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A west Norfolk school is to celebrate its growing community next week as it officially opens its new pre-school.
Sporle Church of England Primary School has been extended and refurbished to support the community's youngest children and now had a new outdoor play area, playroom and kitchen.
Norfolk County Council has led the £240,000 project, supporting Sporle Pre-School to move from its former home in the community centre, which had limited access to outdoor play. The move has increased the number of children at the Sporle School by nearly a third, with 66 school-age children and 21 in the pre-school.
Ann Steward, County Councillor for the area will cut a ribbon to officially open the new pre-school and extension on Tuesday 5 July at 11am. Children will be joining in the celebrations by playing djembe African drums and a family barbecue will follow.
Cllr Steward said: “It is fantastic to be able to bring all of the children of Sporle together in one place and will help to support the long-term future of this small school.
“Giving the youngest children an early taste of school life will also ease the transition when they start school and be of benefit to both groups of children as they learn to work together and support one another.”
The extension has been designed by NPS Ltd and built by EN Suiter and Sons Ltd. It includes a new classroom, office and toilets.
Malcolm Brockway, headteacher of Sporle School, said: “The new classroom is proving even more beneficial than we had anticipated. It has made the teaching and learning environment much more user friendly and has had a positive impact on the pupils' attitudes towards learning.
“The project has ensured the future sustainability of our village school and provides a bigger resource base so that we can expand on our extended schools provision and open our school to the community.”
The project is one of more than 50 Early Years projects to have benefited from capital funding over the last year.
Alison Thomas, Cabinet Member for Children's Services at Norfolk County Council, said: “This project has helped to ensure children in Sporle can access facilities that will boost their early learning. Outdoor play is really important in the Early Years, in supporting children's understanding of the outside world, helping them to explore their senses and giving them a chance to be active and enjoy the fresh air.
“This new building means the pre-school also has its own home for the first time, helping to secure its future and giving it the facilities it needs to raise the aspirations and achievements of the village's youngest children.”