St Andrews School is a primary school on the East Mainland of Orkney. Opened in December 1995, St Andrews Primary School was built as a seven class primary school with a nursery for the children of Deerness, Holm, St Mary’s, Tankerness and Toab. It was officially opened in June 1996 by Jim Wallace, MP for Orkney and Shetland.
The school is a local authority, non-denominational school run by Orkney Islands Council. The schools current role is 208 pupils and is organised into a nursery with Early Years classes, and main school with seven full-time Primary 1 to Primary 7 classes. The nursery is well equipped with both morning, afternoon and full day sessions for 3 year and 4 year olds.
The school has strong links with Kirkwall Grammar School, the secondary school to which all of the children transfer following their Primary 7 year. The two schools work closely on a range of transition projects to support pupils moving to the secondary sector. Class sizes at St Andrews School are presently between 20 and 27 pupils in a class.
Most children travel to and from school by bus. The buses are operated by private contractors who provide a service organised by Orkney Islands Council. Children begin to arrive at school from 08.45 a.m. when playground supervision begins and school begins at 09.15 a.m. At the end of the school day at 3.30 p.m. most children board buses again to take them home. The last bus runs usually leave school at 3.45 p.m. children are supervised on the playground until they board their bus to take them home.
The school runs a number of activities for children outside of its core opening hours. These take place after school or at lunchtime. Current activities include football, netball, badminton and chess club. In addition further activities are run through the community facility which include football and rugby training.
Since extension work in 2003-04, there is a large hall, eight class bases and two shared areas in the ground floor of the teaching area. Upstairs there is a library area, art / craft base and teachers’ resource room. Plans for further extension work are currently in place. We have installed a lift to include full access for users of wheelchairs to the Art and Library areas.
The school is surrounded by grassy and hard surfaced play areas which have been developed gradually over the years. At present there is a wooden Trim Track, pond and wetland area, Victoria’s Garden, a weather station and imaginative games painted on the tarmac. Recently the parent council fund raised and installed a Scrap Pod in the playground to encourage Loose Parts play.