Children and staff from Tadpole Farm Church of England Academy enjoyed an end of term walking expedition to visit their brand new school and Swindon Link and Richard Wintle of Calyxpix were there to record the visit.
Since last September the academy has been in temporary residence at Redhouse Community Centre but on 15 July they walked to Tadpole Garden Village for a picnic in the school hall, to play games in classrooms empty of furniture and run around the playground.
Headteacher Jane Leo said it was an emotional day. “I’ve been working towards this since I started with the diocese on 1 April 2014. We had to organise our school at Redhouse and spent the year planning our move to Tadpole Village, all the while meeting prospective parents and integrating new children almost every day.
“It’s been incredible and what’s so lovely is that we’re moving with such a strong, supportive school community in place. In early July we had about 200 parents and children in the new school hall for a party with live music from Opanda. There is such enthusiasm, we’re incredibly lucky.”
Reception/Year 1 teacher Alison Flynn added: “Bringing the children to the school for the first time is just amazing; they are so excited to have this big building all to themselves. I’ve been teaching them since they started in reception last September and will stay with them in Year 1 from September. It’s a wonderful experience to teach them over the two years.”
Year 1 pupil Briel thought the wide open spaces was wonderful. “It’s like a big football pitch,” he said.
Even though school ended on 17 July, staff, governors and parent helpers spent the first week of the holidays packing up furniture and setting up classrooms ready to open on 2 September.
The Bishop of Bristol Rev Mike Hill will officially open the academy on Monday 7 September.
The school will open at Tadpole Garden Village with 45 children in Year 1, sixty in reception and fifty children split over two sessions in the nursery unit. The morning sessions are full but there are some places still available in the afternoon.
Mrs Leo and her staff will welcome parents and children interested in joining the academy during the year (subject to places being available) and from September 2016 every Friday in October and November at 10am, 11am and 1.30pm.
• Although the academy is run by the Bristol diocese education board of the Church of England, design and supervision of building works was by Swindon Borough Council architect Nic Newland using the increasingly popular Class Solutions timber framed modular building system designed by him and council colleague Tony Currivan. Using standard sized sections which can be configured in different ways means a primary school can be built for under £5million instead of £7 to £8 million for a bespoke design. Construction was by Willmott Dixon. Read more and see more images by Richard Wintle
All photos top and below by Richard Wintle of Calyxpix