Expansion of village school given thumbs up

John Hellins School,Potterspury,expansion plan is approved.Head teacher Shelly Bramble with pupils outside the school.'111215M-A411
John Hellins School,Potterspury,expansion plan is approved.Head teacher Shelly Bramble with pupils outside the school.'111215M-A411
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A PRIMARY school headteacher has said she is delighted and excited over a decision to invest £370,000 in a school expansion.

On Tuesday, Northants County Council approved plans for a new classroom and a remodelling of the John Hellins Primary School in Potterspury.

The expansion comes as a number of housing projects in the village come online, swelling class sizes, and the majority of the funding has come from house builders’ contributions to local infrastructure. The school is also contributing £25,000 from its capital funds.

The school has already increased its intake this year with the addition of a temporary classroom, up from 113 in January to 123. Headteacher Shelly Bramble said without the extra room, one classroom would have to cater for 38 children, rather than the 24 it currently serves.

Mrs Bramble said: “It will make a huge difference to the children because it means than can have much more individual attention and space. Rather than sitting at their desks all the time they will be able to sit on the carpet to work with the interactive white board together.

“The village is expanding and Potterspury is a lovely place to bring up children and I think people want to move here because of a strong sense of village community.”

Mrs Bramble said that sense of community was expressed in the school via links with the wider community and is shown by pupils recent performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The school chorus is also set to sing for elderly people at a village day centre.

The new classroom will also be built to modern standards with sound proofing and insulation making it environmentally friendly.

Mrs Bramble added: “The children have seen the plans and are quite excited, but really they’re fixated on Joseph and Father Christmas, but we will be doing more with them in the new year.

“We are absolutely delighted and very excited. It’s about children who deserve the best getting the best.”

The project will go to tender on Friday, December 23, with a tender deadline of January 23.

Mrs Bramble said if all went well, building would start at the beginning of February with the new classroom ready for the autumn 2012 intake.