THE first new primary school in an Oxfordshire town for almost 20 years has opened its doors.
Term started on Monday for the first 30 reception children at Windrush CE Primary School in Witney.
Those 30 pupils represent the school’s initial intake, although there is the capacity to increase to 45 children a year in due course.
Windrush is the first primary to open in Witney since Madley Brook in 2003.
The school’s headteacher, Claire Doland, said: “We are very proud to be opening a brilliant school that will challenge and inspire our children to love learning for life.
“We have fantastic facilities and offer a broad, deep and exciting curriculum underpinned by Christian values, and we welcome children and families from all faiths and none.
“Our school has a strong culture of aspiration for all where children will be inspired and challenged to be the best that they can be.
“Schools are at the heart of any community, but they are particularly central to the growth of new ones like Windrush Place and Colwell Green.
“We know that we have a big role to play in making this community a great place to live and for children to grow up, and we will be working tirelessly to make sure we achieve this.”
Windrush, which also offers nursery places in addition to a breakfast club and after-school care, becomes the fourth Church of England school in Witney, joining The Batt, The Blake and St Mary’s.
The River Learning Trust (RLT) will operate the school, alongside the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education (ODBE).
Tony Wilson, director of education at ODBE, said: “ODBE is delighted that after years of planning, Windrush Church of England Primary School is now open to pupils.
“We are also pleased to welcome Windrush into our family of 284 Church of England schools across the diocese.
“Our partnership with the River Learning Trust is a strong one and we believe the children and parents of the school will be well served by us working in conjunction to provide the best possible education.
“ODBE is confident that the parish and community of west Witney will benefit significantly from being served by this brand new church school.”
Paul James, chief executive of RLT, cut the ribbon to open the school, before handing out cake and balloons.
A formal opening event will be held at the school at the start of October.
RLT oversees three other primary schools in Witney – Madley Brook, Tower Hill and Witney Community – as well as Edith Moorhouse in Carterton and Charlbury Primary School.