RLT’s new Witney primary school opens gates

The first new primary school in Witney for almost two decades threw open its gates and welcomed its first pupils this week. Term started on Monday for the first 30 reception year children at Windrush Church of England Primary School.

The occasion was marked by an informal ribbon cutting carried out by Paul James, the chief executive of River Learning Trust (RLT), which will operate the school alongside the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education (ODBE). A formal opening event will be held at the school at the start of October.

Before handing out cake and balloons, Mr James told children, parents and staff that they had a “unique and wonderful opportunity to shape a new school” .

Windrush headteacher Claire Doland said: “We are very proud to be opening a brilliant school that will challenge and inspire our children to love learning for life. We have fantastic facilities and offer a broad, deep and exciting curriculum underpinned by Christian values and we welcome children and families from all faiths and none. Our school has a strong culture of aspiration for all where children will be inspired and challenged to be the best that they can be.

“Schools are at the heart of any community, but they are particularly central to the growth of new ones like Windrush Place and Colwell Green. We know that we have a big role to play in making this community a great place to live and for children to grow up – and we will be working tirelessly to make sure we achieve this.”

Windrush’s initial intake will be 30 pupils, although it will have the capacity to increase to 45 children a year in due course. The school – the first to open in the town since Madley Brook in 2003 – offers nursery places, as well as a breakfast club and after-school care.