Work to build the primary school in Orchard Grove has now officially finished, with contractors completing the project and handing the keys over. In a ceremony to mark the completion of the project, the state-of-the-art new facility has now become part of the Blackdown Education Partnership, with schools in Somerset and Devon.

“We are delighted to be able to offer excellent education to the Orchard Grove community in this cutting-edge school,” Lorraine Heath OBE, CEO of Blackdown Education Partnership, was reported as saying about the milestone.

“Our children are very lucky to have such fabulous classrooms and resources and we are grateful to everyone, from the architects, designers, construction teams and the local council who worked so hard to make it happen.”

“But a school is more than just its buildings and we pledge to work hard every day to do justice to the vision behind Orchard Grove and secure an exceptional education for our children as well as a great place to work for our staff”.

Orchard Grove Primary welcomed its first cohort of children in September 2023. The school centres itself firmly in the heart of its local community and supports this by ensuring pupils have a clear sense of what makes a good citizen and a good neighbour. Within the setting of Somerset’s first net zero carbon school, children will be inspired by a unique curriculum that is preparing them for lifelong learning and a positive impact in the world.

The school will offer places to 420 pupils from Reception to year 6, as well as 52 nursery places and feature three sports pitches, a production kitchen and a library. It will serve the surrounding communities and the design allows for an extension to accommodate a further 210 children if these are needed in the future.

Funded by Somerset Council as part of their School Growth Programme, the £12.3million build will incorporate solar panel technology, air source heat pumps and electric vehicle charging points in line with the Council’s commitment to decarbonisation.