Marlborough St Mary's - a sneak preview of a pristine new school (before the children arrive!)
“A wonderful facility right in the heart of the community.” Anne Schwodler, Headteacher. Excitement mounted as Marlborough St Mary’s CE VC, Marlborough’s brand new primary school, opened its doors this week for the first time.
At a reception for governors, councillors and donors on 5 September Anne Schwodler, headteacher said, “Thank you so much to all the people who have donated money, time and effort and to the staff who have given up time in their holidays to complete the unpacking. The new school is a huge responsibility and a huge privilege. We now have the opportunity to make Marlborough a real centre of educational excellence.”
Mayor, Councillor Mervyn Hall, presented a cheque from the town council so that the school can purchase a 'C Touch' Board for the Key Stage 2 Complex Needs Resource Base. He said, “The new school is a massive asset to this town and a huge thank you goes to Mrs Schwodler and her staff for working so hard to get everything ready in time for the new school year. Three of my six grandchildren will be arriving here tomorrow!”
There will be a formal opening of the school later in the school year.
The £7 million school, situated on a 6 acre site behind the old school on Ducks Meadow offers up to 420 students state of the art facilities. The single storey building offers large airy classrooms, all allowing access to outside spaces, complete with sun canopies, to encourage learning beyond the classroom.
There is a large hall and studio, library, technology suite, an EFA approved football pitch, training grid, an all weather games area and a wildlife area. A Resource Base, including a sensory room and hygiene room, will provide for 20 Special Educational Needs children.
Kier Construction completed the building on schedule and are now working to demolish the old St. Mary’s School building and build a car-park in its place.
The school set a fundraising target of £75,000 for new furniture, IT equipment and other resources for the new school. At the reception, Mark Thomas, Chair of governors, thanked over 70 different organizations and individuals who have helped raise over £40,000 so far.
Janneke Blokland, governor in charge of fundraising, said, “Inevitably there’s been a quieter period over the summer. However, we now have all the IT equipment required. There is a smart board in every classroom. We have a lot of new furniture but more is needed. We are grateful for a lot of individual donations and the support of so many people who have offered their time and expertise. Today is about saying thank you.”
After the reception guests, senior staff and governors toured the new school. Parents were given the opportunity to take a similar tour at the end of the first school day.
Margaret Hoyland, governor, told marlborough.news, “This is the first time I’ve seen it and it’s absolutely amazing.”
Clerk to the governors, Laurien Carter said, “I just think it’s wonderful and it’s been such hard work by everybody.”
Katie Riches, a governor who has two children at the school said, “ I will be very excited to see the children in the new school.”
In keeping with the Christian ethos of the school, Reverend Studdart Kennedy and Reverend Janneke Blokland led the first assembly on the first school day to bless the new school.