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New primary school just outside Crawley nears completion

Last week, Crest Nicholson celebrated a significant construction milestone as the roof of its brand-new Kilnwood Vale Primary School was completed.

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Crest Nicholson partnered with leading education contractor Willmott Dixon to build the school in the Faygate community at Horsham, West Sussex. Due to open ahead of the new school year in September, the state-of-the-art school will provide places for more than 420 new pupils across two forms as well as a nursery class.

The milestone, also known as a ‘topping out’ ceremony, was celebrated by the partners with final works now underway to ensure completion by the Summer. Upon completion, Kilnwood Vale Primary School will be home to more than 2.36 hectares of open space including a football pitch, multi-use game areas and extensive playing fields. The school will also feature a dedicated wildlife area, including a stunning pond and wild flower meadow for students to enjoy learning and leisure activities.

The school is set back from the road, offering easy drop-off access and parking, giving parents in Kilnwood Vale peace of mind that their children’s safety has been carefully planned for. Both the school and associated nursery are designed with Kilnwood Vale’s growing community in mind, with plans set out to expand to three classes per year group as more people move to the area.

School operator GLF Schools, which was founded in 2012 and now looks after more than 30 primary and secondary schools, has played a key role in the design of the school. GLF Schools has worked closely with teachers to incorporate their preferences for classroom layouts to create the best possible learning environment for Kilnwood Vale pupils.

Managing Director of Crest Nicholson Strategic Projects, Andrew Dobson, commented: “We are proud of the progress which has been made so far and thrilled to give pupils a new place to learn this September. We’re delighted to deliver our vision for Kilnwood Vale, following our core garden village principles: considering social, environmental and economic factors. We want to show residents that we’re not just building houses but creating a sustainable and thriving community legacy.

“This year marks the five-year anniversary of when our first residents joined the Kilnwood Vale community. During that time, Kilnwood Vale has grown into one of West Sussex’s fastest growing communities, with over 600 people now calling the development home. We’re looking forward to sharing this key part of our commitment to offer local family’s access to the best amenities.”

Willmott Dixon’s spokesperson for the ceremony Managing Director in South London, South East, Roger Forsdyke, said: “Work on the new school in Kilnwood Vale is progressing well. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Crest Nicholson to deliver this new facility, which will leave a legacy by providing much needed education places to this already thriving community.”  

GLF Schools spokesperson, CEO Jon Chaloner, added: “We are delighted to be opening our third school in West Sussex when Kilnwood Vale Primary School opens in September. Each school has its own distinct character and culture which is respectful of the community it serves, and the Kilnwood Vale community will have these beautiful new buildings within which the school will undoubtedly flourish.

“Kilnwood Vale’s pupils will benefit from an inclusive ethos, excellent teaching and
a broad and balanced curriculum underpinned by strong leadership.”

Contemporary two and three-bedroom homes at Kilnwood Vale are available from £274,950, with many available using the Government’s Help to Buy scheme. For more information, visit the on-site Sales & Marketing Suite which is open on weekdays between 10am and 5pm, from 10am to 7pm on Thursday and between 10.30am and 5.30pm on weekends. Alternatively, call 01293 852501, or visit www.crestnicholson.com/kilnwoodvale.

Education

Crawley pupils reduce local CO2 by Three Tonnes

In just two weeks Crawley school children reduced local air pollution by six kilogrammes of dangerous nitrogen oxide (NOx) and almost three tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) by walking, biking and scootering to school, instead of travelling by car.

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Pupils at Waterfield Primary School with Councillor Geraint Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability and Patrick Alexander, Bike It Officer at Sustrans.

As part of cycling and walking charity Sustrans’ annual Big Pedal challenge, children from eight Crawley schools used human power for an astonishing 18,284 journeys. 

This comes hard on the heels of two important new pieces of research:

  • Sustrans published YouGov data in March which showed that almost two-thirds (63%) of teachers would support a school gate vehicle ban during drop-off and pick-up times and that more than half (59%) want urgent Government action to improve air quality near schools
  • Public Health England called on local authorities in March to limit transport emissions urgently, banning idling car engines around schools and investing in foot and cycle paths.

NOx can cause breathing problems, reduced lung function and damage teeth. CO2 is a major contributor to climate change. In Crawley children travelled 12,655 miles actively during the challenge, which equates to travelling almost half way around the world. The reduction in CO2 and NOx was calculated by comparing this to the amount generated if all these journeys had been taken by car.

Councillor Geraint Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, said:

“It is fantastic to see an increasing number of schools in Crawley taking part in the Sustrans Big Pedal, whilst promoting sustainable travel to young people.”

Children at Waterfield Primary have won special recognition from Sustrans for their Big Pedal achievements, receiving a certificate in a presentation attended by Cllr Geraint Thomas. The Bike It Crew at Waterfield Primary are notoriously competitive. They held a Bike It Breakfast, Bling your Bike and daily assemblies to mass up a total of 4,386 journeys and a total score of 76.91%. 

Justin Moss, the Deputy Head of Waterfield Primary said,

“Our pupils are so motivated when it comes to travelling sustainably; they’re also very competitive. They walk, scoot and cycle regularly so the Big Pedal has been amazing for us over the past few years. We regularly talk about the benefits of exercise with the children in whole school assemblies and because of this the children understand the differences it can make to their moods and their ability to engage in their learning.

“At Waterfield we have an elected Bike It Crew and the Big Pedal is their biggest job during the year. They have worked tirelessly to encourage teachers and children to continue to travel sustainably as well as organising events and judging the Bling your Bike competition. I am extremely proud of them and all of their achievements this year.”

Hot on their heels was Seymour Primary, who organised Bike Days for all children from years three to six. These days provided an opportunity for children to progress their bike skills and have a go on the bike obstacle course. On these days the school was flooded with bicycles, scooters and active children.

Across Crawley eight schools took part, from a potential 35. While we can’t say what the impact would be if it was replicated across Crawley even just for two school terms these findings raise interesting questions.

Sustrans’ Regional Director for the South, James Cleeton, said,

“The children, families and schools of Crawley have shown how individuals can dramatically improve the world around them, by replacing cars with human power for just part of the daily routine.

“These children haven’t just prevented the emission of dangerous, invisible pollutants around their schools, but they’ve improved their mental and physical health, giving all of them a better start to the school day.

“At Sustrans, we’re so grateful to every local authority, school, teacher, parent and child who has helped make this possible. What a great start to summer – and a glimpse of what school mornings in Crawley could be like in future.”

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