Cambridge Primary Education Trust’s £16 million primary school build in Histon and Impington has opened its doors to children for the first time.
Following handover from contractor and designers R G Carter in December, Histon and Impington Infant School relocated from its site in New School Road to the Buxhall Farm site off Glebe Way just before the Christmas holidays, and ahead of the 6th January return date.
Originally, it was planned that 310 Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils at Histon and Impington Infant School would move over to the Buxhall Farm site – but a new national lock down announced on the evening of 4th January meant that the Trust has had to limit this to around 95 children initially.
From September, Histon and Impington Infant School will convert to a primary school and serve up to 420 children aged 4-11 under the new name of Histon and Impington Park Primary. Meanwhile, Histon and Impington Junior School, which has already expanded on its current site in readiness to extend its intake to ages 4-11, when it too becomes a full 420-pupil primary school, will be called Histon and Impington Brook Primary from the 2020-21 school year.
“It isn’t quite the celebratory opening we were hoping for, but we are absolutely delighted to be in the new school,” said the Trust’s CEO/Executive Principal Lesley Birch. “Colleagues have moved mountains before and during the Christmas holidays to ensure the building was ready for the returning children. In the immediate term, we are thrilled to be able to support those children who are able to come into school. For those we are unable to physically see due to the new restrictions we are offering remote learning which enables us to offer a high standard of learning tasks to all our children.
“Whilst everyone’s focus, and rightly so, is on the ‘here and now’, we should not lose sight of how significant this move is to give the local Histon and Impington community the enlarged high-quality primary provision it so desperately needs given the growth of our community. Our mission is to provide an outstanding education for all our pupils by offering a broad and balanced curriculum whilst working closely with the local community. Having two all-through primary schools in Histon and Impington, both with inspiring learning environments, will help to deliver that commitment as we move forward.”
Histon and Impington Infant School Headteacher Jonathan Newman added: “We are all incredibly excited about the new journey we are taking. It would have been wonderful to have had the opportunity to welcome everyone into the school and to start planning an official opening, but we will be doing that as soon as it is appropriate and possible to do so. Clearly this was not the start to the New Year at a new school that any of us wanted but we are looking forward to making new memories here. At the same time we bid a fond farewell to the Infant School site which housed many of our children’s parents, grandparents, great grandparents and possibly even great, great grandparents.”
The new school comprises 14 classrooms, a main and small hall, library, staff and breakout areas, and a food technology area and kitchen. As part of the construction, highway upgrade works were undertaken along with the creation of a new footpath and alterations to the nearby junction and a toucan crossing for students’ safety. The construction team from R G Carter will be back on site in the spring to finalise the landscaping and seeding of the new nature garden at the rear of the school, which also provides play areas and a mini wooden amphitheatre. The school also has an adjoining space which will be used for Breakfast and After-School Clubs and wraparound care facilities with the potential to provide pre-school provision for up to 52 children.
Will Robinson, Project Manager for R G Carter, explained: “It has been a pleasure to work on another exciting project with Cambridgeshire County Council to deliver this new and much-needed primary school in the local area and we look forward to the students benefiting from this amazing facility.”