SADDLEWORTH’S newest school will welcome its first pupils in June.
As our photographs show, the exterior of the new Greenfield Primary at the end of Shaw Street is rapidly taking shape.
Now Mike Wood, who celebrated 20 years as headteacher in 2018, confirmed to the Independent all current staff and children will transfer sites in June.
And by the time Greenfield Primary officially opens as a two-form entry in September 2019, with an extra 30 youngsters, the current building will have been demolished and replaced with new grass playing fields complete with running track.
However, to meet English Heritage criteria, a small part of the 107-year-old school, built for £3,959 – expected to be a plinth above one of the entrances – will be found a new home just yards down the road.
“The original plan was to move in during the middle of May,” explained Mr Wood
“But due to all the exams it would be a huge distraction to move in just before taking all the tests. So, we will transfer everyone across in June.
“However, September is the official time when we become a two-form entry, so two reception classes instead of one.
“It is a really exciting time but there are lots to think about between now and Easter.
“This term is the time to do all the planning in readiness for two-form entry.
“I am becoming an interior designer as well as doing my normal job,” laughed Mr Wood. “There are so many details to think about.
“The new school has been talked about for such a long time so to see that structure at the end of the street, it is amazing how quickly it has developed.
“Hopefully it will be here for years to come and benefit the children of Greenfield.”
Greenfield Primary, rated as ‘outstanding’ across all areas in 2014, currently has 210 pupils. This will eventually rise to 420 plus the introduction of 40 extra nursery places and extra staff.
This has led to local concerns about excess traffic in the centre of the village and calls for crossing patrols – human or electronic – and traffic calming measures.
Saddleworth Parish Councillor Alan Belmore said: “A pedestrian crossing is needed on Chew Valley Road NOW by the children of the school, their parents and local residents.”
He continued: “Unfortunately the building contractors have not been vigilant enough in cleaning the tyres of construction vehicles so a trail of mud is being deposited regularly on Shaw Street and on Chew Valley Road.”
However, he added: “I, like many others, am looking forward to having brand new educational facilities in the heart of the village.”
A local resident has contacted OMBC Highways to push for answers regarding excess traffic.
“At the planning meeting when permissions were granted to build the new school, it was stated quite clearly that the school would not be allowed to open until certain traffic conditions had been met,” the homeowner said.
“We have heard nothing about any new conditions and I presume that consultations and permissions will have to be undertaken.”