‘A special day’: our first meeting with new students and families

On Saturday 15 March 2014, The Island Free School invited prospective students and their families to a meeting at the new school site on Leeson Road in Ventnor. The school is oversubscribed for Year 7 places starting in September 2014 – and the 125 children with offers were invited with their families to look around, hear a presentation from the Headmaster, and find out more about daily life at their new school.

The Headmaster Mr Steph Boyd commented: “We had a really successful day with over 400 parents, grandparents and pupils in attendance. It was wonderful to meet so many of you and exciting for us to talk through our plans for your children.”

Mr Boyd was supported by the Governors, Group Members and the newly appointed Head of Year 7. They welcomed students and the families to the school’s temporary site – an historic stone building which nestles at the base of St Boniface Down, an area of outstanding natural beauty. The school has had a facelift since the former occupants, St Francis Primary, moved to their new site at upper Ventnor, with smart new contemporary signs outside the building, and Perspex wall decorations inside with inspirational messages. This will be the school’s home for the first year, while a brand new state-of-the-art school is constructed at a nearby site.

IMG_6977The day was split into two sessions with talks by Mr Boyd at 11am and 2pm. Children had the opportunity to try out an exciting range of musical instruments including a double bass and trombone. This is a music specialist school, and every child will have the opportunity to learn an instrument. We have also offered places to 12 exceptional musical scholars who will receive free tuition and act as musical ambassadors for the school.

Parents were able to chat to a local company who are organising our uniform – you can find out more about our smart new uniform by clicking here - and there were free refreshments for everyone.

The Island Free School’s team took the opportunity to consult with parents on issues including school meals and how to organise term dates (many were in favour of shorter summer holidays and longer breaks at Christmas and Easter). Parents also had a chance to discuss becoming Governors and joining the Parent Teacher Association.

One parent remarked: “There was a real feeling of excitement and energy – and a shared belief that at last, something is being done to address educational standards for children on the Island.”

Mr Boyd commented: “Thank you to everyone who attended this special day. We look forward to welcoming our first intake of Year 7s in September 2014. If you didn’t get a place on national offer day, please do go on our waiting list, in case a place becomes available. This is an Island school for Island families and everyone’s support means so much to us all.”

Parent feedback

“Such a pleasure to meet a school team who are so passionate about my child’s education. It can’t help but be successful.”

“The staff and governors were so welcoming and friendly and what a lovely building!”

“If I had any doubts before, they are gone now. An inspirational talk by the Head.”

“All our hopes have been confirmed. We have chosen the right school.”


Meet the team. From left to right: Joanne Boyd (Group member), Gary Peace (Governor), Lisa Cresswell (Group member), Nigel Malkin (Founder member), Indra Riches (Group member), Warren Riches (Chair of Governors), Steph Boyd (Headmaster), Loretta Outhwaite (Governor), Clare Seaward (Group member), Vicky Turtle (Office Manager), Stephen Jones (Group member), Richard Peace (Head of Year 7) and Steve Smith (Governor)