Headteacher of Norfolk's newest school reveals high demand for places
PUBLISHED: 09:34 19 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:34 19 October 2019
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
Norfolk's newest school is needed by its community and is already attracting significant demand, its headteacher has said.
White House Farm Primary School opened its doors in September with a reception class of 25 pupils after a construction project which took less than 12 months.
To mark the end of its first half-term the school, built to serve the Blue Boar Lane development in Sprowston, held an official opening yesterday.
Representatives from its sponsor Sapientia Education Trust (SET), Norfolk County Council, construction firm Kier and the Department for Education joined parents for the celebratory afternoon, which saw pupils plant a tree on the site and bury a time capsule containing a statement from each of them.
Headteacher Kelly Stokes, who has returned to teaching after a stint as director of primary improvement at SET, said the school had already had significant interest for next year's intake.
"We want to be a school for our community," she said. "The local authority said the school was needed, and we have 25 children so far, mostly from the estate.
"It is not about other areas, but making sure the people on this estate have got a school that is local."
Jonathan Taylor, SET chief executive, said: "It is really exciting to mark the start of what will be an incredible journey for the school, the staff, the local community and of course the first children who have started here and will grow with it.
"Being involved in the creation of a new school as an educator is probably the most exciting thing you can be involved in because it forces you to go back to the very beginning and ask yourself what you want in your school."
Parents were full of praise for the school and its staff.
Becky Howlett, whose daughter Penelope, four, attends the school, said: "She is really enjoying it and took to it really well. The school have done everything they can to make the children feel really settled, which I think is a big ask."
You may also want to watch:
Chloe Woodrow said her son Hugo, four, thought it was "brilliant". "It's a lovely building and the facilities are really lovely to have," she said. "There is a nice community feel about the school as well."
Lindsay Lamb, whose son Finn, four, is a pupil, said: "It is so friendly. The staff have taken the time to get to know everyone - for me as a parent that is vital."