It gives me great pleasure to write to you for the first time as the new Headteacher of Appleby Primary School and to welcome you to what promises to be a busy and exciting year ahead.

I am joining the team at Appleby as an experienced school leader following 9 years as Headteacher at Penruddock Primary School and, prior to that, 5 years as a senior leader at a large primary school in Carlisle. I am committed to ensuring that Appleby Primary School continues to grow and develop as an exciting, happy and successful school.

I have lived and worked in Cumbria my whole life and now live near Penrith with my wife and three children. I enjoy sport, playing cricket and golf, though nowadays I am usually to be found on the sidelines holding coats or water bottles whilst my children play! I look forward to involving myself with plenty of sport at Appleby and will, no doubt be starting Football Club very shortly. Having grown up locally, I appreciate the unique sense of community to be found in the Eden Valley and will ensure that this is reflected in our school. I will attempt to be at the school gate or in the playground at the start and end of each day and I do hope you come and say, “hello” and introduce yourselves.

I feel very proud and excited to join such a talented and committed team. I strongly believe that a school is the heart of a community and I am passionate about working in partnership with children, staff, governors, parents and the wider community to continue to develop an inclusive school community where all are valued, nurtured and enabled to succeed.

For me, the needs of all of our children are paramount. They determine our values and underpin all of our decisions as a school. It is my commitment as Headteacher at Appleby to ensure that we strive to provide our children with innovative, creative and memorable experiences that will bring learning to life and inspire them with a love of learning that will endure and enable them to grow and develop.

We will be holding a coffee morning on  Thursday 20th September at 2pm as part of the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. I would like to extend a warm welcome and look forward to meeting you, having a chat over a cuppa and helping to raise some money for such a valuable cause.

I would like to thank all of the children, staff, governors and parents who have already made me feel so welcome both this week and when I visited the school last term. I look forward to a successful future working, developing and growing together as a whole school and to ensuring that Appleby Primary School is a source of pride in our community – somewhere our children love to come each day and which provides a dynamic, broad and rounded educational experience through which every child will flourish.

Mr Spruce