Town’s new primary school welcomes its first pupils

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Wygate Park Academy opened its doors to students for the first time this week.

Spalding’s newest primary school, built on 2.5 acres of land donated by Kier Homes, saw 40 pupils join the academy from around the area, all of reception class age.

New school, Wygate Academy, Spalding'Oaks do hand, knees and toes game ANL-140309-140828001

New school, Wygate Academy, Spalding'Oaks do hand, knees and toes game ANL-140309-140828001

Wygate Park is providing much needed additional primary school places, and will continue with an intake of 30 reception students from next year onwards.

Headteacher of the new school, Annabelle O’Connell, said: “The students are getting the best possible start to their education.

“Not only are we lucky to have new resources that have been specifically chosen for us and our needs, but there are six members of staff at the school for only two classes of children.”

“Every pupil will be focussed on.”

Mrs O’Connell joins the school, which is a member of the Boston Witham Academies Foundation, from Staniland Academy, another of the foundation’s primary schools.

As Head of Foundation and Key Stage One, Mrs O’Connell was part of the leadership team that steered Staniland Academy out of special measures to an Ofsted rating of ‘outstanding’, and plans on bringing the same ethos to Wygate Park.

“We are in a unique position here as a brand new school – everything is achievable at this point and we expect to be very successful.

“Parents are an important part of this, and everyone I have met has been amazingly supportive.”

Mrs O’Connell is joined at the school by a team of six, including two teachers and two teaching assistants.

Sian Wenninger, a teaching assistant at the new academy, said: “It’s so exciting getting the students in here for the first time. There has been so much preparation involved in getting us to this point.”

The opening of Wygate Park Academy coincides with the rolling out of universal infant free school meals, a scheme that the school is partaking in with its sparkling new canteen.

As part of the plan, all children in the first three years of primary school will be offered a free, healthy hot lunch.

Mrs O’Connell added: “As a parent myself, I think it is a brilliant scheme. It will have an immensely positive impact upon the students.”