Newark's Christ Church Primary School on Middlebeck is a place to help children to grow
Pupils attending Newark’s newest primary school from September will have the opportunity to grow in every sense of the word and to explore life’s big questions — that is the view of Nigel Frith, director of education, in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.
Mr Frith was referring to the construction of the Christ Church Primary School on Middlebeck, south of Newark.
Building work, as these exclusive pictures from a drone show, is progressing well with no significant delays, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
It replaces the Christ Church Infants’ School on Victoria Street and Mr Frith said the ethos of the school would move with it.
“The project is going really well,” said Mr Frith. “The plans for the new school are breathtaking.
“Hopefully, the school can be used for church services and Christian occasions and there will be real links between the school and the local church.
“In saying that, this school will welcome all faiths and none. It will be all-inclusive and all-supportive.”
It will be a primary school with a foundation and a 50-place nursery section and will include facilities such as a multi-use games area, and grass and soft play areas.
It is being built on land part-owned by the diocese, which is also working with Nottinghamshire County council as local education authority, and from whom places at the new school can be applied for.
New head Alison Richardson took up her role this month in preparation for the opening.
“She has a proven track record of excellence and very warm leadership,” said Mr Frith.
“A new community like Middlebeck will take some time to find its own identity and the school can help to be a part of that process, helping in creating new friendships and relationships through the school being at the heart of its community and parents just meeting at the school gates.”
Christ Church Infants’ School — the only infants’ school remaining in Newark — has fewer than 40 pupils of infants’ school age on its roll.
Mr Frith said: “The atmosphere of Christ Church Infants’ School is brilliant. Staff and children are very happy there.
“The ethos has been rooted in the building and its pupils for a great many years. That same standard of excellence they will bring with them to the new school.
“It will be a place where pupils are encouraged to grow themselves through their education — spiritually, mentally, physically — and to explore the big questions of life.”
Mrs Richardson said: It is incredibly exciting to see the new school literally growing up from the ground at the Middlebeck site.
“I was fortunate to visit for a covid-safe tour during the October half-term when the foundations were in place, and you could already get a feel for the size of the building.
“Now that the steel framework is in, it is certainly starting to feel like this is really happening, and I can’t wait to be able to visit the site again to see how far work has progressed.
“In particular, I am looking forward to being able to take the Christ Church staff and children to see the building, and to start making plans for the future as a school community.
“I am already working with the architect and Urban & Civic team to consider the furniture and fittings, which is when we can actually start to think about how the building will work when it is up and running as a school.
“Creating an inspiring learning environment for children, and ensuring staff have everything they need to deliver an exciting curriculum, is really important to me.
“Many residents in Newark have very happy memories of their time at Christ Church; I want the new school to be a place where our pupils — and pupils of the future — will continue to thrive and excel in all they do.”