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New 'nature-inspired' school and nursery for St Austell

New 'nature-inspired' school and nursery for St Austell

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 2:51pm 12th April 2017. (Updated at 6:14pm 12th April 2017)

A new primary school and nursery have been approved for the St Austell and Clay area.

Plans for a new two-form entry school and nursery have been given the green light by the Department for Education.

They will be part of the West Carclaze Eco-Community and will be known as the ACE Sky Academy and Eden Project Nursery.

The body behind it is the Atlantic Centre of Excellence Trust, in partnership with the Eden Project and Eco Bos Development, the company behind the West Carclaze Eco-Community.

The school will be based on the national curriculum and enriched with learning about sustainability and global citizenship.

It is planned that the school will cater for 420 pupils and build up from Foundation Stage in the first year of opening from September 2019.

The capacity of the new Eden Project Nursery planned for the same site will be 60 children aged three and four years old. The nature-inspired nursery will be led by Eden and involve children being outside 80 per cent of the time.

This outdoor learning ethos is the key first step for the youngest children of the West Carclaze Eco-Community in becoming globally and environmentally aware and fully prepared for life and learning in the 21st Century.

The Atlantic Centre of Excellence Trust and the Eden Project advocate an outdoor learning approach and believe that it leads to significant benefits for children's health, happiness, well-being and development, in their relationship to nature and each other.

Welcoming the news, Jennie Walker CEO said on behalf of the Atlantic Centre of Excellence Trust: "This is fantastic and we are really pleased with the announcement, we will put our heart and soul into providing an outstanding education for the children of the new school, existing area and new community. The building will enhance our ethos of sustainability and we will use the fantastic environment to create unrivalled outdoor based learning."

John Hodkin, Eco Bos Managing Director said: "The early provision of a new primary school and nursery is a key commitment in the first phase of the development and we are pleased to have worked in collaboration with the Ace Academy and Eden in this bid to create something truly special on our site.

"Following the recent allocation of Garden Village status to our West Carclaze proposals we are pleased that the government has again recognised the transformation potential of this innovative project and decided to give its backing to an educational facility which will benefit both new residents and the surrounding local communities."

Gordon Seabright, Managing Director of the Eden Project, said: "The Eden Project is an educational charity. We've long championed the cause of children learning from nature and play, and we're thrilled at the opportunity this announcement represents for children and parents in our area. The ACE Sky Academy will be an exceptional school, thanks in part to the invaluable support of Eco Bos, developers of the garden village at West Carclaze, as well as the excellence of the ACE Multi-Academy Trust team. We're especially excited about the inclusion of the Eden Project Nursery, the first extension of Little Eden, our unique outdoor pre-school, where young children will learn and play outdoors - a fantastic asset for the new community."

Approval of the academy and nursery school is the culmination of many months of dedication and hard work. To complete the lengthy application form the Atlantic Centre of Excellence Trust had to write detailed education plans and budgets; explain why the school is needed by this community and demonstrate that it has local support.

The proposal was also supported by the New Schools Network.

You can find out more here.

Elsewhere, a new school has also been announced for Newquay.

The new primary school, which is being set up by Newquay Education Trust (a Multi-Academy Trust founded by Newquay Junior and Newquay Tretherras), is proposed to open in September 2018.

 The news follows significant work undertaken by Newquay Education Trust to fulfil the rigorous process set out by the DfE, set to ensure that new schools are opened only by groups who have the ability, skills, expertise and vision required to address clear educational needs.

Newquay Primary Academy will serve a genuine need for additional primary school places in Newquay, a need that currently sees many parents faced with the prospects of not being able to secure places locally and have to have their children placed in schools requiring transport out of town.

Figures collated from a range of sources including Cornwall Council’s Place Planning, Access and Inclusion Team + various housing developments in the town, show that there is not just an immediate need for a new primary school (with an estimated shortfall of 37 primary places this year), but a need which is due to increase annually - with a projected shortfall of 68 – 83 primary places in 2018/19 and 83 – 92 primary places in 2019/20.

Sue Martin, CEO of Newquay Education Trust, said: “Central to our proposal to the DfE was that we firmly believe our new primary school needs to be within walking distance. We do not believe it is right that parents are faced with the prospect of having to bus or taxi their young children out of towm, and knew that we were able to put forward a proposal which would help address that – as well as ensure their children had access to the very best educational opportunities and resources available to them.”

Sarah Karkeek, Chair of the Board of Directors at Newquay Education Trust, said: “We are delighted that the DfE have approved us for pre-opening, enabling us to move forward and build Newquay Primary Academy. I would like to congratulate our team in getting us this far and securing something which Newquay desperately needs. We are now looking forward to continuing to work with the local community to bring this new primary school to fruition.”

Toby Young, Director of New Schools Network, said:“The application process to set up a free school is extremely rigorous so it is a testament to Newquay Education Trust’s hard work that they have been approved to open. This is the largest ever cohort of free schools to be approved, a sign of this Government’s commitment to extending the benefits of the free schools policy to all parts of the country.

“This is a big day for free schools. With 800 either opened or approved to open, providing 400,000 places when full, free schools are now a permanent part of England’s educational landscape.”

You can find out more here.

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