Ground-breaking ceremony held at Highfields Spencer

A ground-breaking ceremony has been held to officially mark the start of work on the £5.3m Highfields primary school in Littleover.

Highfields will open to pupils in September 2020, and is being built in response to the need for more school and nursery places created by new housing developments in the area.

Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Young People Cllr Alex Dale attended the ground-breaking ceremony with representatives from developer Morgan Sindall, and Spencer Academies Trust Chair of Directors Donna Kinderman; Chief Executive Paul West, and Director of Primary Education Angela O’Brien.

The building, sited off Tutbury Avenue, is an innovative modular structure which will accommodate 210 pupils aged up to 11 and include a nursery.

Councillor Dale said: “We’re very pleased to be working in partnership on this exciting project and making the best use of our resources to provide a high-quality modern school for local children and for use by the wider community.

“We approved the requirement for a new school to respond to the need for more school places due to significant housing developments in the area and also to provide much-needed nursery provision.”

Highfields is the first whole school modular building to be constructed in the local authority area.

The school, which has been designed by Nottingham-based architects Lungfish and features:

  •  Single storey 15,500 square foot main building with a reception area and seven spacious classrooms to accommodate 210 pupils aged up to 11
  •  A school-managed 26-place nursery
  •  Large two-storey hall for sport, dining and whole school gatherings
  •  A bright, modern modular design built off-site to improve construction efficiency
  •  Eco features including natural lighting and ventilation and energy-efficient heating
  •  External play areas including junior-size football pitch
  •  A landscaped garden and habitat area creating a biodiverse outdoor learning zone
  •  External canopies on the nursery and reception class to provide sun and rain protection for outdoor play
  •  A visitors’ garden and allotment area which will also benefit pupils
  •  A parking area and cycle storage facilities.

Chair of the Spencer Academies Board of Directors Donna Kinderman said: “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am very proud to see this important new academy for the Highfields community making such good progress.”

Spencer Academies Trust Chief Executive Paul West said: “Reaching the point where we can officially break ground on the Highfields Spencer site has been made possible through close collaboration with Derbyshire County Council.

“Together we have worked to continue our tradition of creating fantastic environments for children to learn setting them up with the best possible start in life.”