VIP day as Nene and Ramnoth school in Wisbech celebrates official opening of phase one of new extension
A Wisbech school is aiming to become a training hub for the area as phase one of a £6.5 million expansion scheme was officially opened on Friday.
Children at Nene and Ramnoth School are already enjoying 12 new classrooms which came into use on the Ramnoth Road base in two phases in January and February.
But they were officially opened with a special day of celebrations attended by Wisbech mayor Peter Human and his consort, MP Steve Barclay, representatives from the Elliott Foundation, which looks after the school, and also those who have contributed to the school over the years.
Executive principal Karen Crawley said: “It was a wonderful day. All the children took part – we had Year 5 pupils acting as guides to our guests, Year 6 did the catering, reception did the flower displays and everyone else sang.”
Builders who are still on site working on phase two of the scheme downed tools to join in the celebrations, too.
Work is continuing on the new dining hall which is expected to be completed early in the autumn term and the whole project should be completed by the end of October ready for a second official opening in December.
Mrs Crawley explained the expansion means the school can continue to offer three form entry from this September, meaning it will double in size over the next few years.
Before the expansion the Nene Infant and Nursery School, which was home to reception and years one and two, had 180 pupils, while the Ramnoth Junior site, which is home to the older children, had 230.
With the three form entry the school will grow to 250 at the Nene Early Years base and 540 at Key Stage 1 and 2 on the Ramnoth Road site and Mrs Crawley is determined all those children will receive the “best education they can have and which they deserve”.
But it won’t only be the children learning at the federated schools, which are part of the Elliot Foundation Academy Trust. The aim is to also create a training hub providing essential courses for school staff from across the district and beyond.
Mrs Crawley said: “At present teachers have to travel for courses sometimes as far as Cambridge at the end of a busy school day.
“We want to provide courses at the Nene base which are tailored to meet the needs of staff at schools in this area, which may require specific skills.”
Some training has already been held with teachers learning about the newly-introduced maths multiplication requirement.
The school will also be a base for School Direct training, which offers local people with degrees the opportunity to train to become teachers.
“If people have the opportunity to train in the area where they are from and with local schools, they are more likely to stay on as they are likely to be offered a job, which will help with recruitment issues which many Fenland schools have,” said Mrs Crawley.