A NEW head teacher plans to bring a touch of drama to a York primary academy.

Music and drama specialist Zoe Lightfoot started as head at Haxby Road Academy after Easter and is keen to have lots of both at the school, with rumours of a staff panto this year.

But, on a serious note, Ms Lightfoot, 40, who was previously deputy head at St George's RC Primary School in Fishergate, said that she is working closely with executive head teacher Richard Ludlow, who is responsible for Haxby Road and the city's other primary academy, Robert Wilkinson in Strensall.

Both schools are part of the Ebor Academy Alliance, with Haxby Road having about 210 pupils.

She said: "Haxby Road is a fantastic school with an amazing staff team. The children are so lovely, polite, well-mannered and friendly. It's wonderful being able to work with a partner school and we have an amazing enrichment programme at the school."

Part of that programme means that a cook school facility was installed over the Easter break, with a whole area devoted to cooking and every class from Year 1 upwards get s to use it.

Years 4,5 and 6 stay after school from Monday - Thursday learning cookery skills and creating dishes from scratch while learning about nutritional values.

Ms Lightfoot said: "We have a great international programme at the Ebor Academy Alliance too.

"A number of children from Haxby Road and Robert Wilkinson are taking part in an exchange programme with children from a school in Madrid.

"The Madrid school are coming to visit York for a week on June 3 then the following week our children will visit Madrid.

"During this time we will be having a Spanish Themed week in school so all the children can share the experience."

As The Press reported in December, the arrangement means Haxby Road is sponsored by Robert Wilkinson in Strensall as part of the Ebor Academy Alliance, meaning each is self-governing, and Haxby Road secured a £50,000 Government grant for improvements which included new playground equipment and a programme of redecoration.