Doors open at region's newest school
By Alison WithersSEVENTY pupils were the luckiest in East Anglia when the doors opened for the first time at their new £2million school.The first classes were held yesterday at Beaumont Primary School in Hadleigh - one of the region's most environmentally-friendly schools.
By Alison Withers
SEVENTY pupils were the luckiest in East Anglia when the doors opened for the first time at their new £2million school.
The first classes were held yesterday at Beaumont Primary School in Hadleigh - one of the region's most environmentally-friendly schools.
The cedarwood-clad building, with its wind turbine and sedum grass roof, made a striking sight in the sunshine, perched at the top of a hill on a new housing estate currently under construction.
School headteacher, Stella Burton, said yesterday: “This is a unique experience for everyone involved because it's such a special building that gives us a great education environment.
“Everybody from the construction company, the county council and all the other organisations involved in the building has worked so hard to make sure we are up and running today and I'd like to thank them for all their efforts.”
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Building a new school community from scratch was a challenge, but Miss Burton said staff had been in the school last week, making sure everything was ready for the start of term.
A proportion of the pupils are from service families, whose parents work at the nearby Wattisham Airfield, but some are from Ireland, Oxfordshire and even Estonia.
Ten-year-old Tamara Young had just moved to Hadleigh from Oxfordshire and was nervous about starting a new school.
“Although I am nervous, I am excited as well. I feel lucky to be taught in such a nice building. The roof is really cool,” she said.
Tamara also liked her new uniform, which is a green sweatshirt with a grey skirt adorned with a golden lion.
“It's different as my old one was red. I like the lion, it's a cool symbol and the rest is very smart,” she added.
Vicky White, 10, was also excited about her first day at the school and said: “The school is very nice and looks like it will be a lot of fun.”
Having spent six years in schools where a number of children were from forces families, Miss Burton, a former headteacher at Waldringfield Primary School in Woodbridge, was aware of the disruption constant moves could cause.
“We are looking for a family-oriented school and we want to get everybody involved as quickly as possible to give those children who for whatever reason aren't with us for long a fantastic education,” she said.
Right up to 4pm on Wednesday, parents were calling the school to see whether their children could have places and Miss Burton said more were joining every day.
Initially, the school was built to accommodate 140 children, plus 26 in the nursery, but space has been left for further buildings to take it up to 210 spaces.
HOW BEAUMONT PRIMARY SCHOOL IS ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY
n Cedarwood cladding from sustainable forests has been used for all the outside walls, which have been insulated with Warmcell, which is made from recycled newspapers.
n A large part of the roof is planted with sedum - a mixture of moss and plants - which will hold back some rainfall to prevent water running off and keep the building cool in summer and warm in winter.
n On the other side of the roof, water run-off will be stored in underground tanks and then used to flush toilets in the school.
n Photo voltaic cells on the roof will collect energy from the sun and convert it into electricity, providing enough power to light two classrooms. All classrooms have also been fitted with low energy lightbulbs.
n The school also has a wind turbine, which will be able to provide energy for the school. Surplus energy will be sold to the National Grid during school summer holidays.