‘Joy and excitement’ as entire school is packed up and moved to new £7m building

The new school at North Denes will officially welcome the school community after half term after its

The new school at North Denes will officially welcome the school community after half term after its construction was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic Picture: North Denes - Credit: Archant

Leaky roofs and cold classrooms will be consigned to the history books as a seaside school packs up and moves across its field to a new £7m building.

One of the classrooms in the new £7m school in Jellicoe Road. After half term it will be a hub of ac

One of the classrooms in the new £7m school in Jellicoe Road. After half term it will be a hub of activity when the children move in Picture: North Denes - Credit: Archant

Staff at North Denes Primary School, in Great Yarmouth, are busy filling and labelling boxes while pupils enjoy an extra few days at home ahead of half term.

When they come back it will be to a new building, and after more than 80 years’ service their old classrooms will soon no longer exist.

Headteacher Debbie Whiting said because of Covid-19 they weren’t able to mark the milestone in the way they would have liked.

And while there was nostalgia for the building, current pupils were excited about the new facilities after the keys were officially handed over on Wednesday, October 21.

The original plaque for the opening of North Denes Junior School by the local MP in October 1938. T

The original plaque for the opening of North Denes Junior School by the local MP in October 1938. This will be placed in the entrance of the new build as part of the school legacy project Picture: North Denes - Credit: Archant


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Their last teaching day on Monday had been “quite a sad day” she said, adding: “But it will be lovely in the new school. It is damp and cold here with buckets in the corridor. It’s not a great building.

“But it is not a closing down, we are relocating and the journey for North Denes continues.”

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She said having a modern, new environment would have a positive impact and enable the school to come together on one site, not dotted around in mobiles.

FLASHBACK: North Denes Primary School Rock and Roll Party showing the front of the building which s

FLASHBACK: North Denes Primary School Rock and Roll Party showing the front of the building which soon wont exist Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

“Moving during a pandemic in a year when half the children have not been in school will go down in history,” she said.

Contractors were due to complete the building in the summer but were pulled off site during lockdown and a planned move over the holidays was put back until half term.

When the building is empty it will be demolished, and returned to green space.

In its 82 years generations of children have passed through the original building.

FLASHBACK: Pupils and teachers from North Denes Junior School celebrating after getting a good Ofste

FLASHBACK: Pupils and teachers from North Denes Junior School celebrating after getting a good Ofsted grade in 2014 Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

A letter to parents from Mrs Whiting said it was a time of “joy and excitement”.

However, she said it was disappointing former staff and pupils could not be invited in for a final farewell.

The school has 379 pupils, including some from the former Alderman Swindell School which closed in a merger aimed at providing the new school at North Denes.

A new £9m school is also taking shape on the Beresford Road site for up to 94 boys aged five to 16 with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs.

FLASHBACK: Children from North Denes Middle School, Great Yarmouth celebrating after the school was

FLASHBACK: Children from North Denes Middle School, Great Yarmouth celebrating after the school was taken off special measures in 2008. Head teacher Nancy Hayward Picture: James Bass - Credit: Evening News © 2008

An class photo from yesteryear that includes a Mr Martins, grandfather to two current pupils at Nort

An class photo from yesteryear that includes a Mr Martins, grandfather to two current pupils at North Denes Picture: North Denes - Credit: Archant

FLASHBACK: Staff at North Denes taking part in a pantomime in the 1990s Picture: North Denes

FLASHBACK: Staff at North Denes taking part in a pantomime in the 1990s Picture: North Denes - Credit: Archant

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