Timetable for Tadpole Farm school takes shape
5:30am Tuesday 1st April 2014 in By Beren Cross, @BerenCross
PLANS for the future of Tadpole Farm’s new primary school will begin to transfer from paper to reality this week as Jane Leo takes up her post as headteacher.
The public is also being invited to vote on what name the school should adopt when it welcomes pupils in September.
The five options, which all end with CE Primary Academy, are: Tadpole Farm, St Clare’s, Trinity, Ermine Way and Shepherd’s Way.
Members of the community are also invited to a drop-in session at Oakhurst Primary School tomorrow.
At the session, between noon and 6pm, there will be a chance to meet Mrs Leo, vote on the new name, get information on the school’s nursery and reception classes, plus become part of the pioneer group which kick-starts the school.
Officials leading the project for the new school have not been fazed by the delay in building work, which has forced them to plan for life at Redhouse Community Centre, for at least the first term.
The centre has not yet been built either, but the Diocese of Bristol Academies Trust, which will run the school, has been encouraged by the flexibility of Swindon Council in meeting their requests for modifications at the centre.
Andrew Wild, senior effectiveness officer at the diocese, said: “Things are starting to move from vapour to reality, despite the fact we are having to open in temporary accommodation.
“If we owned it we would customise it to suit our needs, but that doesn’t mean the education will be any less.”
Mrs Leo said: “I’m used to small spaces and making the most of them.”
The new head comes from an identical position at a small village school under the control of Gloucester Diocese, and said she was attracted by the opportunity to start a project from scratch.
She will head up a reception provision which will cater for 60 pupils at most, and a nursery provision which will supervise 52 children across two sessions each day.
When the school is fully operational in six years, there will be a provision for all school years from reception to Year 6.
It has still not been established when the Tadpole Farm site will be ready for pupils, though a meeting between trust and council officials tomorrow is expected to hint at a potential move-in date.
John Swainston, CEO of the trust, said: “Swindon Council tells us it could be Christmas, but we are being pragmatic and saying it’s likely to be Easter 2015.
“As long as we have a decent building at Redhouse, we will cope. The council has been very good in adjusting the building for us.
“They will rework the internal area for the community after we have moved on.
“We would rather be in our own school, but a school is about what goes on within the walls, not the walls themselves.
“We will be creating just the same school within these walls. The school would be the same in this building or anywhere else.”
The temporary school at Redhouse will be blessed by the Bishop of Swindon in a ceremony on September 8.
To vote on the new name of the school at Tadpole Farm, visit: www.tadpoleacademy.co.uk
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