The first weeks of a new academic year are always a lively and demanding time for pupils and staff alike, but at Chestnut Park Primary, the new term has an added element of excitement as the school has taken up residence in its brand new purpose-built home.
Chestnut Park, which opened a year ago in temporary accommodation, is now located on St James’ Road and recently it opened its doors to 90 new pupils who have joined the school’s three Reception classes.
It is not just the buildings and pupils who are new – 17 additional members of school staff have joined Chestnut Park for its second year of operation.
“It’s been a wonderful time for everyone involved,” said Chestnut Park’s head teacher Esther Brooks. “This time last year we were going through a similar experience, when the school opened its doors for the first time, and although we’ve had one complete year of teaching, with the new premises, additional staff and so many new children and families joining us, there’s a real element of excitement about the start of the new school year.”
Chestnut Park is run by the GLF schools group, a Surrey-based multi-academy trust which runs a string of schools across the south east of England, from new-built primaries to long-established secondaries.
The GLF system is based on school autonomy but collaborative teaching management, and Mrs Brooks said Chestnut Park’s pupils had been given the best possible equipment to start on their educational journey.
“It’s wonderful to be the first GLF School in Croydon, and speaking personally, it’s a real privilege to lead the school,” she added. “We’re really proud of what we can offer here at Chestnut Park, and we look forward to building strong partnerships with our families and the community to ensure we all achieve our school motto - dream, achieve and inspire.
“With the facilities we’ve got here at Chestnut Park, I know we can do that. We’ve got two special learning resource rooms, break-out spaces filled with iPads and chrome books to assist their learning, and even a roof-top learning deck!
“A huge amount of work has gone in just to get the school to this stage, and I know all the staff are really motivated to make being part of the Chestnut Park learning family as positive and enjoyable an experience as possible for everyone concerned. People’s responses so far have been hugely enthusiastic, so we look forward to keeping that momentum going for the rest of the academic year and welcoming more families to our many open days.”
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