MANY parents dream of sending their children to a small village school with few of the problems associated with larger inner city sites.

For people lucky enough to live in the eastern half of the New Forest, the dream often becomes a reality.

Beaulieu Primary School occupies a picture postcard building just off the narrow one-way street which forms of heart of the village.

Beaulieu is home to historic Palace House - ancestral home of the Montagu family - and also boasts one of the few privately-owned rivers in the world.

New Forest Post:

Rated “good” by Ofsted, the school currently has 126 pupils. Many come from Beaulieu itself but others live further afield in places such as Lymington, Brockenhurst and parts of the Waterside.

Facilities include a “wild play” area and a large circular sandpit near a yew tree reputed to be 500 years old.

The school occupies a deceptively large site next door to Fairweather’s Garden Centre, run by Patrick Fairweather. Pupils often walk the short distance to Patrick’s Patch, an area created in 2008 to encourage people to grow their own fruit and vegetables.

Plans to turn the school grounds into a community resource have been drawn up, with work scheduled to later this year.

Proposals include a row of trees along the side of the sports field and extension to the “wild play” area, which currently comprises a narrow strip of land next to the playground.

The school has close links with the Montagu family.

Pupils perform maypole dancing at the village fete, held in the grounds of Palace, and Lord Montagu often attends the annual pancake races.

New Forest Post:

Head teacher Katherine Jones said: "Our small school is at the heart of a beautiful, historic village set within the New Forest National Park.

"The fantastic family environment we have means we know our children inside-out and we use this knowledge to nurture, challenge and inspire them all.

"We have a tremendous teaching and support team, wonderful children, highly involved parents and a really supportive community.

"We deliberately set out to create special memories for our children through our rich curriculum and through community events such as bangers and mash and bingo with old folk from the village, plus pancake races in the High Street, a Christingle service in Beaulieu Abbey and afternoon tea at Palace House.

"Many of our families come from out of catchment and we enjoy welcoming them into the Beaulieu community.

"We have social events, including an annual family picnic, celebration assemblies and lots of opportunities for parents to come in and enjoy their children’s learning. Our children and their families form friendships which often last for life.

"Sport and music are very popular at Beaulieu. We have a thriving Breakfast Club and a range of after school clubs, including drama and sailing.

New Forest Post:

"Our house system and the ethos of our school means our older children learn to look after the younger ones and all our children learn to be kind.

"We use our beautiful setting to enable our children to have traditional childhood experiences, such as outdoor play (with dens and rope swings) and gardening at Patrick’s Patch.

"All our children learn about leadership and have opportunities to take up positions of responsibility (such as being a house captain, a sports captain, or a wild play leader) before they leave us. They experience being part of a supportive school “family” and each child takes away his or her own unique memories.

"We would love to meet you and show you our beautiful school in action at our open day on Wednesday, October 16."