Willowdown Primary


About Us

Hello from Ro O’Reilly – your Headteacher

Here is a little bit about me, your Headteacher here at Willowdown. My name is Rosanna, but everyone (yourselves included, I hope) calls me Ro. I live in Bridgwater with my nine-year-old son William, who is the light of my life! He is in Year Four here at Willowdown and he is loving every minute. I have lived in Bridgwater all my life and so I know the area well and care deeply for the Bridgwater community. I studied teaching at the University of Wolverhampton, achieving an Honours degree in Primary Education with Art & Music in 1999. I then worked as a teacher at St. Mary’s Bridgwater for eight years, followed by Deputy Headship at Cannington Primary, where I gained my National Professional Qualification for Headship. For five years I was Head of Nether Stowey Primary School.

For the past three years I have had the exciting opportunity to lead Willowdown as it continues to grow and transform and what a positive journey this has been! I am fully committed to working with our community to make Willowdown the very best place to learn, grow and achieve. Leading Willowdown is an absolute joy; the school excites me because the children here are friendly, approachable, polite and well-behaved. When pupils are struggling here with any issues the staff and pupils work with parents to make it better, keeping pupil wellbeing at the centre of every decision made.

I believe strongly in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of all pupils and staff in order to ensure the school family is successful and thrives. This is not a quick fix for our most vulnerable pupils and I always ask for patience and understanding for a struggling pupil because their behaviour tells me we need to work hard to help him or her feel safe and happy enough to learn.

I have very high standards and expectations for myself and my team. Every pupil at Willowdown deserves to achieve well and I will ensure this happens. In order to achieve this, I need the support of all our families. I expect parents and carers to tell me when you have a concern and the team here will do the same and let you know if we have a concern about your child. We will always communicate with you the best we can and I expect you to raise your concerns in a polite manner as soon as you can. I assure you I am a very open, honest, down-to-earth leader, so give me a try!

My other expectation is that you make sure your child has high levels of attendance, arrives on time, has the correct uniform and PE kit every day and completes homework set by the teacher, particularly phonics and reading. This will ensure your child is ready to learn and doesn’t miss out on all the opportunities on offer here.

If I have a concern about your child I will contact you so we can work together to find a resolution. Occasionally I like to make a home visit. This is something I do in order to get to know you and your child and talk about any support I might be able to offer. I hope you will be able to find the time to make me welcome if I do call!

I know it’s hard to make it in to school when you are busy with family and work commitments, but we will hold regular drop-in and information sessions when you can come and have a cuppa and a chat with me and other members of staff when available. Some of these drop-ins will include a tour of the school so you can see the classes in action. These sessions are toddler, baby and breastfeeding-friendly events so please come along and say hello and we can get to know each other and discuss any queries, suggestions or positives you might like to raise. Your opinion and ideas matter!

Ro O’Reilly