Two new schools open in Nelson

The New Whitefield Infants.
The New Whitefield Infants.

Staff and pupils at Nelson’s new schools are pleased with the conditions in their latest locations.

This week the two new schools – St Paul’S CE Primary and Whitefield Infants and Nursery – have opened for the first time.

The new St Paul's Primary

The new St Paul's Primary

St Paul’s was next to the church it is connected with, and there were plans to create a new facility. But there were concerns about it being moved to Brierfield.

Eventually it was agreed to build the new school on the site of the old Edge End High School.

And Whitefield has been relocated onto the old water board facility on Every Street. There were plans to knock down all the houses around it but some have now been saved and restored.

St Paul’s now has 14 classrooms and a large hall between the infant wing and junior wing which hosts events, meetings, sports and dinners. And now the pupils have a new purple uniform!

Mr Stephen Crook was an engineer for 20 years before becoming a teacher and for the past 12 months he has been headteacher at St Paul’s. .

He said: “It’s brilliant here. It’s a real blessing in this place. It is a wonderful, wonderful opportunity for us here. The children are blown away by it – they really love it.”

And there is also lots to please everyone at Whitefield, including the lovely garden there. They have 360 pupils in the infants and nursery.

Acting headteacher Erica Mason said: “It’s a site full of awe and wonder. The children have settled with the new school seamlessly. We are more than pleased – it’s spectacular! The parents are all looking forward to being a key part in the school.”

And headteacher Ethna Cummins said: “We are delighted to be in our new school, which is a magnificent building! It will enable us to enhance the learning experiences and widen learning opportunities for our children and families.”

l At the opening on Monday, residents near St Paul’s School were concerned about a lot of people parking on their street. But on the second day it was less of a problem.

Mrs Christine Harrison, who lives on Brier Crescent opposite the new school, said: “I am concerned about the parents' problems parking – it's hard for them and we are worried about residents’ parking problems in the crescent.

“The school parents can park on both sides and there is just about enough room to get a car through but a minibus or ambulance could have a problem."

But after checking her crescent on Tuesday, she said: "There was less confusion on Brier Crescent on the second day, which was good."

And St Paul's head Mr Crook made it clear none of the residents had reported the problem to the school. He said: “I am pleased it is working at the moment and we were surprised neighbours were complaining. I have advised parents not to park outside people’s houses now. We do have a lovely car park here.”