The first building of the North West Cambridge Development, the University of Cambridge Primary School, was officially opened in a special assembly with the school children today.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz was part of the proceedings alongside the School’s Headteacher, James Biddulph; Chair of the School Governors, Professor John Rallison; and Acting Project Director for the North West Cambridge Development, Heather Topel, in addition to guests from the University and local community.
James Biddulph, Headteacher of the School said: “We are thrilled to celebrate the official opening of the University of Cambridge Primary School with our children, the School family and our extended supporters. Starting a new community initially with a group of school children has been creative and imaginative, demonstrating the University’s commitment not only to the education, but also to the wider community.”
The University of Cambridge Primary School opened in September 2015 to its first intake of 120 pupils and was completed in two phases by contractor Willmott Dixon with the whole building handed over in December 2015 following a 14 month construction period that began in November 2014. The School is now in its second year of operation, with over 200 pupils in Reception and Years 1, 2 and 3.
The iconic circular design of the School by Marks Barfield Architects, creators of the London Eye, has been informed by discussions with the Faculty of Education and leading educational experts to create a unique learning environment that will fulfil its commitments to being an inclusive school and to being a University Training School.
The creation of the school has been documented in a new book “A University’s Challenge: Cambridge’s Primary School for the Nation” published by Cambridge University Press which will be available for purchase later this Autumn.
The School has already been well received by the local community through nominations at Cambridge News’ Education Awards and the building was commended at the Cambridge Design and Construction Awards.
Heather Topel, Acting Project Director of the North West Cambridge Development said: “Celebrating the opening of the Primary School reflects years of hard work and dedication from the University - its Project team and departments, who have worked alongside the local authorities to bring this new community to fruition. We will continue to work with the School in welcoming children and their families to the site and also future residents, neighbours and friends.”
Time-lapsed footage of the creation of the University of Cambridge Primary School can be viewed here.
The University of Cambridge Primary School provides education for children aged four – 11. The school is a mixed-ability co-educational school. It does not have a specific religious character, nor a particular faith ethos. In addition to providing an inclusive and high-quality primary education for local children, the University of Cambridge Primary School also offers unique training and research opportunities through its close relationship with the Faculties and Departments of the University of Cambridge. For further details about the University of Cambridge Primary School, visit www.universityprimaryschool.org.uk
“A University’s Challenge: Cambridge’s Primary School for the Nation” is published by Cambridge University Press and is available to pre-order now: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universitys-Challenge-Cambridges-International-Examinations/dp/1316612171