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Knockhall Primary School in Greenhithe ushers in a 'New Dawn' with new building named after staff member

An expanding school said to be "on the right tracks" has unveiled its new building ahead of the planned return of some pupils after half-term.

Knockhall Primary School has confirmed the finishing touches have now been put in place for its brand new facility in Eynsford Road, Greenhithe.

Photos inside the new facility at Knockhall Primary School in Greenhithe
Photos inside the new facility at Knockhall Primary School in Greenhithe

The extra annex will serve reception and year 1 pupils and holds six classrooms, each with their own suite of toilets, as well as an intervention room.

It also includes a soft surfaced playground with a winding red pathway for children to enjoy during breaks from learning.

The project forms part of the Woodland Academy Trust's vision for the school, which it took over the running of in 2017.

It will be named "The New Dawn" after the Trust's executive officer Dawn Sydee who made it her mission to see a new building come to fruition.

She was joined at the opening ceremony held prior to the virus outbreak by Cllr Sue Butterfill, who is leader of the Swanscombe and Greenhithe Resident's Association and vice chair of the school's governing board.

A photo from the grand opening ceremony taken prior to the lockdown with Cllr Sue Butterfill on the left, and Dawn Sydee, executive officer of Woodland Academy Trust
A photo from the grand opening ceremony taken prior to the lockdown with Cllr Sue Butterfill on the left, and Dawn Sydee, executive officer of Woodland Academy Trust

The finishing touches have now been applied to the building during lockdown to the delight of Mrs Sydee who said "this project has meant so much to me from the start".

She added: "When our Woodland Academy Trust chief executive, Dan Morrow, told me the building would be named after me as a way of saying thank you, I was completely overwhelmed.

"I was driven by the idea that our youngest pupils would have an amazing environment in which they could learn to love their learning. Seeing the finished product now just makes me so happy.”

The school was rated as "Requires Improvement" during its last Ofsted visit in September but inspectors noted it was now "on the right tracks" and had made sustained progress since joining the Trust.

Its leadership team hopes the new facility will allow them to build on its performance and offer "the best academically for all pupils".

They believe the addition of new activities – including an edible garden project, charity fundraising and Betsy, the school wellbeing dog – will provide pupils with "lots of opportunities to grow and develop as people too".

Outside of the new facility which will cater for reception and year 1 pupils
Outside of the new facility which will cater for reception and year 1 pupils

Head of school Suky Tiwana said: “We are so pleased to finally have our wonderful new building completed, and we can’t wait to welcome all of our reception and year 1 pupils back to see it when we can.

"We would like to thank Canopies UK and DCB Kent Ltd, who were able to complete this project during the lockdown period, and we especially want to thank Dawn Sydee, who made ‘The New Dawn’ possible.”

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