CHURCHFIELDS Academy is set to change its name to mark a historic chapter in its history.

The secondary school has been working with Royal Wootton Bassett Academy for over a year and back in October the Department for Education gave permission for it to become part of the Royal Wootton Bassett Academy Trust (RWBAT).

Once finalised, the move will see the schools share different practices to improve education and now the process has entered more formal stages, Churchfields hopes to mark the occasion by changing its name to Lawn Manor Academy.

Parents were informed about the changes at the end of last week.

Headteacher Sandra Muir said: “We will be working with Swindon Heritage and Swindon Museum to maximise the opportunities to bring awareness to our new name and the area. These are exciting times but I wanted to assure parents that, although we have plans to change all of the branding for our new school, our uniform will remain the same with a new logo and parents will not have to purchase new uniform but we will work with parents to phase in the new branding.

“We have already experienced benefits from the North Wiltshire Teaching School and sharing good practice between faculties to improve teaching and learning at our school. Our Year 11 pupils have also benefitted from attending a Sixth Form taster day in November and this has prompted some of our pupils making applications to continue their Sixth Form studies at RWBA.”

Churchfields has now started consultation with their school and teaching staff to join RWBA on May 1.

The school originally opened as Lawn School in 1964 catering for 11-14 year olds and the name was changed by the original headteacher Ralph Owen after it was decided that it would become an 11-18 comprehensive.

Like the Lawn area, the name Lawn School came from the Goddard background, the family lived at Lawn Manor House which was built in 1958 as Swindon House but more recently known as Lawn Manor.

Lawn Manor was bought by the Borough in 1946 and was demolished in 1952.

Churchfields was then formed in 1964.

Sandra added: “We have invested a lot of time this year forming a new vision for the school of Creating and Inspiring Futures for All. The vision extends to our staff and pupils and drives all of the improvements that are taking place throughout the school, but with a particular focus on teaching and learning. We have recently been externally audited and this identified and confirmed the work that the newly formed leadership team and staff are working well to drive standards needed.

“The school has moved to a different cultural position with the new I LEARN values – independence, literacy, equipment, attitudes, resilience and numeracy – weaved through everything that we do. We felt the time was right and we are taking this opportunity to change the name which will embed this culture of change when we join the new Multi Academy Trust.”

RWB Academy headteacher George Croxford said: “Our vision will be to inspire future generations of learners and it is hoped that together the schools will strengthen each other, sharing good practice and building capacity for all schools within the multi-academy trust. RWBA strives to maximise the potential of each person in its community and to be able to spread this throughout the MAT will mean that each school will become the best of the best.”