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First look inside one of Norfolk’s newest schools

PUBLISHED: 16:46 30 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:58 30 November 2018

The brand new library at St Clements Hill Primary Academy. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

The brand new library at St Clements Hill Primary Academy. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Archant

The halls of St Clements Hill Primary Academy are pristine and quiet.

It will be years before the classrooms and corridors at Norwich’s newest school are thronged with the 420 children it is built to teach.

But the leadership team from its sponsor Right for Success Trust are hopeful that its first class – 21 reception children who started in September – is a sign of bigger and better things to come.

The school is taking in for next year reception and year 1 students. Picture: Victoria PertusaThe school is taking in for next year reception and year 1 students. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Glenn Russell, executive headteacher at St Clements, is grateful to the parents who chose the school for their children “before there was even a building for them to look at”.

He believes the “effective track record” of the academy trust – which runs schools including Stalham Academy, where he is also executive head, and Sewell Park Academy – had helped bring parents on board.

The children will benefit from brand new classrooms. Picture: Victoria PertusaThe children will benefit from brand new classrooms. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

“The trust’s schools are now doing a really good job and the feedback from parents is really positive,” he said.

“We’ve recently had a couple of open sessions [at St Clements] and they have been well attended.

The school offers a science lab for its pupils. Picture: Victoria PertusaThe school offers a science lab for its pupils. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

“Also we are an all-through primary – this side of the ring road there are not a lot of those, they are generally infant and junior schools. With that, you have an extra transition that parents don’t always want.

“There is also a proposal to open a nursery at Sewell Park Academy – then you would have a nursery, an all-through primary and a high school which is a great opportunity for parents.”

The school is taking in for next year reception and year 1 students. Picture: Victoria PertusaThe school is taking in for next year reception and year 1 students. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

The plans for St Clements were approved by Norwich City Council last October and construction took less than nine months.

While it came with challenges, building a school from the ground up gave exiting opportunities to the trust.

Glenn Russell Executive Headteacher at St Clements Hill Academy. Picture: Victoria PertusaGlenn Russell Executive Headteacher at St Clements Hill Academy. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

St Clements has facilities including a home economics and science lab, 14 classrooms (each with capacity for 30 children) with space for interactive whiteboards and “learning walls”, a central library and a large hall which can be split to accommodate clubs and diners at lunchtimes.

Mr Russell said: “There are playing areas and a massive field so the grounds available to the school to develop and use, for example for a forest school and outdoor learning, are huge.

St Clements Hill Primary Academy is off Sprowston Rd in Norwich. Picture VictoriaSt Clements Hill Primary Academy is off Sprowston Rd in Norwich. Picture Victoria

“Most children do not experience a home economics or science lab until they get to secondary school but these facilities have been planned in which is a great opportunity for the children.”

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