Pupils share their wishes for new school at landmark ceremony

Silsoe C of E Lower School new building - Central Bedfordshire Council Chairman Councillor David Bowater and headteacher Susan Purdue tighten a ceremonial bolt
Silsoe C of E Lower School new building - Central Bedfordshire Council Chairman Councillor David Bowater and headteacher Susan Purdue tighten a ceremonial bolt

Pupils expressed their wishes and dreams for their new school at a ceremony to mark work on the building reaching its highest point.

A topping-out ceremony took place to celebrate the latest landmark in the construction of Silsoe CofE Lower School’s new site on Friday, April 15.

Silsoe C of E Lower School new building

Silsoe C of E Lower School new building

It is being built on the former Cranfield University campus off Barton Road and is due for completion in time for the 2016/17 academic year when the school will be able to offer 240 places, up from the 135 available at its current High Street location.

The school councillors read aloud their classes’ wishes and dreams for the new building, and among those were for “a fantastic place for learning with fun activities, and that everyone will feel safe and welcome too.”

Joining children, staff and school governors at the event were a host of invited dignitaries including Central Bedfordshire Council chairman Cllr David Bowater, Central Bedfordshire’s assistant director school improvements Helen Redding and deputy director of education from the Diocese of St Albans Lizzie Jeanes.

Cllr Bowater said: “Last time I visited this was just a muddy building site where work was just beginning. It’s amazing how quickly things have progressed over the course of a few months and it’s evident what an impressive building this will be.

“You can see by the number of new homes being built here what a popular place Silsoe is to live, and it’s important that we match that pace of growth by being able to offer children a place at a good, local school.”

Susan Purdue, headteacher, said: “This is a very exciting time for the school. Visiting today, you start to visualise how everything is going to look and what the new facilities will look like.

“We are very much a values-based school, and in their inimitable way the children have summed up all of our aspirations and values in their wishes and dreams which they expressed today for our new school.

“If we commit all of our plans ands aspirations to God he will help us to build an outward-looking, values-based and God-centred school where we all strive to work hard, achieve our potential within a wonderful environment and, most importantly, learn from and care for each other.”

The expansion scheme is part of the council’s ongoing commitment to provide 6,500 new school places across Central Bedfordshire over a five-year period to 2017.

For more information about the New School Places programme, visit http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/school/organisation/programme.aspx