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Coronavirus Kent: Ebbsfleet Green Primary to relocate to Strood until buildings are finished

A new primary school planned for Kent's £34m Garden City has vowed to open in September as planned, albeit nine miles away in Strood.

The onset of the coronavirus has meant the temporary buildings for Ebbsfleet Green Primary will not be ready in September for its grand unveiling.

The Eastern Quarry at Ebbsfleet Garden City where the school will be built
The Eastern Quarry at Ebbsfleet Garden City where the school will be built

But academy chiefs are determined to avoid any disruption to their plans and have secured classrooms at Bligh Primary School in Strood.

This proposal is with the Department for Education, with a decision expected shortly.

The "school within a school" set up will accommodate their planned intake of nursery, reception, and pupils in years one and two.

Newly appointed head of school Kelly Garrett said while there would be difficulties posed by the current climate she was looking forward to the challenge ahead.

She described how she felt "honoured and privileged" by the prospect of steering the new school forward.

Working alongside executive head Mrs Wilkinson-Tabi she vowed to deliver a varied curriculum based on "knowledge, skills and character".

Kelly Garrett has been appointed as the new head of school at Ebbsfleet Green Primary
Kelly Garrett has been appointed as the new head of school at Ebbsfleet Green Primary

This she said would entail a hands on approach to learning which extended beyond just memory recall to actively challenging and encouraging children in a learning environment.

The pair currently work together at Greenacres Primary in Eltham and are keen to share their experiences with the new community in Ebbsfleet.

Ms Garrett lives locally in the Dartford area and draws on 12 years' teaching experience, of which she says "she has loved every minute of it".

She said: "Building relationships, sharing challenges and success and supporting children to reach their full potential is what makes being a teacher so incredibly rewarding.

"An excellent education changed my life. I truly believe that outstanding schooling will not only change your child’s life, but it will also make our local community stronger, striving for the very best for all.

As a mother herself she said she was acutely aware of the challenges involved.

The initial intake will be temporarily housed at Bligh Primary School in Strood Photo: Google
The initial intake will be temporarily housed at Bligh Primary School in Strood Photo: Google

She was keen to reassure parents and guardians in these times they would be making every effort to communicate developments to them.

This includes a Zoom call the trust is hoping to arrange with prospective parents next Thursday as well as the school's social feeds which she said were regularly updated.

Ebbsfleet Green has also been working with Kent County Council to ensure there are bus services for pupil's to reach its temporary accommodation in Strood.

It hopes to be able to update parents on what can be offered next week.

The school will serve the new residents of the estate where there are already more than 400 homes built and occupied.

It is being introduced in phases with temporary structures before the full building is erected in September 2021.

When finished it will become the second new primary school to open on the garden settlement after Cherry Orchard Primary Academy in 2017.

A third academy to be built on the Springhead Park development near Gravesend was also announced last year.

Ms Garrett added: “As head of school, I will strive to ensure that our children are provided with the opportunities that will enable them to achieve their full potential.

"With a strong partnership between home and school, we believe that together, we can achieve this.

"Over the course of the next few months, I am looking forward to meeting all of you and building relationships with our local community.”

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