New school opens its doors to pupils

Published Wednesday, 16th September 2015
Starting school
Starting school

Rotherham’s first primary school to be built in 30 years has welcomed its first 70 pupils through its doors.

Mark Young is the new headteacher of Eastwood Village Primary School and is looking forward to getting started in the new job.

He said: “The project has been it its planning stage for more than two years and to be involved at this stage is a privilege. Everybody is very excited. This first set of children will get to shape the school and be ambassadors for it, and the staff feel the same.

“We will make the school what we want it to be, which is successful, exciting and vibrant, and the children will be part of that from the beginning. Everything is brand new, it’s purpose-built and it’s a perfect space for learning.”

Mark said that he wants it to be an outstanding school and to be a centre for improvement where teachers can be trained and develop.

The new £6.4m academy will initially accommodate up to 30 pupils from Foundation Stage 2 through to Year 4. Eventually, it will admit a total of 315 pupils comprising 45 in each year group together with a modern, 44-place nursery.

Located on Eldon Road, the school will be run as an academy by the Central Learning Partnership Trust, which also runs Coleridge and East Dene Primary Schools. 

Initially, Eastwood Village Primary School will share the existing catchment area of Coleridge Primary School. However, these arrangements will be reviewed once the new school is established.

The modern, fit-for-purpose building has been built with monies provided by the Department for Education and Rotherham Council. The building was designed by Rotherham Council's architects department, with Wildgoose Construction as the building contractor.

School leaders have worked with the architects to design a school which will be fit-for-purpose in the modern era. There are large and small teaching spaces which lend themselves to a flexible approach to learning. There are many outdoor learning areas and the school has a unique location next to the banks of the River Don.

The Eastwood Village Primary School is just one of a number of education projects which took place over the summer. Other major developments include a new £2.9m, 17 classroom block at Wickersley Sports College, due to open in October, and new build school projects at Wath Victoria Primary School and Oakwood High School.

Rotherham Council’s Deputy Leader Cllr Gordon Watson said it was an exciting time for the borough’s educational facilities and for the pupils and teachers attending them.

He said: “Helping people to reach their potential within all our communities is one of the Council's key priorities. Well-made and delightful buildings have been shown to have a positive impact on learning. The Eastwood Village Primary School environment is a creative space which will inspire children to want to learn.

“Children are at the heart of the Rotherham communities and it is vital that we invest in their education, which means we are also investing in future Rotherham generations.

“Rotherham already has an excellent reputation for providing good quality education, demonstrated by the latest exam results. This work will help build on this.”

Children started at Eastwood Village Primary School this week after spending their first week at Eastwood’s sister school, East Dene Primary School, whilst final preparations were made to accommodate the children. 

Mark added: “It’s been an exciting and challenging few months preparing for the opening. It’s not been easy with various obstacles, including floodplains, allotments and snakes to sort! But we have really enjoyed welcoming our new pupils this week and helping them to settle in.”