Wave Goodbye, Say Hello

New Countess Gytha School

Image courtesy of BAM Construction Ltd.

A school hit by significant flooding in South Somerset is gearing up to celebrate an exciting new start – and mark the end of an era.

Staff and children at Countess Gytha Primary School in Queen Camel are preparing to move to their brand new school, after Somerset County Council’s construction work completed ahead of schedule. The new building is located on West Camel Road, away from the flood zone, made possible thanks to an £4million investment by the authority.

The school is celebrating the transition with two events. The first, on Tuesday 24 May, will be held at the current school, and will be pupils’ last day at the original building, and will be Queen’s birthday-themed.

The second, on Wednesday 8 June, will mark the first day at the new school for pupils, with an afternoon of song and dance, followed by a village-themed tea party – with pupils leading the way in giving parents, families, and members of the local community a tour of their new school.

Sue English, Head teacher at Countess Gytha said: “Pupils, parents, staff and governors are so delighted that after so many years our replacement school has now been built. It stands so magnificently on the entrance to West Camel Road.  The new site offers opportunity upon opportunity; educationally these are exciting times for our youngsters!

“As a school we would like to offer our sincere thanks to Somerset County Council for all their input and funding and to the local community for all their unwavering support.  It has been a pleasure to work alongside BAM Construction Ltd who have interpreted the brief well and have built a school ready and fit for the 21st Century and beyond.”

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Somerset County Council, said: “I’m so pleased that this project is now complete, and proud that we and everyone at the school have been able to make this happen. Children and families of Queen Camel, both now and in the future, are going to benefit from this fantastic new school environment, away from the risk of flooding. I look forward to celebrating with them.”

The new school, built by BAM Construction Ltd, is a modern single storey school building with a pre-school area, play areas, sports courts, and bike storage. There will be a pedestrian crossing on West Camel Road for the school and community. The car park at the new site has space for staff and visitor parking and an on-site drop off and pick up area for parents, minibuses, coaches and deliveries.

Countess Gytha’s original school structure is 140 years-old and located in a flood zone. The building and children’s work were damaged by flood water in the past.

Notes to Editors:

Members of the media are invited to attend the celebration event at 1.45pm on Tuesday 8 June – there will be opportunities to take photos of the new build. Please email Daisy Blacklock on dblacklock@somerset.gov.uk if you plan to attend.