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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.



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


Crawley student fighting her way to Olympic success

At just 12 years old, Keira Austin a student at Thomas Bennett Community College has been making the School proud with her incredible Karate achievements.



Keira was just 7 years of age when she started her karate classes and within a year, she had already won her first competition coming first in weapons, second in sparring and first in kata.

Keira’s passion and dedication to the sport has most recently taken her to Ireland where she participated in an international fighting competition with over 4,000 participants from all over the world.  During the lead up to the competition Keira was training on a daily basis totalling to approx. 13 hours a week.

In November Keira will enter another major competition in Blackpool, which if she is to win, will place her in the England national team. For this competition Keira’s Mum is hoping to gain a strong sponsorship to help with expenses as well as recognition from prestigious fighting organisations which will put Keira on to an even stronger path.

All of this experience and the national competitions Keira has entered are helping to move her up the ladder and pursue her final goal of becoming a professional fighter in the Olympics.

Alongside all of this, Keira is now taking part in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes which she attends for 2 hours a week.  Keira hopes that learning another style of fighting will assist her as she becomes older in becoming fully flexible and able to take part in many different types of competitions and tournaments whether it be karate or wrestling.

Head Teacher, Stuart Smith says,

“Keira’s achievements and outstanding dedication are absolutely admirable for someone so young.  We are incredibly proud of Kiera and all of her success.  With such an amazing work ethic and great commitment we feel sure that Keira’s dream of becoming an Olympic fighter will come to fruition.  We wish Keira the very best of luck at her competition in November.”

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