A NEW £3.6 million primary school was opened by ther Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Rev Michael Langrish, in Cranbrook yesterday (Tuesday).
St Martin’s C of E Primary will serve the new Cranbrook community and will eventually accommodate 420 children with a 26-place nursery.
Every classroom is equipped with the latest Apple technology and has its own outside space.
There is a purpose-built Foundation Stage, an airy and spacious hall, a library at the heart of the school and a dedicated kitchen.
Outside there is a large woodland, a pond with a pontoon, a large playground and extensive playing fields.
Headteacher Tania Beard said: ““St Martin’s is going to be the hub of this community and we will grow with the community.
“We opened our doors to our first pupils last September and we have been steadily growing ever since.
“We have incredible facilities throughout the building and a huge area of woodland with a pond and a pontoon which we will use for pond-dipping and will be part of our Forest School.
“The children will grow fruit and vegetables in their outside areas and our chef will include their produce in the lunches he cooks and the other meals he will produce.
“We know that good emotional health is absolutely essential for effective learning and so we have created a Wellbeing Centre.
“This space will ensure that all our children, staff and parents have access to the best possible information and support so everyone can learn successfully.
“We will be working with education, health and social services through the Wellbeing Centre to help promote health and wellbeing across the community.
We really do intend to be at the heart of the Cranbrook community and a key hub as it grows.”
Devon County Council leader John Hart added: “Too often, developers are allowed to build extensive housing estates without providing proper community facilities.
“Here the council has worked closely with East Devon District Council, the diocese and the developers to ensure that families moving into Cranbrook have some of the community resources they need right from the start.”