05:01PM, Thursday 07 November 2019
After three years of waiting, pupils and staff at Braywick Court School have finally moved into their new school building.
The school has been based at Riverside Primary School & Nursery in Donnington Gardens after moving ahead of construction at the Hibbert Road site in September 2016.
But a number of set-backs meant the works and the opening of the new building were delayed.
Run by the Bellevue Place Education Trust (BPET), Braywick Court School first opened in 2014 at the former Winbury School – a private school which occupied the Old Courthouse.
A Victorian building, it was not suited to class sizes of 30 and it was always the intention of BPET to rebuild it to accommodate a one-form entry school for pupils aged four to 11.
This was expected to take a year, but when the first pupils joined the school – an intake of reception children – planning permission had not yet been granted.
In July 2016, after almost two years at Hibbert Road, permission to demolish and rebuild the school was granted.
Braywick Court School headteacher Gemma Donnelly started in her role when the school first opened.
“Our oldest children are now in year five and have been waiting almost their whole primary school career to move into their new building,” she said.
“Children have never had a library, or group room, or school hall, staff have never had proper office space.
“We are all absolutely thrilled with the new building.“The design is incredible and the space it offers for both indoor and outdoor learning is unique.”
Mrs Donnelly said: “You don’t need an outstanding building to provide outstanding education but it’s not without its challenges.”
To ensure the school was ready to move last Monday (November 4), pupils had an extended half term from October 21-November 1.
Mrs Donnelly said: “Families came to visit the empty and nearly completed building just before an extended half term break.
“They could not believe how lucky they were.”
The new and improved school includes access to an outdoor learning space for every class, state of the art IT equipment, interactive whiteboards and children have access to a laptop or iPad one between two.
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