Brand New Buildings Opened at Ashley Down Primary School

Ashley Down Primary School celebrated the opening of its brand new buildings on the Brunel Field on Tuesday 22nd March.

Children and families joined Leader of Bristol City Council, Councillor Barbara Janke, as she cut a ribbon to mark the official opening of the new school buildings with bishopston Councillor Bev Knott.  

Over the last three years, there has been a 15 per cent rise in the number of children starting at reception classes in Bristol and this increase in the number of primary school children in the city is expected to continue.

Planning permission for the new buildings on the Brunel Field site was given in December 2009, in order to meet the urgent need for new primary school places in this part of the city. Built by Skanska through the Local Education Partnership, the construction project for the new school took just nine months and two weeks, from start to finish.

The first class started at the school last September. For the first two terms, classes were held in a specially adapted education room at the neighbouring Gloucestershire County Cricket Ground. School staff and children moved into their new classroom for the first time in January.

Leader of Bristol City Council, Councillor Barbara Janke, said: “There was an urgent need to create new primary school places for local families in this part of Bristol. Pressing ahead with new school buildings on the Brunel Field site gave us an excellent opportunity to meet this need. It is wonderful to join children in their new school, to see them learning, playing and enjoying school.”  

Head teacher of Ashley Down Primary School, Laurence Pitt, said: “From talking to parents, I know how important it is for them to be able to send their child to a local school. The first class to start school on the Brunel Field site is doing really well – we feel privileged to be able to teach the children in modern, purpose built facilities.”

Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and local councillor, Bev Knott, said: “Bishopston is one of the fastest growing and most populous areas in Bristol with many young families.  At last they have a local school for young children who have been increasingly at risk of starting their first days at school far from where they live.”

The school is already planned for expansion to two-forms of entry for children starting in September 2011, creating 420 school places for the area.

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