IT’S onwards and upwards for Spurcroft Primary School as staff and pupils celebrated the opening of a £2.5m building last week.
Children released 500 red balloons to mark the opening last Wednesday, with a performance from the school choir, and were joined by a leading educationalist.
Spurcroft headteacher Nathan Butler-Broad said the balloon release was something special to involve the children and symbolised letting them fly and seeing how far they can go.
The building is part of a £3.1m renovation project, providing six new classrooms, a new library, dedicated after school club space, calm room and new offices.
And with Thatcham’s population growing, the school’s capacity has increased from 315 pupils to 525.
The building, constructed by Thatcham company Dawnus Ltd, has extended the playground and parking spaces and a new staffroom, dedicated special educational needs support spaces, an enlarged kitchen and toilets have also been added.
Mr Nathan Butler-Broad, said: “We are absolutely delighted with our new facilities.
“Not only does it future-proof local education for generations of Thatcham children, it provides an inspiring learning space and the very best of facilities.”
Present at the opening was president of the Education Development Trust and former chief inspector of primary education, Sir Jim Rose.
Sir Jim led an independent review into the teaching of early reading, emphasising the need to promote speaking and listening skills as a precursor to literacy.
Spurcroft has been implementing new teaching methods in phonics, with help from local educationalist Debbie Hepplewhite, and Sir Jim called in at the school to see how they were progressing.
Mr Butler-Broad said that he was pleased to welcome the “absolutely lovely” Sir Jim to the school. He added that Sir Jim spoke to children and was pleased with what he saw.
West Berkshire Council’s executive member for education, Lynne Doherty, said: “We are extremely proud of this project and very pleased to have been able to provide these fabulous new facilities.
“Every enhancement has been carefully considered and every space used to provide the very best learning environment for Spurcroft staff and children.”
There’s more good news from Spurcroft. Find out what in next week’s Newbury Weekly News.