Sheringham Primary School opens underground classrooms as it keeps growing

Norfolk's largest primary school has gone underground to meet rising demand for places.

Sheringham Primary School has developed two new basement classrooms as its numbers soar past 600, thanks to its 'outstanding' Ofsted rating and a burgeoning town population.

Yesterday a popular former headteacher, Norman Cooker, returned to the school that he helped to establish on its current Cooper Road site.

Mr Cooker, head of Sheringham Primary from 1979 to 1992, reminisced about the move 25 years ago from the old building in the town centre to the edge-of-town site.

He told how many mums were 'not too pleased' about having to take their children up the Holway Road hill, but added: 'The school means a lot to me. I enjoyed six of my best years here. And I am delighted that it has gone from strength to strength.'

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He then cut the ribbon to officially open the �167,000 extension to the school on Cooper Road.

Current headteacher Dominic Cragoe said the new classrooms had been paid for by the school, while a �47,000 extension to his office, the staff room and reception area had been funded by Norfolk County Council.

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He said the school functioned very well, despite its size.

'I think some schools are at their best as smallish places, but if you've got the right staff and it's organised almost like seven village primaries, as this is, you can be as big as you want to be.'

The work was carried out by Sheringham builder Malcolm Abbs.

Mr Cragoe said he had been 'a delight to work with'.

He added: 'The extension makes it look almost like a brand new school from the front.'

Sheringham mayor Doug Smith, who joined teachers past and present at the event, said: 'What a wonderful privilege it is to have a local family working on our local school.

'As a town and as a community, we are immensely proud of this school. It is something really special and this is a really special day.'

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