An innovative learning scheme which has received investment of more than £250,000 was formally launched at St Andrew’s Primary School last week.

Activity hour, which takes place at the end of the school day between Monday and Thursday, provides planned sessions to enhance curriculum learning.

Pupils work in mixed-age teams, representing one of five houses, and enjoy a range of activities including orienteering, editing the school newspaper, chess and drama and dance lessons, provided by the Susan Roberts Academy.

The activities run in four-week blocks and, on Friday afternoons, pupils’ achievements are celebrated in a special assembly.

To officially launch the scheme, the mayor of Elmbridge, Councillor Mike Bennison, representatives from local businesses, schools and community groups attended the school on Tuesday, March 25, to gain an insight into activity hour.

Attendees saw pupils enjoy tasks including baking in a specialised cookery unit, planting trees and street dancing.

Andrew Tulloch, headteacher at St Andrew’s Primary School, said: “It was great to see so many representatives from the local community at our launch. I hope they could see the ambition of our school – through witnessing first hand this special initiative we now run, through the improvements to the school building and through the passion of our staff, our governors, our pupils and parents at the school.

“It is a very exciting time for all connected to St Andrew’s and it is motivating to hear many positive comments from parents particularly surrounding our activity hour.”

The scheme was made possible from £250,000 of funding from the local education authority, which allowed school facilities to be enhanced and added to.

A donation of £20,000 from Cargill also helped to establish the outdoor learning zone.

The launch culminated with a balloon release by pupils from across the school, which each balloon tagged with a positive message about activity hour.

Anyone interested in knowing more about activity hour should email