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New £1.9m classrooms officially opened at The Craylands School in Swanscombe

By Lynn Cox

Pupils, staff and guests gathered to mark the opening on a new building at their school.

The £1.9m building was officially opened at The Craylands School in Swanscombe and saw special guests and families invited into school for the occasion.

Pupils sung during the ceremony which also saw the youngsters pass along a giant pair of scissors.

The children passed shiny replica pair of scissors from one end of the line to the other at the ceremony
The children passed shiny replica pair of scissors from one end of the line to the other at the ceremony

The brand-new block will allow the school to expand from a one form of entry primary school to a two form entry one.

The two-storey building, at the school in Craylands Lane, will be used by Key Stage 2 pupils aged seven to 11, and features eight classrooms and two group rooms with toilets and storage space.

Outside the block is a new multi-use games area where children will be able to play a variety of sports.

The building cost £1.9 million to construct
The building cost £1.9 million to construct

There is also additional car parking spaces for staff and visitors.

All pupils stood in a wiggly line, stretching from the original school building, across the playground to the new one.

The children waved blue and yellow balloons in the air and passed a large, shiny replica pair of scissors from one end of the line to the other, which were swapped for a genuine pair for the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Mayor of Swanscombe and Greenhithe, Cllr Anita Barham, declared the building officially open.
Mayor of Swanscombe and Greenhithe, Cllr Anita Barham, declared the building officially open.

Mayor of Swanscombe and Greenhithe, Cllr Anita Barham, cut a blue ribbon in front of the doorway to declare the building officially open, helped by head teacher Kris Hiscock, the head boy and girl and deputy head boy and girl.

Mr Hiscock made a short speech and the children sang One More Step Along The World I Go, which was symbolic of the fact the new building is phase give of a six-phase development process.

After the ceremony, parents and other family members joined pupils for tea, coffee, cake and games.

Mr Hiscock said: “We are delighted the new block has now been completed and is ready for pupils and staff to move into.

"The children have already had a look around and are very excited about the building – particularly because it has an upstairs with fantastic views out over the surrounding urban and rural areas.

“I would like to thank my staff and governors, parents and guardians, and particularly all the children for their patience and understanding during the building works.

“I know the pupils, teachers and support staff will benefit from the new building, and the play area, for many years to come.” - head Kris Hiscock

“I know the pupils, teachers and support staff will benefit from the new building, and the play area, for many years to come.”

The expansion of The Craylands School, which was originally built in the early 2000s, was deemed necessary by Kent County Council following significant housing developments in the Swanscombe and Greenhithe urban area in the last 10 years, including at Ingress Park and Ebbsfleet Garden City.

A high birth rate nationally as well as more families moving into the Dartford district were also contributing factors.

The new building is phase five of a six-phase development process and cost £1.9m, which came from the Government’s Basic Needs Programme.

Phases one to four involved knocking through a wall between the early years and foundation stage classes, building a new school kitchen, expanding the school hall, and making changes to the mobile classrooms with an additional unit provided.

Phase six will result in changes made to the current building in relation to toilets and staff room size.

The building was officially opened last Friday, November 30.

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