Leaky roof is history as new £7m school opens

Formal opening of North Denes Primary School

Headteacher Debbie Whiting, staff, councillors and construction firm Morgan Sindall mark the completion of the new North Denes Primary School. - Credit: Morgan Sindall

A £7m new school building that has consigned leaky roofs and cold classrooms to the history books has been opened.

The new two-storey North Denes Primary School in Great Yarmouth has an increased capacity for 420 children being taught in 14 bright, modern classrooms.

Construction of the new school in Jellicoe Road began in September 2019 and it was built while children and staff continued to use the existing old 1930s school building on the southern side of the site.

The seaside school packed up and moved children and staff across the playing field into the new building after October half term

North Denes Primary School headteacher Debbie Whiting

North Denes Primary School headteacher Debbie Whiting.  - Credit: Archant

Headteacher Debbie Whiting said: “We are absolutely delighted with our new school. The children have been so excited.

“The building and its grounds provide everything we need in order for them to learn and really enjoy being in school, and I’m sure many generations of children will benefit from what it has to offer for years to come.”

The new North Denes Primary School in Great Yarmouth.

The new North Denes Primary School in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Morgan Sindall

The school currently has 379 pupils, including some from the former Alderman Swindell School which closed in a merger aimed at providing the new school at North Denes.


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Its building also includes a multi-purpose hall, new kitchen, library and large sports fields and playgrounds.

The old school has been demolished and is now a lush landscaped green area with a new pond and wildlife area.

The old North Denes Primary

The old North Denes Primary, which dated back to the 1930s, has now been demolished. - Credit: Archant

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The project is part of Norfolk County Council’s £169m investment programme to meet the demand for school places in growing communities across the county.

John Fisher, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The county council has worked hard to support this growing community by investing in this modern energy efficient school, big enough so all the primary aged children in the area can go to the same school together.

FLASHBACK: Pupils and teachers from North Denes Junior School celebrating after getting a good Ofste

FLASHBACK: Pupils and teachers from North Denes Junior School celebrating after getting a good Ofsted grade in 2014. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

“It’s really pleasing to see the finished building and see how happy all the children and staff are in their new environment.”

Mike Smith-Clare, Yarmouth councillor and Labour group lead on children and young people, said: “The new build is certainly impressive and one that will continue to serve the local community well on various levels. 

An class photo from yesteryear that includes a Mr Martins, grandfather to two current pupils at Nort

An class photo from yesteryear that includes a Mr Martins, grandfather to two current pupils at North Denes. - Credit: Archant

“For so many local families it provides traditional learning opportunities as well as lifeline support from an essential foodbank. A sad indication of the harsh realities experienced by too many children.”

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