Alder Bridge School is proud of its British heritage. Pupils in this small, family school look out through trees onto the Kennet and Avon Canal, watching the narrow boats negotiating the Lock and Lifting Bridge at Aldermaston Wharf. It’s calm and quiet now with herons strutting along the banks and anglers settling down for a day’s hopeful casting of rod and line.
200 years ago, the Wharf was very different. Then, before the arrival of locomotives and diesel lorries, horse-drawn barges from all over England could be seen, loading and off-loading a huge variety of goods: bricks, iron and steel; beer, food-stuffs, From this place, goods were transported all over the world via the canal network, linking the great cities of Bristol and London, forging the waterway links that were to contribute to Britain becoming a leading industrial power with all the responsibilities and challenges of Empire.
As the children grow through the school, they hear the stories of those early industrial pioneers like Brunel and Thomas Telford who built the transport system we rely on for our day to day living. Modern, electrified Great Western trains rush past on their way in and out of Reading, reminding us of the international world of commerce of which we are so much a part.
Core values of our British society have been forged in the workshop of industry and commerce. The world connections of our international service industry have been founded on principles of honesty, trust and a commitment to doing things well and beautifully. The teachers in the school aim to model these through the way they teach, through weekly craft lessons, through seasonal festivals, through the two foreign languages the children learn from the time they start school.
Our modern children need to respond with creativity and flexibility to the global challenges presented by contemporary society. The values that underpin these qualities lie in our islands’ history: they also come towards us as we journey towards the future. In the small but beautiful world of Alder Bridge School this learning community aims to sow fruit-bearing seeds from the past whilst laying foundations for the well-being of future generations.