ABOUT 110 years after pupils walked into the first Greenfield Primary School, eager pupils arrived at Shaw Street on Tuesday, September 3 for a new term in Oldham’s newest school.
Nine months after construction started, youngsters, parents and staff had a first glimpse at the building and facilities which will eventually provide accommodation for 420 pupils.
Excited children gathered in the playground to be met by their class teachers.
Headteacher Mike Wood, posting on the school website, said: “This is a very exciting time for all our staff and families.
“And we know we will have to be very flexible as things change and develop.
“As soon as we have settled in ourselves there will be opportunities for parents to come and view the school.”
Mr Wood previously told the Independent: “The school will be a massive boost for the area.
“It will allow us to provide an outstanding education for more children for many years in a modern, up-to-date environment. With new facilities it means we will go from strength to strength.”
The larger school will allow for a gradual increase of 30 pupils a year – eventually going from 210 to 420 – plus the introduction of 40 extra nursery places.
The momentous day has not been without problems. When proposals were initially announced in December 2015, it was hoped the first new intake would be at their desks by September 2017.
However, final permission was only granted in February 2018. The old school which has served the community for more than a century was due to be demolished during the summer holidays but is still standing.
Eventually a rounders pitch, 60-metre running track, mini sports pitch and changing rooms will replace it. Oldham Council has yet to confirm when the bulldozers will finally move in.
There was also frantic activity during late August to provide a school safety zone on Shaw Street, Chew Valley Road and Greenbridge Lane.
Work has seen the installation of a new zebra crossing; the positioning decided by Oldham Council highways engineers but objected to by a number of residents and Saddleworth South ward councillors.
The latter group pushed for a crossing at Greenbridge Lane but their overtures were rejected.
The crossing though has been largely welcomed by people posing on the Independent Facebook site. However, Pamela Lawton posted: “A pelican crossing would have been safer.”
Andrea Summersgill wrote: “Good, it is well overdue, it’s a nightmare trying to cross that road.
And Ruth Travis commented: “Need one at St Marys.”