Since opening in 1854 thousands of children have passed through the gates of Mrs Ethelston’s school set in the heart of the village and for over 160 years the building has served the community well, supporting the delivery of outstanding education.
Following an independent review of the school in 2008, commissioned by the Trust and school governors, it was found that the school could no longer meet the standard required to deliver the current curriculum. Any future development of the current site to meet these needs would be impossible.
The outside play and learning area is very restricted and there is no hall; meals have to be eaten in classrooms and shortage of space causes significant operational problems. And with growing numbers and ever demanding curriculum this is only going to get worse.
The Bestic Trust is delighted to be able to
spearhead the development of the new school.
In 2012 the Bestic Trust acquired the site next to the village hall, having obtained outline planning permission for a new school. This was supported by 107 out of 109 respondents to a public exhibition and questionnaire. Outline planning permission has subsequently been renewed.
The development of the new school on this site is also an exciting opportunity to address many of the wider issues of the current school.
When will it be built?
Subject to funding and detailed planning approval it is our aim to start building the school in 2019 and significant work is underway led and funded by the Trust to make this happen.
Commissioned in early 2018, this shows how the site might be used by the school for sport, play and outdoor learning. It also addresses the feedback on the outline planning consent. This can be seen below:
What makes the concept so special?
Teaching practices have changed since Mrs Ethelstons was built with more emphasis on a variety of teaching and learning styles. We hope to create an imaginative and flexible school both inside and out. Each classroom will have direct access to a partially covered outdoor classroom area, and a vibrant outdoor area that can be used throughout the year for playing and learning.
Woodland to provide a variety of outdoor play and learning opportunities including camp building forest school activities, woodland walk and orienteering route.
Active challenging play spaces at the heart of the hard standing playground along with areas designated for quiet reflection
Creative willow tunnel and room surrounding the raised deck