|Copyright, Disclaimer and Contacts, Home,|
build pictures by John D. See A NEW SCHOOL FOR CRADLEY and 2002 news.
Cradley primary School sketch scheme D east elevation
As of June 2004, our new school building is progressing, and we hope to move in at the start of the September term, or in the October half-term. As building work continues apace so too must our fund-raising continue so that we can contribute our share - £150,000 - towards the total cost of some £1.5 million. To date personal donations range from £1 to £2,500 - all are welcome! - and include a donation from HRH The Prince of Wales. Please may we encourage you to make a donation (if you have not already done so) - details are set out in the Brochure. Thank you. (from a leaflet distributed by Rev'd Michael Vockins).
Our present School, The present School building, much of which dates back to 1865, has a wonderful history of providing a sound and excellent education for the children of Cradley, Mathon and Storridge.
The School's teaching accommodation is now woefully inadequate for the delivery of a modern curriculum. As is well known, three of our classrooms are 'temporary' wooden buildings (though they have been part of the School for some thirty years now!). Not only are they cramped for all our reaching needs hut they are cold in winter and hot in summer. They offer a poor environment for teaching and learning, and continually need extensive maintenance. The classrooms in the older part of the School were built for a different age and they, too, do not now offer the space or the facilities required today. Just as an example, the layout of the School does not allow space for proper computer facilities in our classrooms, nor does it allow the easy transport of computers from class to class, so this vital area of teaching is one where currently we are disadvantaged. Toilet facilities, too, leave much to be desired
Our new School will have five large, well-lit and comfortable classrooms designed with children (and teaching staff) in mind. The Reception classroom will be large enough to allow the activities required for the provision of good early years' education. The School will have a designated Computer Suite and computer facilities will be available in every classroom, each of which will have its own ample work bays, 'wet' areas and activity areas-The School Hall will provide space for PE, concerts and drama' we hope to have our own stage area - with ample (and much-needed) storage space. A welcoming Reception area will be the first point of contact for parents and for visitors to School, alongside the administration offices and Staff room. Modern toilet facilities are being provided for each Key Stage.
Outdoor activities and teaching will be aided by two playgrounds and a large playing field. There will be room for us to develop our own outdoor nature and environmental study areas. Importantly, parking for Staff and visitors is being provided and so it is hoped that some of the problems we experience at our present site will be reduced.
Work on building our new School is well under way. The prospect of our new School, one which will serve the community well for generations to come, is now a reality. We very much hope that everyone in our villages here, parents and the wider community, will support our School's Governors in all the efforts to raise the School's contribution towards the building costs for our much-needed and long-awaited new Cradley School.
The reasons why a new School is urgently needed for our three villages are summarised above.
WHY COULD THE SCHOOL NOT BE BUILT ON THE PRESENT SITE?
The Governors explored the possibilities of modernising and developing the existing buildings (including replacement of the 'temporary' classrooms) and of demolishing the present buildings and building a new school on the same site- Costs and access problems discounted these options, including the re-building of the school as a two-storey building. Additionally the Department for Education and Skills' (DfES) criteria for school buildings would not be met by any of these options. In any event, where would the children get their schooling during the demolition and re-building stages?
The Governors did consider other sites in the village and, indeed, had a preference for two possible sites nearer the present School. However, planning permission would not have been granted. Although alternative sites were considered the chosen site offers many advantages which will serve the School well.
COUNTY SCHOOL OR CHURCH SCHOOL?
Some have questioned the validity of the School retaining its Voluntary Aided Church School designation. Had the Governors sought to have the School re-designated as a County School, we would not have been required to contribute to the building costs of a new school and so local fund-raising would have been unnecessary. However, as a County school we would have been competing with many other schools seeking funding for new buildings and, almost certainly, a new school would not have been approved for Cradley in the foreseeable future. The Local Education Authority currently is concentrating on secondary schools, and a conservative estimate suggests that Cradley might have had to wait fifteen (or more years) for a new school had it been a County school.
By retaining our Church School status different financial criteria apply and, with the Diocese of Hereford's help, we were considered a prime case for a new school. There are other important advantages in remaining a Church School. First and foremost the School can more readily retain its Christian ethos which so many children and parents value. Also the Governors have more influence over teaching appointments which, again, is so valuable in contributing to the special ethos and achievements our School enjoys.
