Historic village school moves into new home

The  King's Cliffe Endowed School opening. By Lee Hellwing.
The King's Cliffe Endowed School opening. By Lee Hellwing.
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A historic school has moved into a multimillion pound new home as part of its transformation from a lower school to a primary school.

King’s Cliffe Endowed Primary School has left its building in Park Street and moved to new premises at King’s Forest as part of plans by Northamptonshire LEA to abolish its lower schools and make them primary schools.

Pupils, staff, parents and governors came together on Friday for the official reopening of the school, which cost more than £5.2 million, and has given the education establishment improved facilities.

A heartwarming moment at the event saw the oldest King’s Cliffe resident to attend the school, Jim Bollans, 96, cut the ribbon with its current youngest pupil, Esme Durrent, who is aged 4.

Headteacher of the school, Lynda Bowyer, who has worked there for four years, said: “It has been an exciting time and all the staff and parents have been really supportive.

“Staff in particular have given up holiday time to move the school into the building.”

King’s Cliffe’s former building, did not have its own library, instead it had libraries within classrooms and was unable to accommodate the increase in pupils necessary for the school’s transformation into a primary school.

The new building is bigger than the previous one, has its own library, and improved facilities such as a hall, which is two and a half times bigger than the one at the previous school.

Among those speaking at the ceremony, in which pupils joyfully sang the school’s official song, was David Hellard, chairman of the school’s owners, Law and Hutcheson charity, which invested the cash to create the new building, plus chairman of the school’s governing body, Suzie Julien.

Suzie told those at the event: “I am absolutely delighted to be here today to celebrate the grand opening of King’s Cliffe Endowed School. On behalf of our governing body I would really like to thank Mrs Bowyer for her commitment to this project. I strongly believe that this environment will assist us to get stronger.”

Retired bishop, John Flack ensured the school gets off to a positive start by blessing it at the ceremony.

The school’s previous building in Park Street was first opened in the early 1880s.