All systems are go for the merger of two village schools.

Just a few weeks after Kirklees Council gave the approval for Gilthwaites First School to take on Denby Dale Nursery pupils, plans for new buildings and play areas have been confirmed.

Denby Dale-based Gilthwaites will build a new unit for Foundation Stage youngsters along with an outdoor play area for all the extra children as it prepares to welcome children from two to ten-years-old from January next year.

The move of the nursery up to the Gilthwaites site will mean the end of an era in Denby Dale, as the old school building where the nursery is now was first opened to pupils in July 1874.

Headteacher Jackie Wood said: “I feel really excited about having the whole school on one site, providing outstanding care and education from 7.30am-6pm all year round.

Drawing of extension to Gilthwaites First School, Denby Dale
Drawing of extension to Gilthwaites First School, Denby Dale
 

“All Foundation, Key Stage One and Two children will have their own, high-quality designated areas in the school and this will enable teachers to work and plan together even better.”

Jackie added: “Our outstanding Ofsted-rated nursery will remain lively and vibrant and continue to feed other first schools in the surrounding villages.

“We will continue to work closely with them to ensure a smooth transition for all nursery children into their schools’ reception classes.

“It will take several months to get there and from September there will be some unavoidable disruption.”

Jackie said the school would work to minimise any problems and remain a safe, secure and happy place to learn for all children.

“Our outstanding levels of care and education will not be compromised,” she added.

The school is planning to mark the end of the era and is keen to start collecting photos or memories of both Denby Dale Nursery and Gilthwaites First Schools from over the last 140 years.

If you have any you’d like to share please contact the school by e-mail at memoriesofDDN@gmail.com

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