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School Expansion Update June/July 2016


June/July 2016

Everyone will now have seen the continuing work on our school’s expansion. I’m writing now with our latest update to let you know what to expect in the coming months.

Schedule of works

Work has started to provide the school with additional, temporary classroom space in September while the main building work is going on over the next year. Before we break up for the summer holidays, Kier Construction will:

  • Finish the preparation for the temporary classrooms;
  • Re-instate the area of the Key Stage 2 playground that has been fenced off;
  • Provide a second disabled parking bay;
  • Complete the new cycle, scooter and recycling enclosures;
  • Commence work on providing  new parking bays in the main car park

During the summer holidays they will:

  • Take delivery of, site and fit out the temporary classroom unit, ready for the new term;
  • Create a secure site access road for the main build. This will take up part of the school garden and Early Years outdoor learning area, so they will:
  • Provide a temporary second Early Years outdoor learning area in part of the play area outside Key Stage 1;
  • Segregate part of the school hall and commence demolition of the end wall of the hall;
  • Form a new site compound at one side of the school field;
  • Remove the current contractor’s compound in the car park.
  • Complete 4 new parking bays for use from September
  • Reassign parking locations for disabled and taxi parking as close to the school main entrance as possible.

Some of you may have met Kier’s Site Manager, Steve Presland, who is on hand each day. He has introduced himself to neighbours of the school and has been able to respond to questions and concerns about the school expansion project. Both Kier and the school welcome any queries. You’ll find Steve on site most days if you have any particular concerns.

Safer routes

Thank you so much to all the families and staff who have responded to the changes in parking and traffic conditions arising from this work by walking, cycling, scooting, park-and-striding and using the drop-off service.  

This week Andrew Fripp (parent governor), Ron Robertson (health and safety governor) and I met with Nick Ratcliffe, the Sustrans Officer who will be working with our school over the next two years to fulfil and develop the Travel Plan. We’re aware, of course, that there have been concerns about traffic congestion as the school expands. Working with Sustrans will help to address these concerns and to provide a safe and sustainable way for children to come and go from school both during building work and beyond. This term Nick will be asking for pupils’ and families’ views on ways to improve sustainable travel to school, and these will help the Travel Plan work better for our school community.  Andrew Fripp has just become our Governor Sustrans Champion and welcomes your ideas about improving sustainable travel to school.

We are also aware of the need to update and improve the crossing outside school (indeed this is a condition of Planning for the school expansion). We did offer to fund a crossing supervisor several years ago but were told this was not possible at that time by the County Council. With increased traffic flows, we are now insisting that the crossing be improved. Safety of children crossing the road outside school is absolutely paramount. Plans to improve the pedestrian crossing are at the design stage; I will provide an update as soon as I have more information. Please be reassured we are treating this issue as a matter of urgency.

At school we are busy planning ways to ensure that our pupils can move safely and securely around the school site during the construction and alteration work.  We are involving governors and everyone who works at school in these considerations and will share these arrangements with families so that we can all feel confident that the pupils of St. Agnes Academy are safe and secure while at school during these changes.

Welcoming our new children

As we’ve previously said, our expansion means we’re able to offer places to all local children starting school in September. We now have an intake of 50, rather than the usual 30. To add to our two Reception teachers, we will be recruiting an additional teacher for our second Year 1 class in September and I will let you know how classes and teachers will be organised before the end of term. Our 51 new joiners are already enjoying taster ’learning together’ sessions, getting to know the school, their teachers and each other, on Wednesday afternoons. They’re doing brilliantly and we look forward to welcoming them in September.