Abacus Primary School, Wickford

Abacus Primary School is a community school located in Wickford (Essex) and opened its doors in September 2002, with 78 pupils across the primary age range.

Abacus Primary School is located 2 miles from Wickford Town Centre and Wickford Train Station.

In September 2010, the school changed to 1½ Form Entry, which increased capacity to 315 pupils across the school. To facilitate this, the original building was extended to add additional upper school classrooms & teaching spaces, and a new purpose built Foundation class base

As the Wick community has continued to grow, the school is now 2 Form Entry, allowing a maximum capacity for 420 pupils.

From 2016-17 to 2017-18, the proportion of pupils walking to school went up 4% to 55%. This contributed to the big drop in pupils being driven all the way, from 34% to 19% in the same period. However, the biggest difference was the introduction of Park & Stride, which went from zero 2 years ago to 18% for the year just gone.

Abacus Primary School continue to participate in Walk to School Week and increasing the opportunities to scoot to school.

Parking seemed to be a constant agenda item on our parent forum monthly meeting agendas. I was having frustrated parents and local residents coming in to school to see me regularly regarding the parking. I saw the 3PR scheme advertised and invited someone in to meet with our Parent Forum. The parents in the forum could only see benefits to the scheme.

At the time, they were waiting to appoint someone to run the project. Once Claire had been appointed she came and met with Pupil council and we got the ball rolling.

On the days that we patrol, parents seem embarrassed if they park outside the school and also the children want to receive a token. It has definitely made a difference. We are going to look at random day patrols, as parents know that it is on a Wednesday.

It has only been positive. The only negatives are from parents who say they live too far away, but we encourage these to park and walk some of the journey.

We have a 3PR board where we put the monthly scores and the cup is announced in the assembly to the winning class.

Our pupil council members currently support the weekly patrol.  They enjoy the patrol and have been out all weathers.

Because our pupil council support the patrols, we have never had to cancel a patrol, but sometimes only patrol the front rather than front and back if numbers are down.

Our learning Mentor and I (headteacher) support the patrol with the children each Wednesday

Thank you to Claire for all her help and enthusiasm in launching the scheme.