Work starts on brand new school for Ladysmith Junior

Posted on: 19 May 2016

Work has begun on a brand new replacement school at Ladysmith Junior in Exeter.

The £4.5 million scheme will replace the current outdated buildings with a modern design with facilities fit for 21st century learning.

The old buildings will then be demolished and the whole area landscaped with environmentally-friendly grounds.

The scheme is being paid for by the Education Funding Agency through the Government’s £4.4 billion Priority School Building Programme.

The scheme will provide 12 classrooms with a spacious hall, music and dance studio, ICT room and a kitchen to cook school meals on site.

The facilities have also been designed to accommodate community use.

During the first phase of construction, pupils will be taught in the former boys secondary school building.

They will then move into their new buildings so the remaining old school can be demolished and the grounds landscaped during the second phase which is due to finish in summer 2017.

Acting head Mark Wilkinson said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to have purpose-built classrooms and facilities designed for 21st century learning.”

Mr Wilkinson said staff had been involved in the design of the new school.

“It means we will have a modern learning environment that matches the high quality teaching and pastoral care that we already offer,” he said.

“We will also use the rebuilding process to give the children some imaginative and creative learning opportunities and involve them in shaping their new school and its environment.”

Ian Gibson is overseeing the project for the school governors.

He said: “The old buildings are getting increasingly difficult and expensive to maintain with the roof leaking in several places and serious accessibility issues.

“We want to be good neighbours and our contractors will do all they can to minimise any disruption from the building work.

“We’ve enlisted the help of the Devon Wildlife Trust to come in and help to redesign our playground and the other outdoor spaces to make them a wildlife haven, more exciting paces to play and learn and a little slice of the countryside in an urban setting for our pupils and the neighbouring residents.”

Ladysmith’s latest report from the school standards watchdog, Ofsted, rated the junior school as good with outstanding features.

Inspectors said the quality of teaching, the achievement of pupils, the leadership and management and the behaviour and safety of the children were all good while the school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure was outstanding.

Exeter-based Graham Kingdon, construction director of BAM Construction Western, said: “We’ve worked very closely with the EFA and the school to design plans that deliver the right educational environment for their needs.

“We’ve got vast experience in the sector and it’s a great privilege for us to help create facilities for young people to develop their life chances.”

3 comments on “Work starts on brand new school for Ladysmith Junior

  1. Jo says:

    Real shame the original old school building will be demolished. It’s a beautiful building. Can another use not be found?
    We need to stop destroying our older buildings, they are what gives Exeter its atmosphere and charm. Bet the new building will be a right eye sore.

  2. Dan king says:

    As a former pupil of Ladysmith Smith school, it’s very sad the the old buildings are being demolished but I understand that it’s more cost affective and energy efficient to build a new school, but I do think the school would benefit by keeping the current year 3 block which was only built 1997, this would still fit in with the new design and if the school was to expand these classrooms would be available saving the council money in the future.

  3. Richard Adnams says:

    Brilliant news. Fantastic school with excellent staff, and now buildings too match!

Posted in: Education