A DIDCOT-based Trust will run a new primary school in Wantage.

Work has now begun on the renamed institution promised as part of the 1,500-home Kingsgrove development.

St. Modwen, the developer behind the new build, has commenced construction of a new two-form entry primary school for Oxfordshire County Council.

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GEMS Wantage Primary Academy – which was originally expected to be called Kingsgrove Primary – is set to open its doors in September 2020, after the council appointed GEMS Learning Trust, which runs Didcot Primary, to operate it.

Amended plans for the site, also known as Crabhill, angered residents earlier this year after housing density went up.

The school, which will accommodate 420 primary students and 26 nursery places, includes sports pitches, a playground, a multi-use games area and car parking.

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As just one part of the 227-acre development, the institution will initially welcome two to four year-olds as well as Reception, Year 1 and 2 children and will largely serve the new families on the Kingsgrove development. Local families will also be offered places.

William Bayston, Development Manager at St. Modwen, said: "We are thrilled to be delivering this new primary school as we begin to create the heart of the new community at Kingsgrove.

Oxford Mail:

"We look forward to working with the council and the GEMS Learning Trust to create a first-class academy to offer the children of Kingsgrove and the surrounding areas an excellent facility for generations to come.”

Set in 2.2 hectares of grounds, the contemporary school building was designed by architectural practice Roberts Limbrick and will feature glass, timber, red brick and pitched roofs.

Gloucester-based Barnwood Construction have been appointed to build the school and is due to pass it on t othe council for 'fit-out' in July 2020.

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GEMS Learning Trust CEO, Jodie Croft, said: “The GEMS Learning Trust is delighted to have the opportunity to open a new school in Kingsgrove, Wantage. The close proximity to GEMS Didcot Primary Academy will bring many benefits to the new school and will allow us to further develop our vision of small hubs of excellent schools. We have experience of opening brand new schools and have received Outstanding Ofsted judgements for both our sister schools in the Trust.

“The layout of the new school has been thoughtfully planned and will provide the children with an inspiring indoor and outdoor learning environment. We are currently advertising for a Principal and hope to have appointed early in the Autumn term.”