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Primary school unveils £4.5m eco-extension


By Eve Tawfick


A Downham primary school has unveiled its new £4.5 million extension after years of teaching children in mobile classrooms.

County education chiefs have funded the expansion of the Hillcrest Primary School, plus a new library that will be ready by September of this year.

The project aims to respond to a predicted spike in pupils in the next few years, as the school is popular with parents.

The new building boasts, two storeys, solar panels, eco friendly lighting, CCTV cameras and a natural ventilation system that detects the levels of carbon dioxide in the classrooms and draws fresh air from the roof.

Hillcrest School feature on new the extension at the school..Joe Steele. (12325462)
Hillcrest School feature on new the extension at the school..Joe Steele. (12325462)

Headteacher Matthew Try said: “This building is the only two storey primary in the county.

“It’s design is much more like a high school which will help Key stage 2 children with the transition.

“Our staff and pupils did a fantastic job with our previous facilities, however, mobile classrooms cannot compare to a building designed for purpose.

“Caring for the environment is a large part of our curriculum so it’s quite fitting to have a building that reflects that.

“We are running the i-centre as efficiently as possible. Each classroom provides only as much light as required.”

Hillcrest School
Hillcrest School

Year 4 teacher Dave Martin said: “It’s such a fantastic building for maturity purposes.

“It looks like a secondary school but with primary aspects of learning.”

Emily Passmore, eco-councillor in year six said: “We’ve done lots of eco-friendly projects around school and local area such as litter picks, so I really love the fact that we have solar panels.”

Milo Parker, also in year six, said: “I really liked it since we moved in. It’s so much nicer than the mobiles.”

The ‘i-centre’ which stands for independent learning which is part of the school’s new Swedish model of education.

Hillcrest School feature on new the extension at the school
Hillcrest School feature on new the extension at the school


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