Pelham Primary School in Wimbledon celebrated its 60th anniversary today and officially opened its brand new school building.
Mayor of Merton Councillor David Chung cut the ribbon and was given a tour of the new building, which is the latest to be opened as part of the council’s £80 million school expansion programme to provide more school places for local children.
The expansion at Pelham means that the school is now able to permanently provide for 60 pupil places per year. This will be a total of 420 places, an increase of 210 places. As well as more classroom space, the school now benefits from a new library, a second hall and a transformed outdoor play area complete with climbing frame, space or ball sports and other play equipment. There is also a larger staff room, and a quiet room where teaching staff can work when they are not in the classroom.
A popular talking point of the new-look school is the wall sculpture created by London-based artist Lee Borthwick for the entrance to the school using willow wood from the school grounds.
The school held a special assembly to celebrate the new school building as well as their 60th anniversary. Children and staff came dressed in their favourite style, character or person from the past six decades following the research they have been doing into fashion, design, music, historical events, toys and popular culture from the past six decades.
Mayor of Merton Councillor David Chung said: “It is great to be celebrating both the new building and 60 years of a great school. I wish all the children well in their education here. It’s wonderful to see the school so well equipped to welcome more children for generations to come.”
Merton Council cabinet member for education Councillor Martin Whelton said: “We should be proud of our £80m school expansion programme which will see more than 4,000 primary school places created by 2018 in our effort to meeting rising demand.
“It has been wonderful to see Pelham’s new building and facilities which will benefit children and create a great learning environment. Providing high quality buildings helps towards shaping young people’s education. It is important to have a firm foundation on which to build before the children move on to secondary school. Pelham is a great example of this and my thanks go to everyone involved in expanding the school.”
Headteacher of Pelham Maria Keenan said: “It is wonderful to see the new building ready for our children to enjoy and to benefit from. I am also happy to be celebrating 60 years of our school and it is very fitting that as we look back over six decades, we also look at the present day to the children who are here now and into the future to the generations of school children yet to come through our doors. Having more space and modern facilities will hugely benefit them all.”