Hunter Hall, Cumbria’s only independent primary school, is celebrating the start of a new academic year by welcoming new faces to their teaching team and delighting families with a fresh new look to the popular pre-school.

To mark this, the school is hosting an Open Week from Tuesday 20 to Friday 23 September. Families are invited to visit on a day that suits over the course of the week to see the school and the children in action. This is an opportunity to see the wide-reaching curriculum in action as well as gaining insight into the opportunities on offer and meet and chat with members of staff.  In 2022, the school was rated ‘Excellent’ by the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate.

New faces for 2022 include Charlotte Ecroyd as Year 3 teacher in Upper School and Helen Elliott as Year 2 Teacher in Lower School. Helen joins Hunter Hall’s longest serving staff member, Lynsey Wrightson, Year 1 Teacher and Director of Music, now in her 20th year of teaching at the school and responsible for two decades of musical excellence at the school.  The Lower School team is completed and ably headed up by Ella Tarrant who has moved on from teaching year 2 to coordinating Pre-School and Lower School. As a member of the senior leadership team, Ella will help to steer the vision for the school for the youngest children. She was previously Head of Art and History, and now acts as mentor to new staff members taking these on.

Year 3 teacher, Charlotte Ecroyd joins Hunter Hall from Calthwaite CE School, having completed her degree in Education at the University of Cumbria, with a subject specialism in English. As well as the Year 3 Class Teacher, Charlotte is thrilled to be taking on a role at Hunter Hall as a games teacher. She has always enjoyed playing competitive sport, and currently plays netball and dodgeball for Penrith. She also coaches the Penrith U11 and U13 dodgeball teams.

Charlotte is joined by other ‘new girl’ – Helen Elliott as Class Teacher for Year 2. Prior to joining Hunter Hall, Helen worked at St Catherine’s Catholic Primary School for 6 years, where she coordinated PE and also held extra responsibility for maths at KS1.  A graduate of the University of Cumbria, Helen also brings the expertise of a National Award in Special Educational Needs, which will help further boost the school’s SEND provision. A keen artist, Helen is particularly looking forward to taking on the role of Head of Art.

Over in Pre-School, children have been enjoying a re-vamped space that reflects the rural setting of the school, which was once the site of a farm. Pre-School staff, Laura Graham and Sarah Parker have worked hard over the summer to create an interior space influenced by the natural world. It now offers a welcoming Early Years provision where everything from Forest School to wrap around care comes as standard – with places strictly limited, the Pre-School is a popular choice with local families.

Head teacher Donna Vinsome commented:
‘I’m absolutely delighted to welcome Helen and Charlotte to our teaching team. They’ve already both made a deep impression on our children and learning has got off to a flying start in the 2022 academic year. I feel this is a very exciting year for Lower School – with a lovely, refreshed Pre-School and under the guiding hand of the extremely capable Ella Tarrant, I really believe our youngest children are going to benefit immeasurably.  We look forward to welcoming new families to our idyllic setting during Open Week so they too can experience Hunter Hall in person.”

Hunter Hall’s next open week runs from Tuesday 20 to Friday 23 September. To find out more and register, visit www.hunterhall.co.uk. Hunter Hall is Cumbria’s only independent preparatory and pre-school for children aged 3 – 11 years and is located on the outskirts of Penrith.