Pupils watch new school take shape
5:00am Monday 7th July 2014 in By Dominic Gilbert
PUPILS at the new Tadpole Farm Primary Academy had a glimpse into their new classrooms and the opportunity to advise the builders during a tour of the site.
Twelve children who have already signed up to join the school in September took a tour around the building site, and were quizzed by the site manager on how they would like the new play areas to look.
Principal Jane Leo said excitement is now building as the September start date looms, and she plans to bring all 40 children on the register around the site during the summer, dependent on the building schedule.
“The parents have obviously bought into something that didn’t exist,” she said. “That takes a lot of faith, and what we wanted to do was allow the children to begin to see what the school will look like and for the parents to begin to share our excitement. If you have an existing school they can go in straight away and begin to build that excitement.”
Interest has risen from parents as the new school year approaches, and classes have been filling up with the school almost fully staffed.
Jane plans to make parents and children as involved as possible before they join the school proper.
“We are keen to get more tours going over the summer, and I would like all the children to be able to see it before they start in September,” she said. “We are also running drop in sessions on Tuesdays throughout the summer from a shop front we have on a temporary basis. We are doing that with our own staff so children will be really familiar with them come September. The site is coming along very well, and they are just doing the plastering, so the children got to see all the scaffolding, and the rooms, which look huge when you are four.
“The site manager talked to them about what they would want to see on the site, and they were suggesting places to climb and places to play football, all of which will be there when it opens. In a way these children get to help build their own school.
“We are now almost fully staffed and only have a couple of positions left to fill.
“We were inundated with applications, receiving between 30 to 50 for every post, which has been amazing. That much excitement generated has been quite overwhelming. We now have 30 in the reception class, 20 in the morning sessions and 10 in the afternoon sessions. There is also quite a lot of interest in the wraparound care after school.
“It’s a unique experience. We had a parents induction meeting last week, so both the parents and the children have an input into how the school takes shape.”