Pupil poetry readings and singing were the highlight of a celebration event to mark the official opening of a new teaching block at Swallowfield Primary School.
Students have been settling into their brand-new classrooms this term after the building was completed in the summer to accommodate Swallowfield’s transition from a lower to a primary school last year.
The school, which is located in Woburn Sands, is part of Central Bedfordshire Council’s programme to change schools from the three-tier to the two-tier model of education. A morning of celebrations began with pupils treating invited guests – including those from the Council, contractors Spacemaker Developments (SMD), designers Concertus and the Town Council – to a singing performance before and after a ribbon-cutting ceremony and speeches to declare the teaching block officially open.
The children sang ‘Proud of my school’ and ‘Thank you for a million brilliant things’ and then, to cap off the morning, there were poetry readings from four pupils whose verses won a school-wide competition to get the children’s artistic takes on what the school means to them. The four poetry winners were also presented with a prize of book tokens by SMD.
Swallowfield Primary School Headteacher, Kim Brewer, said: “A very big thank you on behalf of all our families, children and the Swallowfield team for the wonderful new teaching block. It has provided a calm and purposeful learning environment for the children to be able to achieve their very best. We are all very proud of being part of Swallowfield Primary and to be able to educate children all the way through to year six.”
After cutting the ribbon, Cllr Hayley Whitaker, Executive Member for Families, Education and Children, said: “This was a wonderful celebration which marks the official opening of a brand-new teaching block, but it’s about so much more than the building itself. It was great to hear from both pupils and the teachers about all of the things they love about their new teaching space. This project is about them and providing a learning environment where they can really get the most out of their education.”
SMD Director, Rob Millward, said: “It was heartwarming to see the community at Swallowfield come together for an enjoyable celebration marking the official opening of the brand-new teaching block and facilities. The teachers and pupils alike shared their thoughts and feelings about how the new learning environment has evolved their opportunities for success, making the school a welcome and positive environment for everyone to enjoy. It has truly been an honour to attribute and witness yet another successful School’s for the Future project with Central Bedfordshire Council.”
Darren Fellowes, Associate Director from Concertus, said: “It has been a pleasure to support Central Bedfordshire Council with the implementation of their new two-tier model of education and the delivery of the new teaching block at Swallowfield Primary School was no exception. Not only will this school make a difference for the local children but for the wider community too. The project itself has been driven by the passion and inspiring ethos of the Trust and we feel exceptionally privileged to have been part of their journey.”
Swallowfield’s transition to a primary school is the first in the area and reflects the Council’s commitment to supporting a three to two-tier transition of its schools. While the nearby Fulbrook School continues to operate as an extended secondary school, teaching Year 5 and 6 pupils, the Council is continuing to explore options for the remaining lower schools in the area to join Swallowfield and Fulbrook in the transition to a primary and secondary model of education. The Council will provide further updates on the progress in this area as it becomes available.