Children, staff and parents of West Monkton Primary School have celebrated the first day in their brand new school building.
The 14 classroom school, on the new Monkton Heathfield estate, is replacing the old 10 classroom building on School Road. It has been developed to cope with the expected demand for school places created by the building of around 1,000 new homes in the area.
The relocated school now has space for 420 pupils, and will also include playing fields and netball courts, a nursery with space for 52 children, and community facilities.
Ian Robinson, Headteacher of West Monkton Primary School, said: “At West Monkton we have a vision of ‘an outstanding learning environment where everyone has the courage and confidence to fly.’ With the help of the contractors and Somerset County Council we have been able to realise this vision. As a school that has grown rapidly in recent years, this new school site is much needed. We are a happy and successful school moving into what will be a brand new happy building. As a school we realise how incredibly lucky we all are and we are grateful to all those that have made it possible and contributed to the schools construction.”
Cllr Frances Nicholson, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “It is wonderful to see that staff and children are enjoying their first day in their new school. The new and improved facilities will ensure we are prepared to cope with local demand for school places, and will benefit not only current and future students, but the wider community too.”
Cllr David Fothergill, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “The opening of the new school is such an important milestone for the village and I’m pleased the developer has also completed the next phase of highways improvements. The first phase saw the opening of the new A38 relief road, while this latest work has seen the old A38 declassified with a new 20mph limit and various traffic calming measures in place. This should significantly reduce the speed and volume of traffic through the village and is crucial to make it much safer for children to get to and from school.”