Headteacher's Welcome

On behalf of the children, staff and governors of Swimbridge Church of England Primary School, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all visitors to our website, whether you are an existing parent seeking the latest information or a prospective parent choosing a school for your child.


Our website is updated regularly with the latest school  news, calendar dates, newsletters, curriculum information and children’s class pages and we hope that it provides an insight into our small school with a big heart.


Swimbridge CE Primary is a small village school, situated in a beautiful rural setting in North Devon, which has served its close-knit community for over 150 years. We have around 110 pupils, arranged in four classes, supported by an experienced, highly skilled team of teachers and enthusiastic support staff. Our dedicated team strive to raise standards and promote a calm, purposeful but stimulating atmosphere which makes learning exciting and enjoyable through high quality lessons within a creative curriculum.


Set in a quiet location, surrounded by beautiful countryside, We offer a historical building with various outdoor areas to learn and play. We have three small playgrounds and a forest school garden area on site and a large school field and nature area just across the quiet village road. We also make good use of the local Jubilee Hall and enjoy celebratory events at St James Church, just a five minute walk away. Indoors, there are classrooms filled with happy, enthusiastic learners surrounded by working walls full of colourful displays of children’s art and writing.


Swimbridge CE Primary has an outstanding academic reputation, as highlighted in the most recent Ofsted Inspection report and our SATs results highlight the excellent progress that our pupils achieve in  preparation for the next stage in their education. Central to our approach is our vision for education which embraces the spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, moral and social development of children. It is our belief that and the recognition of all aspects of each child's development is central to their progress and achievement. Through the Thrive approach, we seek to enable the core of the child, ensuring that social and emotional barriers to learning are reduced and children develop resilience that will support them through life.

Gemma Poland & Mathew Harts

Acting Headteachers

Meet Our Teachers

Fiona Symons

Adventurers Class


Michelle Horsman

Explorers Class

Humanities, Computing

and E Safety

Sophie Brookes

Explorers Class


Gemma Poland

Inventors Class

Collective Worship, RE

Safeguarding Officer

Caroline Gilbert


Science, DT


Deputy Safeguarding Officer

Emily Long

Discoverers Class

Literacy, Music

Our School Day

Our school playground is supervised from 8.30am, to allow for children to have the chance to socialise and play before registration and activities begin at 8.45am.

Please do not arrive at school before this time, unless your child is booked into our Cool Kids breakfast club (from 8am each day).

  • Registration is from 8.45am – 9am.

  • Assembly is from 10am – 10.30am.

  • Morning break is 10.30am – 10.45am.

  • Lunchtime is 12pm – 1pm.

All EYFS, KS1 and lower KS2 children have a flexible 10 minute afternoon playtime.

School finishes at 3.15pm and children are not permitted to be play in the grounds after this time unless they are booked into our Cool Kids Club.

If normal arrangements have to be altered (e.g. you are delayed or another person is collecting your child) please let us know to avoid any confusion or upset.

You can view our term dates on this website and they are also displayed on the school noticeboard. Non-pupil days are dates when the school is open for staff training, but not for the children.

School Structure and the Organisation of our Classes

Each year we organise our classes based upon the numbers in each year group, these can vary a great deal, which means that careful consideration has to be given to the best structure for that year and this process cannot take place until the school receives the new reception intake in May.


Every year we look closely at each year group, consider the numbers across the school and consider the best option for each class. This can be complex, with 7 year groups (Reception to Year 6) and only 4 classes. We always have to split groups in some way and so we base our decisions on range of factors including age, maturity, ability, progress, friendships and any particular needs that a child may have.


Our aim is to create smaller class sizes whenever possible in order to allow for a lower pupil to teacher ratio and a higher quality first teaching experience for the children. We allocate a TA to each class with priority given to the youngest children or those with particular needs. All of our TAs are experienced and highly trained and they work closely with class teachers and our SENDCO in order to impact directly on the learning and progress of the children.


We always aim to inform parents of the new classes during the summer term to enable a discussion between parents and teachers or the Headteacher. When a year group is split we always ensure that the learning opportunities for parallel groups are closely monitored and that the children have lots of opportunities to play and learn with their friends. Shared trips, group work and playtimes are some activities that ensure this happens.


Class teachers plan and work as a close team and the children sometimes move between classes for some lessons such as daily phonics, this again ensures that individual needs are being met. Family groups meet each week and there are a wide range of clubs and structured play activities at lunch times to ensure children have opportunities to develop friendships.


Children progress at different rates and have their own individual needs and this doesn’t always reflect their chronological age. We are fortunate to be able to offer mixed year groups and because we are a small school, all the teachers know our children very well, they are taught as individuals and their personal needs can be easily met.