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Gatwick School impresses Leader of Council as it continues to grow

The Leader of Crawley Borough Council, Councillor, Peter Lamb, paid a visit to The Gatwick School in Crawley recently to see first-hand the progress of one of Crawley’s newest schools.

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Operated by Aurora Academies Trust, The Gatwick School caters for students aged 4-16 and it began life as a free school in 2014 with only 44 children on roll.

Just 4 years later there are over 650 students and the school has waiting lists for places. Councillor Lamb was keen to see why the school has become so popular and he was not disappointed!

Visits to classrooms were organised and led by some of the student councillors including the Head Girl and Boy from both the primary and secondary phases.

Councillor Lamb was extremely impressed with the standards of teaching and learning throughout the school and commented on the high quality learning environment and the engagement in lessons, particularly noting one English lesson in which students were actively involved in constructing a reasoned argument, a skill needed by politicians at all levels!

Head of School, Mark Roessler said:

“This was a great opportunity for us to host the visit of the Leader of the Council and it was very definitely a two-way meeting: Councillor Lamb was able to see the high quality of education on offer and our students also got the chance to question him about his job and his vision for the town. He more than held his own in that exchange and replied very professionally to all the questions thrown at him!”.

Aurora’s Director of Education and Executive Head Paul Reilly said:

“In our first inspection we were rated by Ofsted as being Good with some Outstanding features and that has really helped cement our reputation in the community. We were thrilled that Councillor Lamb gave us so much of his time and showed such interest in seeing how the school has developed”.

Councillor Lamb later added:

“This was my first visit to the school since its opening. It’s great to see how things have developed over those last four years and there were a number of pleasant surprises for me in the way subjects are being tackled at the school. I look forward to seeing how The Gatwick School continues to grow and take shape over the years to come.”

Aurora’s CEO Tim McCarthy concluded:

“Aurora Academies Trust is very proud of The Gatwick School and everything that has been achieved here and we believe that we have delivered on the promise we gave to Crawley Borough Council from the outset that we would provide a great education for children and families in this area. We are delighted that Councillor Lamb has been able to see this for himself”.

Community

New £100k pedestrian crossing for families’ taking children to school installed in West Green

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West Green Primary School Business Manager Annette pictured trying the new crossing with her daughter before the school reopened.

A new pedestrian crossings has been installed in the past few months and is now operational, helping families with the walk to a school in West Green.

The crossing in Crawley cost £100,00 and is aimed to improve safety for families with school-age children – plus pedestrians generally.

With schools reopening and roads becoming busier after lockdown, people are being encouraged to leave their cars at home and consider other travel choices.

Roger Elkins, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said:

“The new crossings provide a safer route to schools for families and to other local amenities for pedestrians generally.

“People are being encouraged to consider walking or cycling for their journeys, if they can. It’s a great way to get fit, save fuel money and reduce the number of cars on the road. This in turn will improve air quality and reduce congestion.”

West Green Primary School requested the Puffin crossing for West Green Drive and worked with the county council’s transport improvements team to build the case for road safety improvements.

Other enhancements had already been introduced, including ‘School Keep Clear’ markings, to provide pupils and parents with a safer environment.

Throughout this process, West Green continued to provide pupils with road safety education and encourage sustainable travel.

West Green Primary School Business Manager Annette Tomsett said:

“The school is delighted to have worked closely with West Sussex County Council in bringing to fruition this crossing. It will make a huge difference in the safe route to school for our pupils and families, alongside having a positive impact for the whole community for now and for the future.”

The improvements cost a total of about £100,000.

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