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More than 300 reception places ready for new term
Release date: Thu, 06/09/2012
More than 300 new reception places have been created this summer in Bristol, ready for the start of term this week. This will result in over 2,000 extra school places across all year groups once building projects are completed.
At Sea Mills Primary, pupils are returning today, Thursday 6 September, to new £5 million school buildings. The construction of the new school, finished ahead of schedule, preserves and reuses as much as possible of the original Edwardian school, while creating bright, modern classrooms.
Head teacher, Kirsteen Craig, said: "We are all very excited to be moving into our new school buildings and can't wait to see children's reactions when they see their new classrooms. Staff have been working really hard getting everything ready for the start of term, and we are delighted to be up and running in a new high quality teaching environment, which preserves the best of the original buildings."
A team of 1,450 people have worked on the project, delivered by Bristol Local Education Partnership and its construction partner, Skanska.
Operations manager for Skanska's building central and regions division, Mike Carter, said: "This project is located in the heart of a housing estate, which presented challenges for the team, such as restricted delivery times and access to the site. We are proud to have built up a relationship with the community to minimise disruption during construction of the new school buildings.”
At Hannah More Primary, a technically tricky building project, also delivered by Skanska, has created six new classrooms on the roof of the existing school and a new kitchen at the back of the building. Improvements to existing classrooms and a mezzanine walkway with stairs to the main hall have completed the expansion of the school, from 210 to 420 pupil places.
Head teacher, Sue Ramsay, said: “We are very excited about the addition of new classrooms, which give us lovely light and airy learning spaces for our oldest children. The addition of a kitchen allows us to cook on-site for the first time. The expansion of the school, which maintains the Victorian grandeur of the original building, has been achieved without reducing the outside play space that is so important for our children. We are proud to be helping meet the growing demand for places at local primary schools.”
The first phase of a £5.2 million project is underway at Air Balloon Hill Primary School to support the school’s expansion to four forms of entry. The construction of new classrooms and facilities is on track to be completed this school year and will ensure the school can continue to offer places for four classes in the future.
Head teacher, Rob Worsfold, said: “Our community urgently needs new primary school places to ensure as many children as possible can go to school close to home. This project ensures the right facilities are in place to provide the best possible education for our children.”
At May Park Primary School, the first phase of an £8.7 million, three-stage building project has been completed with the construction of a new four-classroom block.
The second phase of the project will create a further new 16-classroom block, with refurbishment of existing school buildings also planned.
Head teacher, Jan O’Hara, said: “This is an exciting time for our school. Over the last few years we have grown from two, to three, to four forms of entry. This investment will ensure we are in a position to make this expansion permanent.”
Projects have also been completed at the following schools:
Barton Hill Primary School and Children’s Centre 30 new places
Bishop Road Primary School 30 new places
Bridge Farm Primary School 30 new places
Burnbush Primary School 5 new places
The Dolphin School 30 new places
Fair Furlong Primary School 5 new places
Filton Avenue Infant School (Orchard site) 30 new places
Henbury Court Primary School 15 new places
Oldbury Court Primary School 15 new places
St Anne’s Infant School 30 new places
St Barnabas Primary School 5 new places
St John’s Primary School (former police station site) 30 new places
St Ursula’s E-act Academy 30 new places
Southville Primary 30 new places
Two Mile Hill Primary 15 new places
Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Councillor Clare Campion-Smith, said: "Most parents want to send their children to a good local primary school, within walking distance of their home. We have worked hard to secure additional government investment to meet the urgent need for new primary school places in Bristol to ensure we can deliver this. This year, 95% of parents were offered a place at one of their three preferred schools, an increase on previous years. We will continue to work closely with schools to create more new places, as the number of children starting primary school in Bristol continues to grow."