New £4m primary school opens at Woodgate

Woodgate Primary School has been officially opened with a VIP tree-planting ceremony.

Crab Apple Tree Planting Ceremony Symbolises School Legacy and New Community Future

Invited guests, including Horsham MP Jeremy Quin, councillors, parents and builders, joined over 100 pupils and teachers for a celebration at Woodgate Primary School in Pease Pottage on Friday April 8th.

The event was marked with the planting of a symbolic crab apple tree by school children. The crab apple tree links the new school with Warninglid Primary School; the school that Woodgate effectively saved. All the teachers, administration staff, governors and most of the students from Warninglid made the short journey to the new custom-built school in September.

The tree and a new ceremonial plaque will remind Woodgate students and visitors of the 140 year legacy of Warninglid and the vision for an exciting new future for the new Woodgate Primary School.

Speakers at the Ceremony included Woodgate Primary School Marion West Head Teacher, Thakeham Group Chief Executive Officer, Rob Boughton and Abri’s Executive Director Development & Strategic Asset Management, Stephen Lodge. Thakeham with its partners Abri invested £4 million to help make the Woodgate Primary School a reality.

Rob Boughton, Thakeham CEO said:

This was a wonderful day for the new school here at Woodgate. Having opened a matter of months ago, it is already becoming the new heartbeat of the community.

With families and children in mind, Thakeham in partnership with Abri sought to fund and deliver Woodgate Primary School at an early stage of the development. I am especially proud of the way we have delivered an inspirational place of learning, we exceeded substantially the Department for Education guidelines for a primary school and I am so, so proud of the truly exceptional facilities this school offers.  We are grateful to everyone who played their part in helping us to design and realise a school to make West Sussex proud.

More than 70 students took their place as the school opened its doors to its first students in September. There is capacity for 140 more in the future. Woodgate Primary School offers five classrooms and early years nursery provision, a 18m2 main hall, library, multifunctional space and a special educational needs room.

At the opening ceremony, the school pupils and teachers were presented with celebratory Easter Eggs. The eggs featured the school logo and date as a memento of the occasion and a fun pre-Easter holiday gift.

For Woodgate School, Marion West said:

This was a wonderful occasion and a fitting way to celebrate the new chapter for primary school education in the area. We were particularly pleased to mark the occasion with a crab apple tree which has symbolic significance for the Warninglid School Community.

Whilst Woodgate Primary School is new, the spirit of the school will be faithful to the Warninglid vision and values. Warninglid was rated Good by OFSTED and proudly nurtures excellence in learning; provides a varied curriculum; and encourages free thinking, resilience and tolerance in all our students. That’s the perfect blend of values and experience we are bringing to the new Woodgate Primary School as the new chapter evolves.

In November last year, Thakeham and Abri confirmed that we have contributed a further £10,000 to establish a new nursery at Woodgate Primary School. The five-figure sum is in addition to the £4 million invested in the new school.

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