Thorncombe St Mary’s is an extremely happy small school, providing a caring environment in which each child can feel truly valued.  Dedicated teaching staff deliver a rich and varied curriculum and make the most of our fabulous grounds.  Visitors and trips out further enhance the children’s experiences.  Extra-curricular opportunities help them to develop their talents and interests to the full.  Our small school has high expectations for our children whether that be in the classroom, during break time or on trips out.  Our Christian ethos pervades in school life.  We want our children to feel cared for valued and safe, and, in turn, to care for and value others.  We want them to feel good about themselves because we know that happy, confident children will both do the best they can and make the most of school life.

Our recent conversion to academy status as part of the Acorn Multi Academy Trust supports and strengthens our aims by offering skilled and experienced support and challenge from Andrea Rice, the CEO of the Trust and her staff.  The increased pool of management and teaching expertise found across the schools; Mrs Ethelstons CE Uplyme, Axminster Primary, St Andrew’s CE Primary Chardstock, Membury Primary, Marshwood and ourselves, helps the staff to develop and share skills and knowledge and widens the curriculum opportunities for the children.

The school is set in a beautiful location with impressive grounds including: a playground; playing field; a wooded area with an Anglo-Saxon style roundhouse; a wildlife garden and pond; a quiet sensory space; and a Viking ship. In summer, we have access to the adjacent community swimming pool.  We strive to ensure that the school offers a stimulating, welcoming environment for children and parents alike.

The task for the governors is to monitor and oversee the work of the school.  We regularly question the staff and visit the school, as critical friends.  We want to know about standards, behaviour, the safety of the pupils, expenditure and the quality of the curriculum.  We all strive to improve our school and to ensure that it’s vision and ethos are firmly at the forefront of all that we do.

Choosing the right school for your child is a major decision so the governors invite you to visit Thorncombe St Mary’s to meet the head of school, staff and pupils to see how our school will meet the needs of your child.

Catherine Davis
Chair of Governors

Instrument of Governance including term of office:

  • Head Of School: Emily Smith
  • Catherine Davis (6/11/18 – 6/11/22). After 20 years overseas in corporate communications, Catherine turned to customer service and training on her return to the UK. She has embraced Thorncombe village life as school governor and chair of the community swimming pool.
  • Parent Governor: Kate Green (26/11/2019 – 26/11/2023). Kate is a resident of Thorncombe and has a child at the school and another at Woodroffe. She works locally for the NHS as a Physiotherapist and is married to Steve, who is a Deputy Headteacher in Taunton.
  • George Eyre (2/10/16 – 2/10/20) owns the Sadborow Estate and has had a long history of interest in the school.
  • Staff Governor: post currently vacant


Governors who have resigned in the past year:

Patricia Barnes – March 2021

Heather Burnett – March 2021

Sarah Love – March 2021

David Mitchell – March 2021

Zoe Aspinall – November 2020


Acting Chair of Governors:  Catherine Davis

Vice Chair of Governors: Kate Green

Safeguarding Governor: Catherine Davis

Temporary Clerk to Governors:  Jane Burden   e-mail:

Parent Link Governor: Kate Green

Governor Details as at July 2021


Please see the attached files for Governor attendance at Full Governing Body meetings and Committee meetings:

Latest News

A Taster into the World of Secondary Science

Mrs Clarke, one of our parents, visited Orchard Class to ignite our scientific curiosity by sharing her expertise and a fascinating practical demonstration to help the children discover more about the role of the heart, blood and blood vessels within the circulatory...

European Day of Languages – September 2021

Orchard Class discussed how linguistic diversity can help achieve greater intercultural understanding and is a key element in the rich cultural heritage of Europe. Tied into this and our 'Travel the World' theme, the children created mini books demonstrating the...

Thorncombe First Responders Training Day

On Saturday 18th September, our school became a venue for a South West Ambulance event for village and other local first responders. This involved revision of skills and practical assessments to show competence in dealing with medical emergencies and an understanding...