From 29 pupils to 600 - Queen’s Hill Primary School celebrates unveiling of £4.1m extension work

From left to right, Connie Forsyth, the school's first chairman of governors, headteacher Penny Shep

From left to right, Connie Forsyth, the school's first chairman of governors, headteacher Penny Sheppard, and MP for south Norfolk Richard Bacon, pictured at the unveiling of Queen's Hill Primary School's £.4.1m expansion. Picture: Lauren Forrest - Credit: Archant

A primary school which opened with just 29 pupils has unveiled a £4.1m extension to help it grow to more than 600.

Connie Forsyth, centre, pictured with Queen's Hill Primary School pupils. Picture: Lauren Forrest

Connie Forsyth, centre, pictured with Queen's Hill Primary School pupils. Picture: Lauren Forrest - Credit: Archant

When it opened in 2008, Queen's Hill Primary School, on Kestrel Avenue in Costessey, had less than 30 pupils, but, with its new extension meaning it can now take 630, is on its way to becoming one of the area's biggest primaries.

The burgeoning Queen's Hills estate - made up of more than 1,800 homes - means its numbers have soared and, with more growth on the horizon, Norfolk County Council decided that expansion was key.

The school, which currently has about 400 pupils, has benefitted from 10 new classrooms, a main entrance, playing field and car park with 41 extra parking spaces, all built next to - and connected with - the old building.

On Friday, pupils held a special assembly and showed off the new spaces, with the three school dogs, Jasper, Seb and Molly, entertaining visitors.

Connie Forsyth, Queen's Hill Primary School's first chairman of governors, unveils the school's new

Connie Forsyth, Queen's Hill Primary School's first chairman of governors, unveils the school's new Connie Forsyth Library. Picture: Lauren Forrest - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


The Connie Forsyth Library - named after the school's first chairman of governors - was also officially opened for younger pupils.

Penny Sheppard, headteacher, said: 'I knew when I took the job in 2008 it was risky - it was a school that hadn't even been built and it was just sand here.

Most Read

'I used to go and sit in the show homes nearby, so I could tell anyone who came in with children all about the school.

'When we opened we had 29 pupils, but we were worried we wouldn't even get that - we had no idea it would ever grow to be this big.

'We are so lucky to have these facilities and such an enthusiastic team, and this expansion will help us give children who learn here the space they need.'

Richard Bacon, MP for south Norfolk, said: 'I've watched this school grow and I'm delighted this new facility will help the school grow and hold the community together.'

Visitors and pupils received a copy of The Aspiration Tree, a book which details the school's history and new work and asks children to share their aspirations.

Pupils' thoughts

During a special assembly unveiling the new buildings, the school ambassadors spoke about their time in its corridors.

Amanda Jakaj, 11, said: 'We can't believe how much the school has grown over the years. It started with only 29 pupils and now there over 400.

'It has improved massively, thanks to Mrs Sheppard and a wonderful team around her.

'We would like to thank the builders for doing the extension for us. The school is huge now thanks to all the work that was put into making it.

'The school provides us with a lot of opportunity.'

Ten-year-old Nevan Varvadekar added: 'We do many activities and we always have a different focus every term.

'Right now it is out doorlearning and we are always trying to learn outdoors whenever we can.'

• Do you have an education story? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter