THE CASTLE School’s new head teacher has said she has no plans to reinvent the wheel, but instead aims to focus on what the school has already achieved.

Angie Browne, who took the reins of the school in Thornbury last week to serve as interim head teacher for the coming year, said the experience so far has been “hectic” but “wonderful” with staff, students and parents having been very welcoming.

The school has seen plenty of change in recent months, with Ms Brown replacing Will Roberts, chief executive of the Castle School Education Trust (CSET), who himself took over in January for Peter Smart, who was named interim principal of troubled Winterbourne International Academy.

Speaking about her one-year role, she said that there is often a pressure with headships that you have to stand out, but that in her position this is not the case.

“One of the things I was asked to do was to come in and not change lots of things,” she said. “Instead, I am to capture what makes Castle School so special – to try and have a year looking at what we do really well and focus on making that better.

“Sometimes headships are viewed as an invitation to stamp yourself on a place, so that first year is really critical to make big changes for the next year and unroll a great vision for the future.

“But it doesn’t always mean you have to make sweeping changes to what has been before, sometimes it can mean you tidy things up a bit and have a proper perspective on what has been going on.

“I think an interim headship is probably more of an opportunity for the school than for me, it’s about everybody looking around them and saying what works and what doesn’t.

“Hopefully the staff and the substantive head to move forward with what has been found.”

Highlighting the school’s recent successes in A-Level and GCSE results, she said that was even less reason to force change, but instead to realise what the school’s strengths are and nurture them.

“The results have been really good this year so clearly teaching and learning are working, so children are coming to school and are interested in learning. This isn’t the case in every school so it is a great opportunity to remind people this is a really great school and that they enjoy it.

“Something that is sometimes missed is the constant reminder that the children are in a good school and they are a massive part of what makes it that good.

“So many people have already got in touch from the community, including many parents of current and former pupils, so it’s clear that this school has a place in many people’s hearts.

“There is a sense that Castle has a really warm community and I want to find ways to highlight that and celebrate it as a strength.”

Angie is not the only new feature at the school for the academic year, with the school’s main building having undergone some refurbishments, and a new prefabricated teaching block.

“The young people have come back and everything looks fresh and clean.

“I think it’s always nice to see the wood for the trees and it helps to reflect on having a renewed look at things, distilling what we don’t need and as I said, focus on what we are doing well.”