Ottery youngsters boast of school!

PUBLISHED: 11:40 13 October 2009 | UPDATED: 10:37 18 June 2010

WHILE most schoolchildren may have been dreading the new school year, that definitely can t be said of youngsters at Ottery St Mary Primary school.

WHILE most schoolchildren may have been dreading the new school year, that definitely can't be said of youngsters at Ottery St Mary Primary school.

Pupils have this term been reaping the benefits of a £4million construction re-vamp that has "changed the face of the school".

The scheme has seen the site's former six-classroom, Key Stage Two section replaced with a ten-class block, including a new computer (ICT) suite, dance and drama studio and purpose built kitchen.

Returning youngsters have seen a building site transformed into top-notch new facilities and the proud pupils have wasted no time bragging to "jealous" friends about the changes.

"It's like going to a different school this year," said ten-year-old Jacques Khaliq, "It feels like a private school, big and proper. It's just immense, really airy, brighter and massive. There is a lot more space."

Year six student Connor Gilronan, 10, said: "I've told my friends about it and shown them photos, they are all jealous. It's a lovely building."

"It looks really smart and it makes me feel smart when I walk around it," said Aneka Deabreu, 10, who is also a fan of the new, purpose built kitchen's food.

Ten-year-old Chelsey Smith's dad was the scheme's project manager and she is a big fan of the new ITC suite. She said: "The computers take up less space and it's much more modern."

A bigger playground is also among improvements noticed by the students who are "really looking forward" to the completion of a new library in the new building.

Headteacher Doug Rylance is celebrating his 13th year at the helm, but it certainly isn't proving unlucky as the "trail blazing" project has boosted student numbers by 80 and, he feels, brought the school "into the 21st century".

He said: "It's fantastic for us, the children had a real buzz when they came back and were really excited. With it being a building site they hadn't seen it.

"This has allowed us to increase numbers from 50 to 60 in each year group and the school to expand from 340 pupils to 420.

"As well as the new class rooms, we've got all the things we never had before. Parents can't believe what has been replaced.

"This is the biggest thing we've had at the school, definitely in my time here.


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