Archbishop amazed by new Barnoldswick school

The Archbishop of York described Barnoldswick’s new primary school as “marvellous” on a visit to the town on Wednesday.

Dr John Sentamu returned to town to officially open Barnoldswick CE Primary School at its new location off Kelbrook Road 10 months after blessing a stone which has been built into the school entrance.

Photo Ian Robinson'The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu during the official opening of Barnoldswick CE Primary School'Pictured with headteacher Michelle Dodgson

Photo Ian Robinson'The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu during the official opening of Barnoldswick CE Primary School'Pictured with headteacher Michelle Dodgson

The Archbishop cut the ribbon in front of cheering children, staff and special guests after a choir performance and a tour of the school and its facilities led by pupils Poppy Singleton and Cameron Stirk.

Dr Sentamu said: “When we blessed the stone it was hard to picture what the school was going to look like but this is just absolutely amazing, it’s marvellous.

“It’s very, very clear as you walk around the school it is a symbol of Christianity and full of thanks giving and compassion.

“It’s also clear when you come in the children are delightful and really are engaged to learn. It feels like one big family.

Photo Ian Robinson'The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu during the official opening of Barnoldswick CE Primary School'Pictured with headteacher Michelle Dodgson

Photo Ian Robinson'The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu during the official opening of Barnoldswick CE Primary School'Pictured with headteacher Michelle Dodgson

“They are very fortunate, I think it’s a wonderful school and built to a very high standard.”

The Archbishop was wowed with all aspects of the building from the technology and facilities through to the spacious classrooms and bright walkways.

He also appeared impressed with the children’s behaviour and the hard work and thought which had gone into decorating the school walls.

Headteacher Michelle Dodgson: “You can’t explain the space until you actually see it.

“The children love it, you can see that as you walk around, and the teachers and staff feel very privileged.

“We have had the Archbishop visit twice. We will have to think of something else now to get him back here.”

Chairman of Lancashire County Council, County Coun. Kevin Ellard, said the opening was a big day for the town and said the school’s previous York Street site had been first flagged up by inspectors as being overcrowded in the 1950s.

County Coun. Ellard: “It’s a great day for primary education in Barnoldswick because it’s a fantastic school building.

“It’s tremendous for future education in Barnoldswick and it’s good that the Archbishop of York saw it as important to be here to open it.

“It’s also great the primary school and secondary school are already working well together and it will be a seamless transition to go from here to there.

“This has to be one of the best schools in the north of England because it is so state-of-the-art.”