A PRIMARY school that has buildings more than a century old is doubling in size to make way for a hundred new pupils.

Radley CE Primary School on Church Road, is expecting a huge influx of school children when building at Church Farm housing development is completed in Spring 2023.

To provide for the hundreds of new families moving to the village, the primary school is building five new classrooms, expanding its hall, kitchen, and the staffroom.

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The expansion will mean the school will go from having a capacity of 105 to 210 excluding its on site nursery.

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Headteacher Claire Thomas is excited for the expansion after waiting many years for the go ahead.

She said: “We have been waiting for this extension for many years. It is really exciting to see it actually happening.”

She added: “Just having more modern buildings and facilities that are fit for the purpose will be great, our school is quite old in places. The original part of the school is almost 150 years old.

“It means we can give everybody more space, make sure that the classrooms are warm and well ventilated. We will be able to have enough space for a proper library.”

The building has already started, and the kitchen has now been demolished, but luckily neighbouring school Radley College has given the primary school cook use of their kitchen.

Mrs Thomas said: “Our cook brings all of our lunches on a trolley in rain or shine to the children, so they can eat their lunches in school.”

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Radley School has also donated part of their land to the primary school allowing them to extend their field. The area has been levelled and transformed into a football pitch which will be ready to use in September.

As well as getting brand new facilities, the headteacher is looking forward to becoming a more sustainable and environmentally friendly school.

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Mrs Thomas said she has Year 5 and 6 pupils who have volunteered to be ‘eco leaders’ and have started to give their expert advice on what the school should be doing to improve its carbon footprint.

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She said: “They are very keen on making sure we have got our recycling sorted out. We are in the process of moving all our paper into recycled paper, our textbooks and everything.”

In February, the strong winds of storm Dudley caused a tree to come crashing down onto the bike sheds, fortunately, nobody was hurt.

Now Mrs Thomas has applied to the forestry commission to plant 30 more trees.

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This story was written by Rebecca Whittaker, she joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Rebecca covers education and news in Abingdon and Wantage.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Rebecca.Whittaker@newquest.co.uk or calling 07824524333

Follow her on Twitter @RebecWhitt

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