New chapter in Bishop Road school story

October 31 2014

AN additional 210 places have been created as a result of a recent expansion at local primary school, Bishop Road.

AN additional 210 places have been created as a result of a recent expansion at local primary school, Bishop Road.

A high demand for more Reception Year places in Bishopston led to the £3 million development, carried out by contractors Willmott Dixon.

Bishop Road - rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted - is now a four-form entry school, meaning there are four classes in each year group. Seven additional classrooms have been created as part of the project.

Architects Batterham Matthews produced the designs, including a new entrance at the front of the school to enhance Bishop Road's road-side presence, and space upstairs for a school library.

Additional features include an enlarged and upgraded kitchen, which can make up to 400 dinners over a lunchtime period; the refurbishment of areas to create a staff room, administrative spaces, and group and storage spaces; the return of classrooms previously occupied by the breakfast and after-school clubs; upgrades to the heating system; and a pavilion-style building adjacent to the school’s sports field with large flexible learning spaces.

Building work to Bishop Road began before February half-term and was completed at the end of the summer holidays.

At an event to mark the completion of works to the school, headteacher Gillian Powe revealed the school's first register from 1896.

She started: "I see Bishop Road as part of a story. The foundations of the school were built when Queen Victoria was on the throne - we are part of a legacy and I think it's important for us to understand our past."

"I am so delighted that the school expansion has been finished at last - and to such a high standard and finish.

"We place a large value on books, so we wanted the library to be a central part of the school.

"It's a privilege to be a part of the development, and creating something of worth and value for our children's future. I'd like to say a million thanks to everybody."

Deputy Lord Mayor, Faruk Choudhury, attended the event. He said: "It is a great pleasure to see the final work to Bishop Road. It is fascinating that the library is at the centre, as we as politicians believe this is important in schools."

"It's also a pleasure to see the teachers so satisfied with the work done by Willmott Dixon. Thank you Bishop Road for all the work you do for the future of our children in the city."

Richard Jones, director of Willmott Dixon, said: "We're very proud of what we've all achieved - it was a tough project in terms of complexity. But we are extremely pleased of the finished project, and having delivered it safely on time."

Ms Powe was presented with a children's book about the work carried out on the school, compiled by Willmott Dixon, with drawings by Bishop Road pupils.

Bishop Road is one of the largest primary schools in Bristol, with around 800 pupils at the school.

Bishop Road pupils with book from Willmott Dixon