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New Name – Same Commitment

by glynch — last modified 18 Sep, 2013 10:32 PM

Poole primary named in honour of ancient Dorset bishop retains commitment to faith, excellence, and love.

New Name – Same Commitment

Bishop Nicholas blessing the renamed Bishop Aldhelm's Primary School in Poole with Canon Stephen Batty, Vicar of St Aldhelm's Church, Branksome and Neil Revell, head teacher.

Bishop Aldhelm’s is the new name for the Church of England Primary School in Poole’s Branksome district, which was formerly known as St. Aldhelm’s C of E Combined School. A radical overhaul of education in the Borough sees the age of transfer change to the more normal 11, instead of 12 as had been the case locally. As a result, many primary schools are changing names.                                  

The Bishop of Salisbury, the Right Revd Nicholas Holtam, blessed the school and spoke at a special service held to mark the school’s new name. 

Aldhelm was a monk who became the first Bishop of Sherborne in the early 8th Century. He was a gifted scholar who has left behind a body of beautiful Latin poetry and prose. His fame as a scholar travelled as far as Italy, and he was summoned by Pope Sergius I for a visit to Rome, a significant undertaking in the Early Middle Ages. 

Like Aldhelm, the school also has a significant historical pedigree of scholarship, having opened as early as 1876, as the booming Poole of the Victorian Era began to spread inland and houses started to cover the Bourne Valley. 

Addressing pupils, staff, and governors at the service, head teacher, Neil Revell, explained, “Notwithstanding our modified school name, we are the same school, we continue to learn here about God, Jesus, Christianity and other faiths. We have the same spirit, we continue to care for each other, to look after each other, to support each other to be the very best people and to achieve the best that we can. 

“Good behaviour continues, and we continue to be well-regarded as a key part of our local community.  All of these things still stand. 

“So, 137 years after our school first opened on its old site, our school continues to ‘burn the same light’, to send out the same message, and to treat people in the same way.” 

This unchanging message is perhaps best summarised in the school prayer:

This is our school,
Let peace dwell here,
Let the rooms be full of contentment,
Let love abide here,
Love of one another,
Love of mankind,
Love of life itself,
And love of God.

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