Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

County Council hands keys to new Waterlooville school to Academy Trust

Saturday, 30 Aug 2014

Hampshire County Council has formally handed over the new, £8 million Berewood Primary School, in Waterlooville, to the University of Chichester Academy Trust.

Ahead of the start of the autumn term, Councillor Peter Edgar, Executive Member for Education, presented the keys to Professor Clive Behagg, Chair of the University of Chichester Academy Trust Board and Sue Patrick Headteacher of Berewood Primary School.

Councillor Edgar commented:

"Education is a top priority for the County Council and we are committed to strengthening our relationship with partners and schools. Construction of Berewood Primary School is one of many schemes in our three-year £149 million capital investment programme to provide 8,000 new primary school places across the county in excellent learning facilities. This school will serve the rapidly growing local community and is testament to how Hampshire County Council is working with partners to provide high quality learning environments as well as growing its services to schools.

"It is always a great pleasure for me to hand over the keys of a new school and yet again the County Council's in-house architects and property services team, working also with external consultants, have designed a fantastic building that I am sure will be cherished by staff and students for many years to come."

He added:

"With the extensive Government reforms in education our role is changing. We are now in a landscape where academies and free schools are being encouraged and it is necessary that we adapt and continue to improve our many services to schools that help children and young people achieve. Education is a key priority for the County Council and the development of this high quality school demonstrates our determination to develop still further our positive relationship with our family of schools."

Professor Clive Behagg said:

"The University of Chichester Academy Trust has developed a strong and satisfying working relationship with Hampshire County Council in preparing for the opening of Berewood Primary School. It is a very exciting undertaking for us at CAT and demonstrates how a University Academy Trust and a Local Authority can pool expertise to ensure the best educational outcome for local children.

"In joining our Multi-Academy Trust, Berewood Primary School becomes part of a supportive learning community with extensive links to other schools and access to specialist University expertise, resources and research. In turn, we welcome the new relationships we are forging with the vibrant, growing community of Berewood and excellent staff at the Academy."

The new school is set in the heart of the west of Waterlooville major development area and has been designed in consultation with the local community. Funded with £1.2 million investment from the County Council and £6.8 million developers' contributions, the school gates will open on 8 September 2014 for the first sixty pupils in Reception to Year 6. In time the school will grow to provide 420 places for 4-11 year olds.

The school is set within a landscaped site of just over two hectares and has its own playing fields. The new academy is single-storey and of a traditional barn design with brick and timber boarding and pitched roofs finished with clay tiles.

Pupils will enjoy break times with a hard playground marked out for ball games, a range of climbing and balancing equipment and areas for quieter activities. Early Years classes will have their own large enclosed outdoor space and an enclosed courtyard at the centre of the school will create a natural space for outdoor learning.

Inside, accommodation includes 14 attractively decorated classrooms, four group rooms, a staff room and offices, while the main hall has been designed as a flexible area that can be used for assemblies, as a dining hall, a performance space and a gymnasium. Some areas will be available outside school hours for use by the community

Headteacher Mrs Sue Patrick said:

"It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to establish our new school at the heart of a brand-new community, to start to get to know the residents of Berewood, and to find out about their needs and hopes for the school as a community asset and for their children's education."

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