Even Swindon Primary School's new reception opens in Victorian style

This Is Wiltshire: Even Swindon Primary School Opening of new reception. Roger Day, playing Sir Topham Hatt, gives the opening speech to the pupils  Picture: Alex Skennerton Even Swindon Primary School Opening of new reception. Roger Day, playing Sir Topham Hatt, gives the opening speech to the pupils Picture: Alex Skennerton

EXPANSION plans became a reality for Even Swindon Primary School which opened up its new railway-themed reception with a grand ceremony that excited children and staff alike.

A new reception and extensions to the school’s nursery, staff room and two classrooms was completed on Friday, but with help from Thomas the Tank Engine’s Sir Topham Hatt it was revealed to the public yesterday.

The reception pays homage to the school’s Victorian roots, when it was situated in Rodbourne and used for railway workers’ children.

There are GWR (Great Western Railway) benches in the main entrance, with the receptionist’s hatch made to look like a ticketing office.

The ceremony was led by an actor dressed as Sir Topham, the principal train conductor on the children’s television series.

There were appearances from the architect responsible for the designs of the development, ward councillors and school governors present.

There were also guests with links between the school in its current guise and its historical location in Rodbourne.

Work on the extensions and new reception began in July after a masterplan was drawn up for the future of the school, as it set its sights on becoming a three-form entry institution.

The final, most ambitious, phase of expansion was given the go-ahead by town planners last month, which will involve eight new classrooms and some new leisure areas.

Headteacher Alison Lowe said: “The school is growing and expanding. We are going from two-form to three-form entry, with 90 rather than 60 pupils now joining the school each year.

“The work on the next phase will begin in January.”

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