SCHOOL transformations don’t get much bigger than that undertaken at Chorley New Road Primary.
The school has been completely rebuilt to accommodate the expected influx of residents at the Rivington Chase development.
And rather than trying to work with the existing 120-year-old building, which was no longer “fit for purpose” for modern education needs, Bolton Councildecided to plough £6 million into a new building and grounds using ‘Section 106′ money.
The new build effectively doubles the size of the old build creating a two form entry school for 420 pupils and 39 nursery places.
Headteacher Linda Burrows relished the opportunity to oversee the development of a brand new school.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said, “The children have a sense of pride in their new environment. They already had high expectations and standards of behaviour, but they have risen.
“This beautiful school has been created for them. The school already provided outstanding education for the children and now they have the new facilities to achieve what they want.
“The windows look over the green surroundings, so it feels you could by anywhere, and in the new school you don’t feel as if you are on the road.”
The very youngest children in the school now have a huge outdoor area to develop their skills and imagination.
“They now have a space in which to be creative, ” said Mrs Burrows, who said the outdoor area in the old building was not just grass and tarmac, without any of the play equipment.
And the oldest people in the school — the staff — now have a staffroom fit for purpose in which they can plan, prepare, share ideas and gather their thoughts.
Mrs Burrows said that she and her staff worked to make the school as inspiring as possible, from the stars on the carpet as children walk through the corridors – “they are our stars,” said Mrs Burrows – to quotes and pictures on the walls encouraging children, even if they have had a bad day.
As well as new airy classrooms with the latest technology, pupils’ welfare and personal development is at the heart of the new school build.
There is a special quiet place for children where they can share any concerns as well as a sensory room.
A hall which doubles up as a studio and theatre has also been created at the heart of the school.
The sensory room is named in memory of Joan Charlesworth, who was the SENCO at the school.
While, the school and the community celebrate their new 21st century school building, the significance of the old building, its history and heritage, has not been forgotten.
Mrs Burrows said: “We have future-proofed the school.
“But we know the old building was special and means a lot to the community.
“We have saved the clocktower to put in the grounds when they are developed and in the EYFS we have a wood train named after the very first locomotive built at the loco works.
“It was important that we reflected the history of the old school and of Horwich.”
Pupils, who had a chance to put their mark on the school in a steel signing ceremony, said they were delighted with the new build.
Jake Dolby, aged 10, said: “We we all quite excited about coming back to the school after the holidays because we knew we would be a new building.
“I am very impressed with it, it is an inspiring environment and the outdoors is really good.”
Isabelle Catterall, also 10, added: “The school has a lot more than before, the play area is much better and I think children will be lucky to come here they will like it.”