A brand new primary school has opened its doors to pupils for the new school year
A total of £17.1m has been invested in the schools expansion project and includes the brand new school at Derriford, the new school building for Knowle primary, the expansion of Woodford in Plympton and Holy Cross RC in the city centre. These projects will all have created an extra 135 places in the city to cope with the growing population of primary-aged children.
Knowle primary in the Honiknowle area has been completely re-built after the council decided that it would be cheaper, more efficient and better for pupils and staff to demolish the existing 1950s building and replace it with a purpose-built school, which would include a nursery. The old school buildings will now be demolished to make way for new sports and recreational areas.
Mark Lowry, Cabinet Member for Finance and Honiknowle ward Councillor visited the school to see for himself the difference the investment had made. He said: “I’m absolutely blown away by the quality of the new school buildings here at Knowle. As I’ve been walking around staff and pupils alike have been telling me how much they love the building and that it’s a pleasure to come to school every day. The difference it has made to pupils has been incredible, one little boy couldn’t wait to tell me how much he loved his new school.”
Head teacher of Knowle, Judy Milford said: “We are extremely pleased to move into our new school, which offers fantastic accommodation for our pupils and staff. The classrooms are light and airy and the learning streets are wide and spacious. The flexible accommodation enables us to maximise the learning opportunities for our children and helps us to create a learning environment which is conducive to outstanding teaching and learning. We look forward to seeing the children of Knowle Primary School flourish in their new school which is fit for 21st century learning!”
A new school for the north of the city opened its doors earlier this month, St Matthew’s, is the new £6.3m Church of England primary school at Derriford, which has been built with money from the Department for Education, after a successful funding bid by Plymouth City Council secured £4.4m with an additional investment of £1.9m.
The investment in Plymouth schools does not end here, over the next 12 months;
£0.946m will be spent on the phase two expansion of the Stoke Damerel Primary School to provide two new classrooms and a studio extension to the main hall. This is due to be finished in February 2016.
£1.2 m will be spent on the expansion of Pomphlett Primary School to provide a new building for the reception classes, a combined year one and two class base with toilets, refurbished changing rooms and circulation area following an increase in numbers from the new housing development at Saltram Meadow.
£2.1 m will be spent at Pennycross Primary School to create much-needed space for growing pupil numbers at the school, following an increase in birth rates and new housing developments in the area. The work will provide a new two-storey extension with eight new classrooms (four to each floor), stores, toilets, group rooms and a new hard play area.
Both these schools will be fully functional from September 2016.
Councillor Lowry continued: “We are very proud of our schools and investing in their future is essential if we are to maintain our high standards and encourage families to raise children in Plymouth. Our ultimate aim is that no matter where a child lives, they can expect excellent education from a first class local school.”