New school for pupils at Tunstall Primary

Thursday 14 April saw school gates open to pupils at the new Tunstall CEP School.

  • More school places to be available for local children
  • School recently awarded an ‘Outstanding’ OFSTED

Thursday 14 April finally saw school gates open to pupils at the new Tunstall Church of England Primary School after more than 18 months of preparation.

Students began their new school term in their brand new custom-built site, which features 14 bright and colourful classrooms, one multi-use room equipped with cooking facilities, one large and one small hall, offices and a large outside play area and parking. As this is a much larger site, the school will also be able to increase the number of places available to local children. This will happen gradually, with an increase of one class per year over the next seven years. In 2023, the school expects to be educating up to 420 pupils, compared with the current number of 248.

With the school having just received an ‘Outstanding’ in their recent OFSTED inspection, Kate Hutchings, the school’s headteacher, said that there was much to celebrate: “This is such a positive moment for our school and it’s a delight to finally be in our new home. I would like to thank the Diocese, Kent County Council and construction company Galliford Try for providing such a beautiful building. I am sure our pupils will enjoy it and achieve much in the years to come.”

Lisa Marshall, who has two children at the school said that the new building was impressive: “I think it is amazing and so different from the old school. The things that the teachers were able to achieve within the restrictions of the old site were impressive, but I think this building just opens up a lot more opportunities for things like after school clubs and all sorts of other activities. I think it gives a whole new lease of life for the school which is fabulous.”

Having spent a day exploring her new classroom, Jessica, a Year One pupil, was equally enthusiastic: “It’s got an interactive white board and I loved the book corner. It was nice to eat my lunch in the big school hall too.”

The new school was designed by Diocesan Architects following extensive local consultation as well as input from Swale Borough Council, Kent County Council and Design South East.  Architect David Gullick said: “We are pleased with the finished school which will be a great asset for the community for many years to come”

The Diocese of Canterbury is responsible for the site of the old school and has arranged to sell the site at auction through Clive Emson Auctioneers. Details are available on their website and the auction is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 3 May. The Diocese will ensure that any value released from the sale of the old site will be spent on the new school.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Photos show:

  • Sporting their new school logo, Year 6 and Reception children give their new school the thumbs up with headteacher Kate Hutchings (centre).
  • Year One pupil Jessica, with her mum, Nicola.
  • Front view of the new Tunstall School building.
  • Inside the new main school hall.
  • The school has launched a new website to coincide with the opening of the new building: tunstall.kent.sch.uk/

A new school logo has been designed by Karl Frost, a parent at the school. The children were involved with the design process with many expressing that the school’s church connection should be represented. The cross image is divided into four to represent the children, the teachers, parents and the governors. The green colours of the logo compliment the colour-scheme found inside the school, and also represent the countryside location.