New future for Fittleworth school taking shape

Over the past 19 years teaching assistant Liz Eldridge has seen many changes at Fittleworth First School.

And before retiring at the end of this term she has played a part in yet another change, by laying the first brick for its new classrooms.

"When I arrived there were only 36 children, split between two classes and I was told that my job was to help the teachers and make sure they were kept happy," she said.

"I remember lots of cups of tea were involved! The job is very different now."

Headteacher Graham Bloomfield explained the new building was emerging quickly.

"By the time the children return in September, all the walls should be up and ready to receive the roof," he said.

"In addition to the two new classrooms, a new library is being built and the existing library is being altered to create a kitchen, and we have now had confirmation that a new state-of-art pre-school will also be built."

He said all work should be completed by early February.

"We have been very lucky in the way in which the village community has rallied to support this project.

"It is doubtful that any sensible permanent solution could have been provided by September when we need the extra space for our Year 6 children.

"Rather than rush to meet this deadline, and to ensure we have a properly finished school ready to meet foreseeable future needs, we have worked hard to come up with robust and innovative contingency plans."

The pre-school has secured use of the Evangelical Church Hall and the First School will transfer its existing hall timetable to Fittleworth Village Hall next door.

"We owe a huge debt of gratitude to both of these village organisations, as without their blessing and support, the scale and scope of the building would have been much reduced.

"Fortunately, the Fittleworth community recognises that the children are our greatest asset."

From September the name of the school will change to Fittleworth Village School.

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