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Thurton primary opens new building

PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 October 2008 | UPDATED: 07:42 01 August 2010

FRIDAY marked the happy ending of a rags-to-riches tale for Thurton Primary School, where pupils who were used to having lessons in mobile classrooms and nipping to outside toilets celebrated their move to a £1.

FRIDAY marked the happy ending of a rags-to-riches tale for Thurton Primary School, where pupils who were used to having lessons in mobile classrooms and nipping to outside toilets celebrated their move to a £1.5m new home.

Head Sonia Innes said that the staff and 77 pupils were delighted with their colourful building, which stands on what was part of the school playing field.

“It's absolutely fabulous,” she said. “It's made a huge difference to the lives of the children and the staff. It's warm and comfortable.”

Pupils can now enjoy PE lessons in a new hall instead of trekking to the village hall twice a week. Previously, two of the four classrooms, the staff room and some toilets at the school were in mobiles. “The children are absolutely amazed,” said the head. “They really, really love it.”

But she admitted: “You miss the quirkiness. We don't have to dash with an umbrella to use the loo anymore.”

Mrs Innes praised staff and parents for their efforts during the summer holidays, which ensured that the campus was ready for the start of the new term after the year-long building project had been completed.

The pupils, aged from four to 11, some of whom used to have lessons in the ageing Victorian block, have been given bright red, blue, green and yellow-painted classrooms as well as a new library.

The building was designed to be eco-friendly, with the installation of underfloor heating, movement sensors on the lights, and even shredded newspaper to help with the insulation.

After a PfI project fell through, Norfolk County Council came up with the funding Church of England school, which was given notice to improve by Ofsted in December 2006, and reached 'satisfactory' status in February.

Before the Bishop of Norwich, the Right Rev Graham James, cut the ribbon at Friday's official opening, youngsters performed a rap song which they helped compose, which told the story of the new building and began: “Please Mrs. Innes, our school is getting small, can we have a new one with a nice big hall?”

Arnold, in Year 6 said he was pleased with the new school. “I can play proper games outside with my friends at last,” he said. “The playground is my favourite part of the new school.”

His classmate Matthew agreed: “The whole thing is fabulous!”

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