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New £1.8m primary school extension helps to build firm foundations for pupils in Ashbourne

Published: 12 November 2019

We’ve officially opened a new £1.8m school extension as part of our plans to reorganise primary education in Ashbourne.


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Our Deputy Leader Councillor Simon Spencer (left) opens a new £1.8m extension at St Oswald’s C of E Primary School in Ashbourne with headteacher Becky Wood (second left), pupils, staff and guests.

Work started on the extension project at St Oswald’s C of E Primary School in January to create 3 new classrooms, group rooms, offices and store rooms.

The project – named 'Church View' – is part of our wider £4m plan to convert 2 infant and 1 junior schools into primary schools in their own right and accommodate families moving into new housing developments in the town.

It was opened by our Deputy Leader Councillor Simon Spencer in a ceremony with headteacher Becky Wood, pupils, staff, governors, project partners and visitors.

Councillor Spencer said:

“I was very honoured to be asked to open this new extension which supports our plan to reorganise primary education in Ashbourne and also provides a state-of–the-art modern building helping to inspire children to learn.”

School head teacher Becky Wood said:

“St Oswald’s C of E Primary School is delighted to announce the official opening of ‘Church View’ as we celebrate with pupils and staff past and present and members of our community.

“This reorganisation project, which involved transforming St Oswald’s from an infant school to a primary, has made history.

“As head teacher I would like to thank the committed team who have enabled this project to happen – our Governors, staff, architects and Derbyshire County Council. Together we are securing the future of education in Ashbourne for future generations.

“I am very privileged to have been part of a historic new development in the heart of Ashbourne and to be the headteacher of a school which has transitioned from an infant school to a primary school.”

The conversion in 2018 of St Oswald’s Infant, Hilltop Infant and Nursery and Parkside Community Junior schools into primary schools in their own right has allowed them to co-ordinate teaching across the primary years and eliminate the transition from infant to junior which can affect some children’s educational progress.

It also allows parents who have children at different stages of education to make one school drop-off rather than two which helps to reduce traffic in the town improving life for hundreds of pupils, parents and the wider community.

Our Cabinet Member for Young People Councillor Alex Dale said:

“The primary school reorganisation project in Ashbourne is a good example of developing and improving what we already have and the new building at St Oswald’s is an important part of that.

“We hope it helps to give children the best possible start at school as well as benefiting staff, parents and the whole community.”

The extension was designed by GRT Architects of Wirksworth and built by Tomlinson Building.