NESTLED between a Norman church and picturesque pub, Brize Norton Primary School holds its place among three pillars of the village’s community.

Pupils at the West Oxfordshire school helped to shape a new vision for their village last week, presenting ideas to Brize Norton Parish Council to feed into a neighbourhood plan.

Children made their case for creating a village shop, public play area and wider paths, using vibrant displays and hand-crafted models.

Anna Fairhurst, who has been head at the school for four years, said the whole-school project helped pupils to engage with their community and potentially impact its future.

She said: “They’ve spent an entire term researching and talking to people, and going for walks round to come up with ideas.

“I’m so proud – it’s a genuine project we and the parish council are working on. The children have been really excited about it.”

The school is based in a traditional Victorian building and teaches 117 pupils, about one quarter of which are from military families based at nearby RAF Brize Norton.

Instilled in its culture is the school’s motto: “Inspiring learning for life.”

Mrs Fairhurst, who has 20 years of teaching experience, said: “Although we are brilliant at English and maths, that means we also make sure children get to access lots of other experiences.

“We believe learning is a lot more than just reading and writing and maths, but talents and skills in every direction.”

This week Mrs Fairhurst was pleased to receive a letter from Nick Gibb, minister of state at the Department for Education, informing her the school’s mathematics results were in the top one per cent in England.

But she said school is not just about academics, adding: “We want to have as broad an education as possible and for children to experience as much of life as they can.”

Sport and music are particular areas of focus, and every child gets the chance to sing in a concert alongside pupils from neighbouring schools.

When the Oxford Mail visited on Thursday, children were dressed in an array of imaginative outfits to mark World Book Day.