School celebrates opening of new Forest End campus

Pupils celebrate the official opening of Church End Lower School's new Forest End campus in Marston Moretaine.

Pupils celebrate the official opening of Church End Lower School's new Forest End campus in Marston Moretaine.

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Children planted trees, which will be enjoyed by the many generations to come, to mark the opening of a new school campus.

Church End Lower School’s new Forest End campus in Marston Moretaine can accommodate 150 pupils and is part of Central Beds Council’s commitment to create 6,500 new school places over the next five years.

Pupils celebrate the official opening of Church End Lower School's new Forest End campus in Marston Moretaine.

Pupils celebrate the official opening of Church End Lower School's new Forest End campus in Marston Moretaine.

The opening was marked with a performance by nationally acclaimed folk band The Willows and workshops with pupils.

Trees, including willow, oak and beech, were planted in the grounds of Forest End by each child attending the school.

Councillor Caroline Maudlin said: “What a brilliant event. The children sang and danced beautifully alongside The Willows, and I think there are some definite stars in the making.

“It was great to hear how much pupils love their new campus which was vital given the pace Marston Moreteyne has grown in recent years.

“This goes to show how important the council’s new school places programme is, and why we are investing more than £100 million over the next five years to create 6,500 new places.”

Currently there are around 70 pupils in the nursery, reception and Year One at Forest End but come September it is expected that there should be a Year Two class and a combined Year Three and Four class. This means that five of the six classrooms will be occupied.

Headteacher Brian Storey said: “It’s wonderful. There’s so much light and space, and to build something like this, to a budget, is magnificent. The teachers can be so creative thanks to all that light and space and it’s a really fantastic place for children to go to school.

“We have had dozens of people visit Forest End. They are always impressed when they come in, but when they go into the learning street, that’s when they stop and go, ‘wow, this is incredible’. Everyone so impressed.

“The teachers know how privileged they are too, and are looking forward to shaping the school’s character in the coming years.”

The campus is just ten minutes’ walk from the school’s Church End site.

Mr Storey said: “The principle of ‘one school – two sites’ brings with it some huge advantages. The school has one shared ethos which is reflected in our values, policy and practice; one source of management and administration which provides a greater depth of clarity and one level of governance, ensuring that the school remains absolutely central to supporting the needs of our local community.