THE newly-appointed head teacher of Holsworthy C of E Primary School says he has received a warm welcome at the start of the new academic year.
Christiaan Stirling, 43, who lives with his wife and two children, has 17 years experience teaching in schools across Devon.
He said: "The first thing which struck me is how friendly and welcoming all the staff and pupils are. I would like to thank them for helping me settle in."
Mr Stirling said he is learning about the different needs of the children and the routine of a new school.
He said: "One of the things I did previously was helping teachers develop and improve their teaching skills.
"I will be building on the good practice which is already here.
"I have been impressed by the professional attitude and look forward to trying new things in the school."
Mr Stirling, who said his colleagues are open to new ideas and exploring new teaching styles, has met all the pupils.
He said: "I have met all the pupils at whole school assemblies.
"I have been out in the playground chatting with parents. I aim to do this at the start and end of each day.
Mr Stirling said the pastoral side of education is important.
He said: "We aim to work closely with our children and their families in order to nurture and develop the whole child; academically, emotionally and socially.
"Children make much more progress when their parents and teachers work in partnership.
"That's why I am at the school gate in the morning meeting the families as they arrive, catching up on what they have been doing at the weekend, building relationships over time.
"I aim to be available whenever possible at the start or end of the day if a parent has any questions or concerns."
Previously, Mr Stirling was head of teaching and learning at St Peter's School in Tavistock for five years.
He achieved his PGCE teacher training at Rolle College, Exmouth in general primary teaching.
He said: "I am looking forward to working alongside a group of such positive staff and taking the school forward."