PUPILS at Oxford’s Rose Hill Primary School have more space thanks to two new classrooms as the school prepares to expand from September.
The old Key Stage One hall at the school in The Oval, Rose Hill, was converted into two new classrooms, with an extra room and toilets last term.
Two reception classrooms were also refurbished and a corridor wall was knocked down to provide more space.
The school has gradually needed extra capacity, having begun taking two new classes a year – up to 60 pupils – six years ago.
This is known as two-form entry, as opposed to just one class or form of up to 30 a year.
By September the school will be fully two-form entry. Headteacher Sue Mortimer said: “We are very excited about the new classrooms as it means our youngest children are now all in the same part of the school.
“We were lucky we had two halls. It wouldn’t have happened otherwise. The younger years were previously in different locations in the building.
There is mounting pressure for school places in Oxfordshire as the number of applications increases. There were 7,724 applications in September 2012, 500 more than the previous year.
In July the Oxford Mail revealed that council bosses believe a further 200 places will be needed in 2013.
Mrs Mortimer added: “We are already two form entry – it is the two forms working their way up the school and there was not enough space.
“The children are very positive and they are very excited about the new classrooms because it was happening in front of their eyes. They were aware of what was going on.”
She said there were no other plans for expansion. The work was paid for by Oxfordshire County Council and cost £400,000. Normalisa Chasokela’s daughter Ellysa Kasule, six, goes to the school.
The Rose Hill 34-year-old said: “My daughter is going into one of these new classrooms.
“There is more space. It is really good now.”
Shazia Dogar’s daughter eight-year-old Alisha Dogar also attends the primary.
Asked whether more places would be good for the school, the Rose Hill 35-year-old said: “Yes, because other schools are small and I like this school.”
But Phillip Fletcher, 52, from Rose Hill, who has two daughters, Jessica, six, and Phillipa, 10, at the school, said of the new classrooms: “It is a good thing, but it is not so good if they are getting more children in.”
He added: “There is not enough room in the classes for the number of children.”
The younger years are also benefiting from a new boiler – but the rest of the school is still reliant on the original heating system, which is more than 50 years old.
Mrs Mortimer said the rest of the school needed a new system, but this was controlled by Oxfordshire County Council.
She said: “Key Stage One and foundation stage have also had a new boiler put in, which is good for them.
“The rest of the school is perishing. The boiler is very old and doesn’t work very efficiently. Hopefully the rest of the school will have a new boiler too.”
Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Martin Crabtree confirmed the school had received an upgrade to its heating in part of the school, but said no further work was planned.