YOUNGSTERS at St Joseph’s Primary School in Headington are blowing their own trumpets after winning this year’s SOS School Build competition.

The school was one of six Oxfordshire primaries shortlisted for a chance of winning £7,500 of improvements, provided by Abingdon construction company Leadbitter.

St Joseph’s planned extension to the school music room captured the hearts and minds of the public.

Headteacher Sue Tomkys said: “I was really thrilled, particularly because of the amount of effort that had been put in by the whole school community.

“On Friday we had production lines of parents cutting out tokens, we had a grandmother who was in all day cutting out tokens.”

The school has a strong emphasis on music, with St Joseph’s boasting a rock band, a choir, an orchestra and numerous children learning individual instruments.

But shortage of space in which to store equipment has meant time is lost at the start and end of practices, and in some cases instruments have been damaged.

Leadbitter head of special projects Ian Batchelor said: “All the entries were of a really high standard this year.

“This one was interesting because we could tell it would make such a big difference to the running of the school and the welfare of the children.”

Pupils were among those celebrating when the news was broken to them yesterday.

Ted Vernon-Purves, nine, who plays piano and trumpet, said: “Everyone stood up and went ‘yay’. Some of the drums got broken because it’s crowded, this will be a lot better.”

Jeanette Ndusha, eight, who plays the violin, said: “It’s really helpful that we won because the music room isn’t that big so it’s crammed with lots of instruments.

“It will be really great to have a bigger music room.”

The top three


  1. St Joseph’s Primary School, Headington – 44 vouchers per pupil, 315 pupils at the school
  2. Charlton-on-Otmoor Primary School – 38 vouchers per pupil, 93 pupils at the school
  3. West Kidlington Primary School – 33 vouchers per pupil, 372 pupils at the school.