It was a case of love at first sight for new Calveley Primary Academy headteacher Ray Rudd.
Having built an impressive career in education, specialising in helping children with additional needs and standing out as a passionate and natural teacher, her priority is to be in the classroom.
Despite her obvious credentials to lead a school, giving up working with youngsters on a daily basis was not an option.
But at Calveley, Ray has found her perfect match. Set in picturesque countryside near Tarporley, the rural primary offers the opportunity to lead AND teach.
Now Ray has started to build a new school community dedicated to raising standards and attaining results with a fresh team of enthusiastic staff.
“I have always had a vision of being part of a school that is one big family,” she said.
“Somewhere small and rural where I know all the pupils and their families, where my dog Fin comes to school with me.
“Seeing young children thrive is where my enjoyment lies. The children are the beating heart of this school, they’re polite, engaged in learning and motivated. They love coming to school and arrive with huge smiles every day.
“I want to give them really rich inspirational learning opportunities. Being part of that gives me great satisfaction.”
Ray, who has 16 years of experience in education, is a passionate advocate of an inclusive and child-centred curriculum that caters for children of all abilities and learning styles.
A Lead Special Educational Needs Reviewer for the local authority, she has also been accredited as a specialist Lead of Education in the area of Phonics and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). She supports other schools and mentors other Special Education Needs Coordinators (SENCo).
Ray is keen to apply this expertise at Calveley to ensure each child leaves with a developed sense of resilience, independence and confidence.
The dyslexia specialist and a trained yoga teacher added: “We want build strong links with the community and establish open lines of communication and for them to feel a genuine part of their children’s learning journey here. Myself and the team are very excited about the future.”
Calveley is part of North West Academies Trust (NWAT) which runs schools across Cheshire and Shropshire.
NWAT schools share resources and best practices and place strong emphasis on giving children experiences outside the classroom and opening their eyes to a ‘wonderful world of possibilities’.