Primary school to get facelift to make way for extra pupils

St Peter's Primary School.

St Peter's Primary School. - Credit: Archant

FACILITIES at a Portishead school will be refurbished and improved in anticipation of extra pupils who will be joining from September.

The Times reported last week that a shortfall of 25 school places was expected for the September 2013 reception intake in Portishead and that a new classroom would be created at St Peter’s Primary School to cope with the extra demand.

Now, in a letter sent to parents by the school’s full governing body (FGB), more details have been revealed regarding what changes will be made to accommodate the extra pupils.

These will include refurbishing all the existing reception classes and toilet facilities, adding new reception class furniture, installing new cupboards to improve classroom storage, refurbishing the existing ICT suite and upgrading computer equipment.

External doors will also be installed in seven classrooms so children can access the outside more easily and so classroom temperatures can be improved during the summer.

Key Stage Two classes will be moved into the existing community room, which will refurbished to be used as a classroom, so all three reception classes can be accommodated in the Early Years’ wing.

The introduction of an extra class comes ahead of a decision on whether the Halletts Way school will be expanded from a 450-place facility to a site for 630 children in 2014 to help cope with the continuing shortfall of school places in Portishead.

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The FGB letter, which seeks to address parents’ concerns about the extra class for this September, said: “We recognise no formal decision has been made on expanding the school in 2014 and there is still the possibility for the proposal to be withdrawn.

“But, we believe the proposed expansion is looking increasingly likely to go ahead and have therefore decided to support welcoming in more families.

“North Somerset Council has not been able to guarantee the absence of mixed year classes in years one and two, should the school expand.

“We are hopeful that our decision to take an additional reception class this year will avoid the need for mixed age classes in these year groups in 2014.”

The letter also says North Somerset Council has assured the FGB that a planned new playground will be ready by September to alleviate concerns about the amount of play space available at the school.