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Head sets sights on success
4:00pm Friday 20th September 2013 in News
THE new headteacher at one of Oxford’s largest schools has outlined his goal to make the school outstanding within three years.
And Steve Dew, the new leader at Church Cowley St James Primary School, in Bartholomew Road, will be helped along the way by one particularly familiar face. Kate Dew,– his wife – has been the school’s assistant head for the past two years.
Mr Dew, 36, from Cutteslowe, joins the school after two years at John Henry Newman Academy, in Littlemore, where he helped bring the school out of special measures.
Mr Dew said: “Church Cowley is an excellent school with a superb community, and that is what we are trying to build upon.
“We have got a very diverse group of children, so what we are trying to do is raise attainment across the whole school in teaching and learning.”
The school, which was rated good by Ofsted earlier this year, has about 420 pupils. Mr Dew said: “We want to become an outstanding school as soon as possible and we have set ourselves a target of three years.
“There is always a lot to do, but we are focused on what we need to do.”
The headteacher, who has previously worked at Pegasus Primary School, in Blackbird Leys, played down the family connection in the staff room and said securing the role was coincidental rather than planned.
He said: “We are very professional when we are in school and we refuse to talk about school when we are at home, so it works brilliantly – partly because she’s very good at what she does.
“It hasn’t affected us or anyone in the school, and they have seen us work well together because we both want what’s best for the school.”
The couple’s children, Noah, 10, and Rosie, eight, attend different city schools.
Mr Dew hopes to get pupils out of the classroom more.
He said: “I want to move away from a school where children sit behind desks and do maths and English because that’s what we are going to test them on.
“I want to go out more and for the children to understand learning comes from everything, not just from maths and literacy lessons.”
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