There are a number of great schools in Splott, Tremorfa, Adamsdown and Roath (known as the STAR cluster) and it’s about time they had some Inksplott attention! In a bid to get to know more about our local educational establishments, their staff, pupils, achievements and upcoming events, Inksplott will be running a series on local schools. The next in the series is an interview with the Head of Adamsdown Primary School, Mrs Emma Thomas (great surname Emma!):
Inksplott: Hi Mrs Thomas, thank you for being interviewed for Inksplott. We’re keen to find out more about local educational establishments; can you tell us a little about yourself and your school?
Mrs Thomas: My name is Emma Thomas, I am the Head teacher of Adamsdown Primary School which is a large and diverse two form entry school in the heart of Cardiff.
Inksplott: What was your journey to your current position? Can you please tell us a little about how you became involved?
Mrs Thomas: I started my time in Adamsdown Primary in January 2002 as a supply teacher! I had just returned to South Wales after teaching in London for three years. I was appointed that year and loved teaching here so much that I stayed! I was appointed Deputy Head Teacher in autumn 2013 and then took over the role of Head Teacher in November 2014.
Inksplott: What’s the history of your school? Can you tell us a little about that?
Mrs Thomas: Local historian and resident, John Sennett, has helped me to learn more about our school’s history. Old Adamsdown School was based in a beautiful Victorian building near the Black Bridge. I still have the old gate keys from the old building which the children love to look at.
In the early 1980’s the school relocated to its current location which shares a boundary with Sun, System, Metal and Constellation Streets . The school was extended in 2010 to house a Flying Start centre and then just last year we opened our brand new extension. This was to cater for the increasing numbers of pupils who now attend the school.
When I started here at the school we had about 180 pupils and 12 members of staff, now we have over 400 pupils and 70 staff!
Inksplott: What’s special about your school?
Mrs Thomas: Our children! All the visitors to our school comment on how polite and charming our pupils are. They make me very proud when I see them so engaged with their learning. Adamsdown is a very infectious place to be because the children enjoy school so much.
We pride ourselves on being school with very strong community links so all our classes are named after the streets around the school. We also link with local businesses and organisations. One of these links is with Rubicon Dance School, we are the only school in the U.K to have a link with a dance school which has lasted nearly 40 years!
Inksplott: Are there any achievements that you, your teachers or your pupils have achieved that you’re really proud of?
Mrs Thomas: Adamsdown has been on a rapid and successful school improvement journey over the past three years which is the result of a huge team effort by everyone involved. I am very lucky to lead a team of hard working and dedicated staff.
I am particularly proud of the school for achieving the NQA (National Qualification Award) for Healthy Schools in 2015, we were only the 4th school in Cardiff to achieve this national award.
We are now a Welsh Hub school which means we are recognised for the successful teaching of Welsh to all our learners. We also lead training and support for other schools across Central South Consortium; another achievement made possible by the hard working teachers.
Inksplott: Any exciting plans or events on the horizon?
Mrs Thomas: We are hoping to hold an amazing official opening ceremony for our new building in 2018. We will keep you updated once we have found a VIP to open the building for us. The children have already written to Prince Harry to ask him but he was too busy! We won’t be put off and are awaiting some further replies. Watch this space!
Inksplott: Tell us a secret or something about Splott that we won’t know!
Mrs Thomas: The history of Adamsdown is fascinating and I recently learnt that our school building is built on the site of an old slate and marble factory.
Inksplott: That’s great – thank you so much for the interview!