On Friday August 14, Chris Gilbert, Managing Director of Berkeley Homes (Southern) presented the keys for a new Primary School to parish of Barns Green.
Key members of the committee who were instrumental in creating one of the best new schools in West Sussex were present: School Headmaster, Simon Simmons, Penny Simpson, Chair of Itchingfield Parish Council, Amanda Jupp, West Sussex County Council and Andrew McPhillips, Development Director, Berkeley Homes (Southern).
The creation of Barns Green Primary School is a superb example of a successful collaboration between the local parish council, the school governors, West Sussex District council and property developer Berkeley Homes.
There was a dream and a vision which has now been turned into a reality thanks to the hard work and determination of all the key players involved.
The end result is a state-of-the-art student-centric environment, designed and created by Berkeley Homes for the local community, which will benefit the children of the village and beyond for years to come.
Berkeley Homes has built spacious, light, airy classrooms to optimise the learning potential for up to 150 students.
A new fully integrated high-speed broadband connection will enable the school to significantly increase the role ICT will play in the curriculum.
A dedicated Food Technology room will facilitate more cookery based activities as well as a cookery club and a dedicated music room will offer more instrument lessons including guitar and woodwind.
The spacious hall has a high-tech lighting rig and sound system for performances and enables the full PE curriculum to be taught indoors, something lacking in the previous school building.
Headmaster, Simon Simmons said: “It has been very exciting to play a key role in creating a brand new foundation on which to build the future of education in the village.
The end result is a fantastic new school which I believe will provide the local children the best opportunity for success. I’d like to thank Berkeley Homes, West Sussex County Council, the school governors and the Itchingfield Parish Council for all their hard work in enabling this project to come to fruition. It will be such a pleasure to welcome students and their parents to the official opening ceremony in September.”
Amanda Jupp, West Sussex County Council, explains: “This has been a wonderfully successful project and a fine example of localism with the involvement of the Parish Council, the community, the school, Berkeley Homes and WSCC, all working together to achieve a state of the art school for Barns Green.
“West Sussex County Council is delighted to have been part of this working group and is very proud of the new school.”
Chris Gilbert, Managing Director, Berkeley Homes (Southern) comments: “Providing a new school for the community of Barns Green has been hugely rewarding for us as a company.
“We have really enjoyed working with all the key stakeholders involved and are proud to be able to present the local community with what we believe will be a truly inspirational and stimulating environment.”
Penny Simpson, Chair of Itchingfield Parish Council said: “I am extremely proud of the role that the Parish Council played in helping to secure and coordinate the agreement to build a new school in the village.
“The school is a wonderful and essential asset for Barns Green which will ensure that the great traditions of teaching in the village will continue.”
Everyone associated with the new school is invited to attend the official opening ceremony which will take place at Barns Green Primary School from 11am onwards on Saturday September 12.
The ceremony will commence with a formal ribbon cutting ceremony and speeches from a number of local dignitaries, with school tours and a traditional fete, featuring a jazz band, from 1pm onwards.
Report and picture contributed by Brett Cullen.