North Devon’s newest primary school is set to welcome its first pupils as the new school year begins.
The first intake of reception and nursery pupils at the long-awaited Roundswell Community Primary Academy start class on Monday (September 7).
Pupils and parents were able to get a first look at the finished school and its facilities on Wednesday (September 2) ahead of the start of the new year, and the Gazette also got a sneak peek before school got under way.
As well as spacious classrooms, there are dedicated science and art areas, a multi-activity studio and a library.
Outdoor facilities include sports areas and large playgrounds as well as an environmental area.
The new primary school is operated by Tarka Learning Partnership, a multi-academy trust which includes, Newport, Eden Park, Landkey and Sticklepath primary schools and The Park Community School.
Roundswell headteacher Kate Fairbrother said it was ‘exciting and overwhelming’ to see the new school finished and welcoming its first pupils.
She said: “I don’t think the area has seen a school as fantastic as this, and it is the first school in the Barnstaple area for a long, long time.
“This has been five years in the planning from a trust point of view, and it has been promised ever since Roundswell was built.
“To actually realise that dream is quite emotional and overwhelming, but incredibly exciting as well.
“Myself and the rest of the team are so excited to be here at last and see that hard work and planning come to fruition.
“It’s been the most amazing day having the first children walking through the doors, and that’s what school is all about.
The school has been built by Portakabin, and is made up of 44 modules, split over two storeys.
A ground breaking ceremony took place in October last year, before the modules were transported to the site earlier this year.
With work now complete and pupils arriving, Ms Fairbrother said enquiries about places at the new school from prospective parents were increasing.
She said: “Over the summer the interest from the local community has been gathering as they see the school has established itself and we’ve had more and more enquiries over the last couple of weeks for places as people realise the school is here, it’s ready and it’s going to open.
“The children are so lucky to be the first going through the school – it’s a privileged position for them and for us.”