A NEW primary school has officially opened its doors in Warwick.
Heathcote Primary on Vickers Way will educate youngsters from the new development of 785 homes being built between Europa Way and Harbury Lane, together with neighbouring Warwick Gates.
Calls have been made for a school within a safe walking distance of Warwick Gates since the estate was established in the late 1990s. Parents have been taking their children to primary schools in neighbouring Whitnash, and in recent years – with the number of places in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 having significantly dwindled in Whitnash – to schools in south Leamington.
When fully up and running the new free school – meaning it is run independently and not controlled by the county council, but with funding from the government – will accommodate 420 pupils.
The school, which has welcomed its first 50 pupils, will have 16 classrooms with 28 full-time staff and 20 part-time staff.
Warwick’s mayor Stephen Cross and headteacher Lara Jeffries cut the ribbon to commemorate the opening, before the children released balloons with a message of peace attached.
Pupils, parents and visitors also created artworks which will be featured on the exterior of the new school.
Mrs Jeffries said: “It was lovely to welcome so many people here to see just how special the new school is.
“Art Base led a collaborative art project which, when complete, will be a permanent feature on the exterior of the school. We hope that each and every person connected with the school from the very beginning will forever become a part of the school through their personal contribution to the art work.
“We look forward to becoming the hub of the local community, providing our children with a rich, diverse curriculum aimed to ensure they reach their full potential in their time with us, leaving with a love of learning, a thirst for knowledge and an understanding of the world they live in.”
Gallagher Estates is carrying out the new Warwick Gateway development.
Managing director Gregg Wilkinson said: “We are delighted to be involved in the delivery of Heathcote Primary School which has been planned, funded and delivered as part of our new development at Warwick Gateway and will serve the educational needs of local children.”