Children living at Barton Park are to benefit from a new primary school, which will open its doors on Thursday 03 September, following recent completion.
The school will initially welcome a reception and combined year-one and year-two classes, with COVID-19 safety measures throughout the building and grounds. Long term, the school expects to cater for 315 children aged between 4 and 11, alongside 45 nursery places.
The new school has been designed to promote active and healthy lifestyles in line with Barton Park’s ethos as a ‘healthy new town.’
The school has been built by Oxfordshire County Council and its completion is the latest milestone in the development of Barton Park by Barton Oxford LLP, a joint venture between Oxford City Council and Grosvenor Britain and Ireland.
The school sits at the heart of the new community, where 885 homes are being built alongside a park and sports facilities which are already open.
The development was established as a demonstrator site for the NHS Healthy New Towns programme, set up to explore how health can be embedded into new housing schemes. Walking, cycling and scooting to school will be encouraged with 32 bike spaces for students and staff.
Pupils will have access to a modern sports hall, dance studio, outdoor areas and play space.
The school will also house a community hub where local people can meet for group activities and social support during and outside of school hours.
Barton Park Primary School will be managed by the Community Schools Alliance Trust with Bryony McCraw appointed as Headteacher. Places are available to residents at Barton Park and existing families in Barton.
County Councillor Lorraine Lindsay-Gale, Cabinet Member for Education and Cultural Services, said:
“I’m delighted that we have all delivered on our commitment to have this school ready for the autumn term, to meet the educational needs of local children.
“Barton Park is a growing community; these new shared facilities will benefit all the residents.
”I wish the pupils, teachers and support staff the very best in the coming academic year.”
Alex Robinson, director of development at Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, commented:
“Barton Park Primary School will be a focal point for the community, not only as an educational centre but as a place where residents can meet and make use of the excellent facilities. Its importance at the heart of Barton Park is reflected in the high-quality design that Grosvenor, Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council worked together to develop.
“Barton Park has been built with healthier living in mind and the school and its amenities will have a central part to play in giving families the opportunity to embrace more active lifestyles.”
Jolie Kirby CEO of CSAT, said:
“The Community Schools Alliance trust (CSAT) is delighted that Barton Park Primary School will be opening to families from September 2020 .The school is the first primary free school in the City of Oxford and is purpose built to provide an excellent and inspiring learning environment to the local community.
Our staff are looking forward to welcoming families and the wider community to be part of our new school.
The Trust is also able to invite community groups to use our extensive facilities which enable the school to be a wider social and education hub to local groups and societies. So there is a lot to celebrate with local primary school and community hub opening to support the growth of the vibrant local Barton Park community.”
Liz Tyler, Bell Chair of Trustees, said:
“The trustees are delighted that Barton Park will be opening in September, providing a local school and a centre to this new community. We are excited by the strength of the team that is in place and the learning environment that has been created to support the children and their families and look forward to seeing it become the social and educational hub it is intended to be.”
Bryony McCraw, Head of Barton Park Primary school, said:
“I am really looking forward to opening our doors in September and beginning to grow the community of Barton Park School. It will be a priority to get to know the families and children within the estate and surrounding areas so that we can develop in a way that best supports their needs. We have a fantastic team of teachers and support staff, all of whom are excited at the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Gareth Griffiths, Executive Head Barton Park Primary School and Bayards Hill Primary School, commented:
“It is wonderful that a new housing development, within Oxford, is able to have a new primary school within its community. We are looking forward to opening the school in the new academic year and growing the school over the years to come.
“The children will have access to fantastic facilities within the building and grounds, which will be made full use of through their taught curriculum.”
Councillor Marie Tidball, Cabinet Member for Supporting Local Communities at Oxford City Council, said: “A school really draws local people together, and the provision of the community hub shows this school is at the heart of Barton Park. Barton as a whole has a great sense of community, one of our most active community associations and a redeveloped community centre, and it’s great to see the new school adding to these local resources. The emphasis on supporting healthy activities is so important, as we increasingly realise their value for physical and mental health. This school will give children the right start, and support staff and local residents with facilities to stay active and connected locally.”
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