Eastgate Academy is the second primary education member of the Eastern Multi-Academy Trust family. Launched in 1911 as St. James, the original school building burnt down and was rebuilt, splitting into St. James’ Boys and St. James’ Girls infant schools in the 1960s. In the 1980s, the schools merged to form Eastgate Community Primary School, educating up to 270 young learners with a main catchment area of the North Lynn area of King’s Lynn.
Our academy is considered to be the ‘town school’ and is located in the centre of King’s Lynn. We have playgrounds and a field at the site and make the best use of these facilities. Our reception building was purpose built with a secure outdoor play area. We have incorporated an outdoor play area for our year 1 class and have developed the infants playground with play equipment and garden areas. We have a science garden, which includes a pond, and the children in years 3 and 4 have been looking at habitats and bug houses.
Community plays a big part in the life of the academy and we want all our stakeholders to be involved in what we do. We actively encourage parents to come into school and regularly hold cafes in class for parents to join their children in different activities such as reading, maths, science. Our two Learning Catalysts, Carole Walker and Karen Mason, work with parents to raise their aspirations.
We are keen that our pupils have access to the latest technology and use laptops across all year groups. Our year 5 , 6 ,Ks1 and reception classes also have tablets which they use in lessons. Some of our learners have been appointed Digital Leaders and they work with staff to trial different software to find the best solution for a particular project and then work with classes to help other children learn the new packages.
The academy has ‘after school’ clubs each term which are run by our teaching staff and these often include choir, guitar club, stamp club, art clubs, gymnastics, football and cookery. We often have outside people coming in to run activities in school such as fencing and some of our year 6 students have been learning how to produce animations which links to raising their achievement in literacy skills.
We have developed a menagerie of animals in what used to be the ‘drill yard’ in the school. We started with chickens, which were hatched in school, and this quickly grew to include other birds: finches, budgies, quails, canaries. Next came guinea pigs and most recently, chipmunks. Our learners have seen baby guinea pigs that have only just been born in school and come children each week help Mr. Walker, our site manager, to change the water and feed all the animals. We have three year 6 students who have taken a special interest in looking after the guinea pigs and our guinea pigs now proudly sport their hi-vis jackets when they are taken for a walk on their leads.
Leading our academy is the Principal, Mrs. Linda Hothersall. Mrs. Hothersall joined us 6 years ago and has been leading us through change and into our new status as an academy. She has many years of experience as both a teacher and headteacher, having lived in Norfolk for over 15 years and been headteacher at Brancaster Primary School.
Mrs Hothersall said: ‘Becoming part of the Eastern Multi-Academy Trust family of Academies has had a great impact on all aspects of our school life. We are moving forward rapidly and I am proud to be able to offer so many opportunities to the families of the community we serve. We have a passionate and dedicated staff at Eastgate Academy, and we feel privileged to work with such committed and highly motivated pupils and families.