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Turf cutting marks major milestone at Cardiff school

Howardian primary in Penylan played host to a turf cutting ceremony this week, celebrating the start of construction on the school's new purpose-built home. 

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Headteacher, Dr Helen Hoyle welcomed Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council and Cabinet Member responsible for Education, Cllr Sarah Merry, local politicians, governors, Cardiff Council officers and staff from Morgan Sindall, the company building the school, to join some of the pupils to cut the ceremonial piece of earth. 

The £6.6m project, jointly funded by Cardiff Council and Welsh Government through the 21st Century Schools programme, will provide a new home for the school when it moves from its temporary location in existing buildings next to the site. 

Due for completion next summer, the new 2500 square metre, two storey building will accommodate up-to 420 pupils, in two classes per year, from Reception to Year 6, as well as offering 48 nursery places. 

The school has been designed to include community facilities that include a dedicated community room and a main and smaller hall that could be available outside of school hours. A multi-use games area is also included in the design. 

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Cardiff Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: "It was a pleasure to be invited to the turf cutting ceremony at Howardian primary. 

"As well giving me the chance to join the school in celebrating a major milestone in the project, I was also able to feel the genuine excitement from the children and the staff as they look forward to Howardian primary moving into a brand-new, purpose-built home next year. 

"Our Capital Ambition clearly sets out the council's priorities for education in the city, including our commitment to invest in improving and expanding our schools. 

"This exciting project at Howardian primary forms part of our £164m 21st Century Programme to deliver on that commitment. 

"Through this current round of investment we have built new schools are we are continuing to build new schools - including two new secondary schools and five new primary schools, as well as funding the growth of existing schools." 

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Dr Helen Hoyle, the new Howardian Primary School Headteacher, said "This is such an exciting moment for Howardian Primary.

"Ever since the school opened in 2015, under the leadership of Mr Colin Skinner and Miss Rachell Smith, everyone involved with the school has been looking forward to moving into our brand-new home. 

"The excitement builds with every milestone we reach, and this is a significant moment in the school's journey towards reaching that moment when we are handed the keys for our purpose built school. The children, parents, staff and the governing body are thrilled that work has begun. 

"There is a real sense of community spirit here at Howardian Primary, and we are all looking forward to continuing to work together to make the new school a great success." 

Regional Director Morgan Sindall, Rob Williams, said: "We are pleased to be working very closely with Cardiff Council to deliver this fantastic school. 

"We have a programme of exciting engagement activities that will benefit the pupils and surrounding community during this project."

The 21st Century Schools Programme is a collaboration between Welsh Government and local authorities in Wales to create the right schools in the right places. 

The main priorities of the investment programme are to:

  • Match the supply of with demand for places

  • Invest in new schools and refurbish existing schools

  • Meet demand for education in both English and Welsh

  • Create a nursery provision on primary school sites

The City of Cardiff Council's 21st Century Schools Programme totals £164m.