A Beswick school is set to double its number of students with the completion of a £3.15m building project, which has just opened its doors to pupils. The completed building work means Ashbury Meadow Primary School, who are recently ranked ‘outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted, will eventually be able to accommodate up to 472 children.
The new two-storey extension accommodates for an open plan early years foundation unit and studio on the ground floor, whilst on the first floor four classrooms and additional smaller learning spaces for individual or group work have been installed. Outside, new hard and soft play spaces and child-friendly landscaped areas have been created in order to encourage further learning through outdoor activities. The new extension is linked to the original school building by a covered walkway between the two.
Manchester City Council funded the building work through its Basic Need funding allocation from the Government, after a need for more school places in the local area was identified in 2013. Ashbury Meadow’s capacity was duly increased in September of 2013 from one form of entry to two, consequently allowing an extra 30 pupils to join the school’s entry class each year. The increase in pupil numbers was managed within the existing school and later supplemented by temporary accommodation, whilst the new extension was completed.
Consultations were held between the school, the council and local residents to determine the design of the school’s new extension, before construction company Laing O’Rourke started work on the project. The finished project sees the capacity of the main school increased from 210 to 420 pupils, as a nursery with the capacity of 52 children has been situated within the new early years unit.
Head teacher at Ashbury Meadow, Lucy Thomas, has displayed her joy at the school’s recent transformation. She stated, “Were delighted to be able to welcome a growing number of students to our school. Pupils at our school benefit from a first class education supported now by a first class learning environment, both indoors and outdoors, within the heart of our growing community”.
Manchester City Council’s lead member for schools, Councillor Rosa Battle, has remarked “We’re very proud of our schools in Manchester and projects like this form part of our long term goal which is to continue to provide our youngsters with places in the best schools possible”.