Major expansion sees Sherford school double in size

Official opening of the extension by the Sherford Consortium WeST and Devon Contractors
-Credit: (Image: John Allen Photography)

A new extension has been completed at a school in Sherford offering the children indoor and outdoor learning and play spaces. The major expansion project has seen Sherford Vale School and Nursery double its capacity in the future.

The 10-month construction project saw a second wing added to the school building and the creation of new high-quality facilities, state-of-the-art equipment, and indoor and outdoor learning and play spaces. The new structure mirrors the existing classroom wing, with a pitched roof and a central corridor.

Indoors, there are eight new classrooms, plus workspaces, cloakrooms and toilets. Outside, is a new play area and gazebo, which add to the school’s expansive playgrounds and green space.

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The teams delivering the project handed the finished facility over to Westcountry Schools Trust (WeST) in an official ceremony to mark the milestone, which also enabled pupils and families to explore the new space and thank those involved. The school expansion was funded by the Sherford Consortium – a partnership between award-winning national housebuilders, Taylor Wimpey and Vistry Group, which includes Linden Homes, Bovis Homes and Countryside Partnerships – and supported by Devon County Council, to enable the early delivery of the project.

The construction was led by Devon Contractors and designed by Stride Treglown architects. In increasing the size of the school, it takes Sherford Vale from one form entry to two form entry, to meet the needs of the growing town.

It now has the potential to hold up to 460 pupils between the ages of 2 and 11, paving the way for many more pupils to join the thriving school community. While elements of the work were carefully scheduled to take place during holidays to minimise disruption, much of the construction took place within term time and pupils took an active and keen interest in the work.

Sherford Vale staff worked closely with Devon Contractors to make the most of this opportunity and turn it into a learning experience. Almost six years since Sherford Vale opened and welcomed a small intake of pupils, the school has grown significantly and now has 250 pupils – and was at full capacity until this new wing was added.

Part of the renowned WeST family of schools, Sherford Vale has gone from strength to strength and was recently rated ‘good’ by OFSTED. Based right in the heart of the Sherford community, this is the first of four new schools that will serve the new town and the surrounding area.

Peter Sadler, Managing Director of Vistry Cornwall South West, part of the Sherford Consortium, said: “The expansion of Sherford Vale is a major moment in the development of Sherford; needing to expand the school because the demand for places is there, shows how Sherford is growing and progressing. To have such a well-regarded and popular school on the doorstep is a huge advantage in this community - and doubling its capacity means even more families can benefit now.

"This is another step forward for Sherford as we shape and support the future of the town, and it’s particularly fitting that this is a facility that will shape and support the future of Sherford’s youngest residents.”

Susie Evans, Headteacher at Sherford Vale, said: “We are thrilled to announce the completion of a new wing at our school, designed to significantly enhance our educational provision and create an enriched learning environment for our pupils. This expansion reflects our ongoing commitment to providing high-quality education and ensuring that our facilities meet the needs of our growing school community.

“We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the contractors for their outstanding work throughout this project. Their professionalism and dedication have been exemplary, keeping us informed at every stage and ensuring the project was completed on time and to the highest standards.”

Rob Haring, CEO of Westcountry Schools Trust (WeST), said: "We are absolutely delighted with the completion of the new extension at Sherford Vale. This expansion not only provides wonderful new opportunities for local children but also represents a significant step towards our mission of ensuring 'every child in a great school'.

"With these enhanced facilities, we can support even more students in achieving their full potential in a nurturing and high-quality learning environment."

Nigel Whelan, Director at Devon Contractors, said: "We are thrilled to have been the contractor delivering the extension to this vital facility. The new expansion will provide more opportunities for children to attend school in the local area.

"A big thank you to our supply chain, staff, and suppliers who have worked tirelessly to complete the project ahead of schedule. We hope the school and its students enjoy their new facility."

To apply for a place at Sherford Vale, families need to apply via the local authority that covers the area where they live – for some that will be Devon County Council and for others it will be Plymouth City Council. The school website has information about both the school and the nursery, as well as admission details for both Devon and Plymouth local authorities.