Woodlands Primary School in Gleadless launches new name and vision with MP Louise Haigh

A newly-renamed primary school in Sheffield has opened with a new vision for its future.

Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 1:20 pm
Woodlands Primary School

Woodlands Primary School – formerly Valley Park Primary – on Norton Avenue in Gleadless has returned from the Christmas break with a brand new name and vision for the school.

The renaming was marked in the first week of January with Louise Haigh MP cutting the ribbon and kick-starting the school’s tree planting project with the first tree going in the ground.

Over the course of this term, the school will plant nearly 400 trees on the site; enough for every pupil to plant their own tree. The children spent the first week as Woodlands children learning about the ancient woodlands in their area, and the nature that surrounds them, as well as celebrating the fresh start and direction the school is going in.

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With a new headteacher in January 2021, came the opportunity for change, and a compelling and ambitious vision. The name choice reflects the history and heritage of the local area, and the ancient woodlands of Gleadless Valley, and reflects on how trees embody and exemplify our relentless pursuit of excellence and growth.

Headteacher, Lauren Johnstone, said she saw a school that was full of potential but could see it was eager for the next stage of its journey.

Mrs Johnstone explained: “Woodlands Primary is a school which places the child at the centre of everything that we do with inspirational learning processes that provide opportunities for holistic growth. We believe that education should focus on the development of confidence and self-esteem through learner-inspired, hands-on experiences in natural learning environments as well as classrooms.”

She continued: “Positive change has been abundant at Woodlands for quite some time now, with 12 classrooms receiving full makeovers, corridors are inspirational spaces adorned with engaging and beautiful 3D displays, the forest school is established and thriving, and children are proud and respectful of their beautiful school.”

Woodlands Primary School

“The unrivaled outdoor space at the school can’t be seen from the road but must be seen to be believed! We have a forest school, woodland areas, a large pitch, an adventure playground and trim-trail, extensive playground space with interactive activities. Children receive Outdoor Learning lessons in this wonderful space, and teachers focus on self-esteem and self-confidence outdoors.”

The school and nursery is part of the local multi-academy Mercia Learning Trust which also includes King Ecgbert School, Newfield School, Mercia School, Totley Primary and Nether Edge Primary.

Louise Haigh MP for Sheffield Heeley, said: “I was delighted to help Woodlands Primary School celebrate their name change and to help kick off their tree planting project. It was great to see how enthusiastic the children and staff are about their school’s name and new start.

“I was pleased to see all the work the school do to try and ensure they teach the kids about their environment and some of the environmentally friendly steps they have taken – including removing plastic toys from reception and replaced them with natural and environmentally friendly materials, establishing their eco committee and promoting the good work of the Forest School.

Woodlands Primary School

“The school has been on a hugely positive journey and once again, children are really at the heart of everything the school do.”

The school has places available across the school from age two to 11, with funding available for those eligible for free nursery hours.

Woodlands Primary School
Woodlands Primary School
Woodlands Primary School