links that run through the school, mean that the children have opportunities to experience a broad and balanced curriculum, alongside extra-curricular opportunities.

These include trips to London and the Isle of Man, together with other visits, including Lancaster, Liverpool and further beyond. The children are all very excited about their forthcoming trip to Borwick Hall.

The children have also had experiences including learning about life on the moor and the people who make their living from the land and have even been known to go off on bear hunts on the estate!

Key worker children came into school throughout the first lockdown and the school learnt together online. Experienced junior teacher Pam Hanigan said: "I never thought I would be delivering singing assemblies online! We learnt as we went along a little, but we all did pretty well overall."

From mid-June, all children were welcomed back and since September, the school (due to numbers), has been back as one ‘bubble’.

Mr Corbett and all of the staff at Abbeystead welcome people to their school, of which they are understandably very proud.

Whilst visits to the school are a little complicated just now, you can take a look at their video of the school learning together on YouTube here

If you would like to go and have a look at the school after school hours, just call or email the friendly staff and see for yourself.

Call 01524 791565 or email [email protected]

If you want to see more of what they get up to in school, check out their Facebook page here