New building opens at Topsham School

PUBLISHED: 13:22 19 June 2010

STAFF and pupils at Topsham Primary School are in high spirits after a new building which cost £200,000 has been opened. An official opening ceremony was held last Thursday, June 17. The block has a sound proofed music room, facilities for parent groups a

STAFF and pupils at Topsham Primary School are in high spirits after a new building which cost £200,000 has been opened.

An official opening ceremony was held last Thursday, June 17.

The block has a sound proofed music room, facilities for parent groups and family learning, as well as a large space which can be used for dance, drama, artists and members of the local community.

Three quarters of the building's costs, £150,000, was allocated from proceeds of the sale of Exeter Airport Investing in Devon Fund, by Andrew Leadbetter, Topsham's county councillor.

Mr Leadbetter said: "This is a building the whole community can enjoy and I'm delighted that we have been able to raise funds from the sale of the airport.

"I'm looking forward to visiting the school to see for myself what a difference it will make to the pupils as well as the local community."

The remaining £50,000 towards the costs was gained from school funds and the Friends of Topsham School.

Building materials came from local suppliers. The block has a number of energy-saving innovations including water collection systems and efficient insulation.

Head teacher Claire Browne said the additional space would enable the school to enhance arts provision and other curriculum areas.

"We are particularly pleased with the addition of a family room ensuring that small groups of parents and carers can meet in a comfortable and purpose built area of the school," she said.

"We are especially grateful to Councillor Andrew Leadbetter in helping us achieve a dream that we have had for the last four years."

Pupils, meanwhile, planted a number of trees to celebrate a nationwide project aimed at tackling climate change.

The trees were planted at nearby Highfield Farm as part of Green Britain Day last Thursday, June 17, an initiative, launched by EDF Energy, committed to lowering carbon footprint.

Justin Vernon, a teacher at Topsham Primary School, said: "We're really pleased to be joining all the schools in Devon and across the country to take part in tree-planting.

"Our green team will be helping as they have played a really important role in the green initiatives we have been looking at in recent years.

"Earlier this year we gave away over 200 apple trees to other local schools and members of the community, so this is an excellent way of continuing this aspect of our work."

Topsham Primary, which has links with Highfield Farm, has created a campsite kitchen garden at the site that children visit every week and helped plant an orchard.

Eva Eisenschimmel, chief operating officer at EDF Energy, said: "Climate change is a challenge which we can only overcome by working together.

"We are delighted to be working with schools in Devon to plant new trees.

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