The cost of building our new School is anticipated to be £1,528,181. Happily the DfES is providing the bulk of this sum, but the Governors - with the help of the School community and the community at large " will need to raise £150,000- With a valuable contribution from the Diocese of Hereford, monies which Cradley Church's PCC has wisely stewarded over the years for a new School, and previous fund-raising events (including the Musical Marathon held in 1999) the Governors already have available almost £60,000.
Of the remaining £90,000 it is anticipated that a considerable part will be raised by donations given by charities and other grant-giving bodies, leaving a balance (our target is £20,000) to be raised by local fund-raising events. It is vital that this local fund-raising receives the generous and active support of all in our villages who recognise the vital contribution a lively, thriving and successful school makes to the life and well-being of our communities here. It will be good, too, if our fund-raising allows us also to make donations to the Head Teacher for new and additional equipment and facilities for our new School.
MAKING DONATIONS TO CRADLEY C of E NEW SCHOOL PROJECT GIVING A ONE-OFF DONATION
One-off donations by cash, cheque, Postal Order or Charity Aid Foundation Voucher are most acceptable and will be greatly appreciated.
SCHOOL children in Cradley should be studying in new £1.5 million buildings by the summer of 2004.
Planning permission was granted earlier this year for a new school on land at Buryfields, at the east of the village, to replace the present Victorian era building, with its cramped, `temporary' wooden classrooms.
Herefordshire diocesan schools officer Rev. Michael Smith said the contract to build the new school should be put out to tender by the end of this year, with work starting around Easter 2003.
"We hope to be in the new school by September 2004," he said. "It's all going very smoothly, the only challenge is getting the transportation and the roads right. We are to work with the council to make sure there's safe access to the school."
As part of the planning permission, a transport plan is being prepared following concern from local residents over the volume of traffic the new school would generate.
Mr Smith said: "The governors have worked very hard to raise their proportion of the costs, ten per cent. The total costs will exceed £1.5 million."
Headteacher David Townsend said the new buildings would alleviate the current problem caused by lack of space.
He said: "It's going to benefit Cradley in the sense that the children are going to have a nice school to come and we will be able to hire out our facilities if there is a demand."
Mr Townsend admitted he did not know what would be done with the old site.
He said: "I don't think anybody knows. It's going to be sold off at some stage. It's an exciting time."
George Salmon, Herefordshire Council's head of policy and resources, said the project would provide buildings fit for the 21st Century and the modern curriculum.
He said: "They will have resource areas, IT areas and a large hall that will improve lessons requiring those facilities," he said.
"It's a school that's doing very well despite the current accommodation. We would hope that in the future it does even better because of the better facilities."
Ack. Phill Trornans 15 November 2002
© Copyright 2002 Newsquest Media Group - A Gannett Company
New £1m school on the way
A SCHEME to build a new £1 million village school in Cradley has moved a step closer with the submission of a planning application to Herefordshire Council.
The plan shows the school, with car park and playing field, on land at Buryfields, on the east side of the village.
It was submitted by architects Howl Associates, of Kidderminster, on behalf of the school's governors.
A new school is definitely needed, according to George Salmon, Herefordshire Council's head of education.
"The existing school has got the least floor space per child of all the schools in the county," he said.
Pamela Hurle, chairman of the school's governors, said: "We are very excited about this. It looks at last as though we are going to have a modern school for the pupils of Cradley, Storridge and Mathon.
"They are existing at the moment partly in a Victorian building and partly in run-down temporary buildings which are about 30 years old."
Mrs Hurle said the school's good showing in an Ofsted report last year was a testament to the quality of teaching in difficult circumstances.
However, the site of the school has caused some controversy in Cradley since the project was first mooted in 2000.
Originally, three sites were considered, one next to the existing school and one at each end of the village.
Many villagers wanted the school to remain on its present site, but that was ruled out because it is too small. However, there were objections that the Buryfield site would cause major traffic problems in the village.
The Department for Education will meet 85 per cent of the estimated £1 million cost of the building with the rest having to be raised by the school itself.
The Diocese of Herefordshire owns the existing building, while and the county council owns the playing fields behind.
It is likely the land will be sold off following the opening of the new school, to help defray costs.
Ack. Robert Hale, Malvern Gazette & Ledbury Reporter, Friday, February 1, 2002
© Copyright 2002 Newsquest Media Group - A Gannett Company