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Issue 304 – New school for Hayesdown

Hayesdown First School has celebrated the opening of its new school in a special ceremony as it was unveiled to the public. Lord Bath officially declared the revamped school open at a ceremony attended by pupils, staff, parents, governors and friends on Monday 28th June.

Hayesdown School has undergone a complete change during the past two years, with funding from the local authority. The £2million project has enabled the refurbishment of the original building, and construction of a new building for the school. In addition, the site now houses the Frome Opportunity Nursery and The Bridge Children’s Centre.
The new school building accommodates five classes and the refurbishment of the original building has included a change to the layout of the classrooms from open plan to spacious, inviting, learning environments for the children. A new entrance to the old building has also been created, the school has much more storage space, and children can now benefit from a wireless facility.
Headteacher Liz Stokes said, “I’m very pleased that after these years we’ve come to the end of the project. It’s been worth it, very much so. I’m very proud to be the head of the school at this time.”
The planning process was initiated back in 2006, and building work started in earnest in November 2008. Although some level of disruption might have been inevitable, the school used this to their advantage.
“The children are very, very adaptable, and we used it as a learning experience,” explained Liz Stokes. “They kept diaries and we took photographs, and we’ve had massive cranes and diggers in, which they found very exciting! The builders have been onsite while we’ve been here and we’ve worked alongside each other – we even had our Ofsted in September.”
The new children’s centre, which cost £280,000, provides a new facility for the area. Liz Stokes added, “Having the nursery school and the children’s centre on site means we can now meet the needs of a community in a much better way than we could before.”
At the opening ceremony, Lord Bath addressed the children and unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening of the new school. Pupils at the school have participated in a mural competition, which Lord Bath judged and presented prizes for. The winning entries will now be displayed in the school corridors, adding the pupils’ own touch to the new school. Lord Bath also received a gift from the children.