A PRIMARY school, set to open in 2023 as part of a new 2,500-home estate, has appointed its headteacher.

The Vale Academy Trust has appointed Kerry Cottrell as the head of school for its new primary school in Grove, near Wantage.

St John's Primary School is being built as part of the new Wellington Gate Development.

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St John’s secondary school will be built close by and is expected to open its doors to Year 7 students a year later in September 2024.

The academy will be the first school open from nursery to Year 11 in the local area.

Parents are invited to meet Mrs Cottrell in a series of events held in the St John’s Church meeting rooms in Grove.

The Trust currently includes eight schools across Wantage and Abingdon. The primary school will initially just open to nursery and reception children from September 2023. 

Herald Series: Wellington Gate development Wellington Gate development

Mrs Cottrell has been with the Trust for the last five years, leading on primary curriculum development.

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She said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for Grove to have a new all-through school built at the heart of our growing community. St John’s will be an inclusive, family school.  Our Christian values - respect, courage and hope - will be central to our innovative and challenging curriculum to develop a love of learning in all of our children.  

“I am looking forward to meeting prospective parents at our information events and showcasing our exciting offer. It will be a great opportunity for parents to ask questions and view the plans for the school’s layout and purpose-built facilities.”

Trust CEO Richard Evans commented: “St John’s will be a modern, state of the art school benefitting from the latest facilities and technology.

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“The primary school will have direct access to all the facilities at the secondary school, as well as the support and benefits of being one of a group of flourishing primary schools within the Trust.  Children will have a great opportunity to build a brilliant future at St John’s.”

The Vicar of Grove, John Durant, said: “I am delighted to be welcoming this new all-through Church of England school within the new housing development of Wellington Gate. A church school is based on the creative, forgiving and strengthening love of God welcoming everyone.

“The scripture that emphasizes this comes from the second letter of St. John verse 6 – “Walk in Love”. When the Secondary section of the school opens it will give an alternative choice to local residents. I pray it will be a place where love and truth flourish.”

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