Persimmon Homes

Work begins on primary school at Wessex development in Grove

09 November 2022

A special ground-breaking ceremony has marked the start of construction of the Vale Academy Trust’s new primary school at Wessex's Wellington Gate development in Grove, Oxfordshire.

The ground was recently cut at the site by St John’s Head of School (Primary) Kerry Cottrell, Chair of Grove Parish Council, June Stock, Trust’s Director of Education, Hazel Pittard, Deputy Chair of the Vale Academy Trust Board, Chris Williams, and Revd. John Durant, Vicar of Vale Benefice and Area Dean, Wantage Deanery.

Representatives of Wessex and TCi who are delivering the first new school at the site were also present for the event in Wantage.

As part of the proposals to develop a new sustainable community at Wellington Gate, three new schools will be provided locally – two primary and one secondary.

St John’s CE Academy will be the first all-through school (nursery to year 11) in the local area. The nursery and reception phases will open to children in September 2023, with the secondary phase due to open in September 2025.

The new primary school will be a two-form entry, accommodating 420 pupils including a 75-place nursery.

Commenting on the start of construction, Primary Head of School Vale Academy Trust, Kerry Cottrell, said:

“This is a really exciting time to see the school starting to take shape and become a central part of our growing community.

“Parents are welcome to attend one of our regular information events to find out more about the school including its state of the art technology and innovative curriculum.

“There is still time to register your interest in a nursery place and also to apply for a reception place via our Trust website.”

Persimmon @ Wellington Gate is a new collection of one, two, three and four-bedroom homes in Grove - the largest village in the Vale of White Horse, Oxfordshire.

The masterplan for Wellington Gate is based on a Green Infrastructure Strategy, developed to create a connected, multi-functional network of green spaces and corridors.

Residents will also benefit from significant public open space, well equipped play areas, an ecological park, a community park, community allotments and orchards.

Wessex is delivering the exciting scheme in Wantage, and the Managing Director, Julian Roper said:

"It's a very proud day for Persimmon as work starts on this new primary school at our Wellington Gate development.

"This will be a state-of-the-art school for the children in the local community, ensuring their educational journey begins in the right environment.

"From the outset, we have been determined to build homes for the future in sustainable communities, and the delivery of this significant new school provision is at the heart of this vision.”

John Durant, Vicar of Grove representing the Parish and the Diocese of Oxford at the ceremony, said: 

“I am really excited that the foundations are in place and the building is starting to take shape.

“St John’s Academy moto is walk in love so I pray that the whole ethos of the school will be based on the positive, renewing and stimulating love of Jesus Christ”.

The Vale Academy Trust’s Director of Education, Hazel Pittard, added:

“This is a special day for all of us.

“It marks the start of the journey towards Grove having the very first Church of England ‘all though’ school in the area, covering both primary and secondary phases and offering the prospect of a Year 6 to 7 transition within a single school.

“Our partnership with Persimmon, TCI and OCC ensures that the Wellington Gate community will have a fantastic, new school at its heart.

“It is our ambition that the excellent facilities at St John’s will be used outside of school hours by a range of community organisations, helping to secure St John's at the heart of the new community.”

You can register your interest in a Nursery or Reception place at St John’s CE Primary Academy when it opens in September 2023 via the Vale academy trust website.

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