Thetford celebrates Church of England school
2012: The community came together in Thetford last Friday to see and to celebrate the new-look Bishop’s Church of England Primary School following an impressive £3.2million remodeling project.
On Friday 1st June a ‘Grand Opening’ event was held to launch the newly remodeled Bishop’s Church of England Primary School on the Abbey Estate in Thetford.
Richard Howitt, MEP for the East of England, cut the ribbon with Headteacher Clare Cook (pictured) to mark the launch of the improved facility and the Rt Rev Alan Winton, Bishop of Thetford (pictured below), prayed a blessing over the school. The children performed songs and showcased their work.
The launch was the culmination of a three year building project, which involved keeping most of the outside structure, but rebuilding the entire internal structure resulting in a bigger, lighter, more technologically advanced and ecologically friendly school.
Town Councillor Carl Clark, the Pastoral Outreach Worker for Bishop’s Primary School said: “We’ve now got a proper IT suite and lots of big spaces, big classrooms and a bigger play area for the nursery.”
Bishop’s School was formed in 2009 following the amalgamation of the non-denominational junior and infants schools that occupied the site.
Norfolk County Council invested £3.1m into the remodelling project, through its Primary Capital Programme, with the Diocese of Norwich and the school meeting the rest of the cost.
Carl said: “It has made such a difference, with the children being better behaved and our results having gone up. In the community it has given people hope for the future of their children. All the people who used to go to that school are in quite menial jobs or unemployed, and now it has given ambition to people.
“The Abbey Estate used to be one of the most difficult in the region, but with hard work we have turned the area around and we are now concentrating on all the positive things going on, with the diversity and multicultural flavour of our 5,000 plus residents.
“There was a fantastic atmosphere on Friday and throughout the day there was a steady stream of people coming in and out, looking at all the different things that the children did. People are just proud to be involved with the school.”
The Open Day provided an opportunity for a variety of local community groups and support agencies to promote and showcase their services including The Matthew Project, Age Concern, Genesis Housing, Thetford Healthy Town, Breathe Easy and the Street Vibe dance group.