• Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use
    to change the world
    Nelson Mandela


Excalibur’s first preschool

Excalibur Academies Trust was created with the vision of providing all through education from age two to eighteen. In June 2018 that vision became a reality when Burbage Preschool joined the trust. Parents can be absolutely secure in the knowledge that their child, joining Burbage Preschool at age two, will be educated at an Excalibur academy right through to sixth form at St John’s Marlborough. Dr Patrick Hazlewood, CEO of Excalibur Academies Trust said, “This is a truly significant and really exciting moment for the Trust as we fully realise our vision of creating a seamless educational journey for the Excalibur child, transitioning from preschool right through to sixth form. The benefits of a family of schools working together not only improves outcomes for students it also creates a supportive team environment and career development path for staff.” 

Burbage Preschool was inspected by Ofsted in May and judged to be good in all areas, the Ofsted inspector commented that, “Children arrive happy and settle quickly into the warm and welcoming preschool. Staff have a good understanding of how young children learn and plan a range of stimulating activities based in children’s current interests.” 

Children at Burbage Preschool with their Excalibur swords

Located on the Burbage Primary School site the preschool provides lots of stimulating, fun and creative activities both indoors and outside designed to ensure that the curriculum covers all aspects of the Early Learning Goals. Close involvement with the primary school ensures a smooth transition however great care is taken not to lose the excitement of going to ‘big school’.


MP opens fabulous new classroom

Ably assisted by Year 2 children Claire Perry MP cut the ribbon to officially open the new classroom at Burbage Primary School. Declaring the classroom open she said: “This is a really exciting day; it’s wonderful to see the results of all the fundraising.”

Inside the fantastic new learning space

Children in Reception and Year 1 are already being taught in the new building which their teacher described as: “a fantastic bright and open learning environment in which to nurture a love of learning right from the start of school.” The classroom opens directly onto the school’s extensive outside space which includes a fantastic playing field, large playground, trim trail designed by the School Council, orchard, kitchen garden and chickens hatched and cared for by the children.

Funding for the new classroom came from government grants, generous donations and lots and lots of fundraising by the school community. Former Burbage School Principal Nicola Coupe was also there to celebrate the opening. She had been personally involved in much of the fundraising including completing a sponsored skydive with Reception teacher Bev Thompson. Congratulating Nicola on raising £8,500 in sponsorship Claire Perry said that: “Skydiving was something that she never had, and, never would do!”

Year Two with Excalibur swords at the ready – Claire Perry MP (right) and Nicola Coupe stand safely at the back!

Great Bedwyn Primary School joins Excalibur

Spelling out Great Bedwyn School; at the back Toby Watson; Chairman, Excalibur Academies Trust, Dr Patrick Hazlewood; CEO, Nicola Williams; Principal, Gill Mortimer; Chair of Great Bedwyn’s Local Governing Body

On the hottest April day since 1949 Excalibur Academies Trust welcomed the ninth school to join its family. Great Bedwyn is an outstanding primary school and as most students will progress to Excalibur’s St John’s Marlborough sees the huge benefit of offering a consistent all through educational experience. Joining Excalibur allows Great Bedwyn to retain its autonomy and unique characteristics whilst working with other academies within the Trust sharing best practice to ensure continuous improvement. Nicola Williams, Principal of Great Bedwyn CofE Primary School said, “Having undertaken considerable research, the Governors and I believe that joining Excalibur offers the opportunity to be part of a forward thinking multi academy trust which will ensure we continue to offer an exceptional educational experience for our children and increase development opportunities for staff.

Joining Excalibur was marked with a special assembly about joining a family of schools attended by the CEO and Chairman of Excalibur Academies Trust. The children gave  a beautiful rendition of their school song and were presented with a commemorative pencil, there was also a fabulous cake decorated with the school crest – but only staff were lucky enough to get a piece!