THE school at the heart of a new community in Oxford will open its doors to its first pupils tomorrow.

Barton Park Primary will initially welcome a reception and classes for Year 1 and 2 children.

In the long term, the school expects to cater for 315 children, alongside 45 nursery places.

See also: Four new schools to open despite Covid fears

Oxfordshire County Council has built the school, situated in the middle of Barton Park, where 885 homes are being built, as well as a park and sports facilities which are already open.

County councillor Lorraine Lindsay-Gale, cabinet member for education and cultural services, said: “I’m delighted that we have all delivered on our commitment to have this school ready for the autumn term, to meet the educational needs of local children.

“Barton Park is a growing community and these new shared facilities will benefit all the residents.

“I wish the pupils, teachers and support staff the very best in the coming academic year.”

Oxford Mail:

The school will be managed by the Community Schools Alliance Trust (CSAT), with Bryony McCraw appointed as headteacher.

She said: “I am really looking forward to opening our doors in September and beginning to grow the community of Barton Park Primary School.

“It will be a priority to get to know the families and children within the estate and surrounding areas so that we can develop in a way that best supports their needs.

“We have a fantastic team of teachers and support staff, all of whom are excited at the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Read more: Siblings set up eco-friendly mask business

The new school will promote active and healthy lifestyles, in line with Barton Park’s ethos as a 'healthy new town'.

The estate is being used as a 'demonstrator site' for the NHS Healthy New Towns programme.

Walking, cycling and scooting will be encouraged with 32 bike spaces for students and staff at the school.

Pupils will also have access to a modern sports hall and a dance studio.

Jolie Kirby, chief executive of CSAT, said: “The school is purpose-built to provide an excellent and inspiring learning environment to the local community.

See more: Shop owner opens second branch to save staff

“Our staff are looking forward to welcoming families and the wider community to be part of our new school.

“The trust is also able to invite community groups to use our extensive facilities which enable the school to be a wider social and education hub to local groups and societies.”

Marie Tidball, cabinet member for supporting local communities at Oxford City Council, said: “A school really draws local people together, and the provision of the community hub shows this school is at the heart of Barton Park.

“Barton as a whole has a great sense of community, one of our most active community associations and a redeveloped community centre.

“The emphasis on supporting healthy activities is so important, as we increasingly realise their value for physical and mental health.”