Another step forward as new Portsmouth infants school is officially opened

Julian Brown (60) with his family (l-r) son-in-law Paul Saunders (29), daughter Sara Saunders (28), wife Karen Brown (60) and daughter Kate Brown (31).

Picture: Sarah Standing (170958-5461) PPP-170721-151239001

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It’s been a busy couple of months here at Mayfield as we’ve had a fresh group of children joining our new infant school.

And last week, we celebrated with an opening ceremony.

ITC MAYFIELD OPENING   (RS)    MRW    13/11/2014 ''It was the opening of the Infant Section at Mayfield School in Portsmouth making it the first state school in the area to become an 'all-through' school ''With a welcome by The Headteacher David Jeapes speeches were made by Cllr. Donna Jones Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr. Neill Young Cabinet Member for Children and Education and The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr. Steven Wylie ''(left to right front) Mind the scissors ! - Infant School pupils Albie Macleod (4) with Avani Salmon (4), and The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr. Steven Wylie '(left to right standing) Head Boy Ryan Jolliffe (15), Headteacher David Jeapes, Head Girl Lucy Burroughs (16), Cllr. Donna Jones and Cllr. Neill Young ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (143233-6200) PPP-141113-183113003

ITC MAYFIELD OPENING (RS) MRW 13/11/2014 ''It was the opening of the Infant Section at Mayfield School in Portsmouth making it the first state school in the area to become an 'all-through' school ''With a welcome by The Headteacher David Jeapes speeches were made by Cllr. Donna Jones Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr. Neill Young Cabinet Member for Children and Education and The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr. Steven Wylie ''(left to right front) Mind the scissors ! - Infant School pupils Albie Macleod (4) with Avani Salmon (4), and The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr. Steven Wylie '(left to right standing) Head Boy Ryan Jolliffe (15), Headteacher David Jeapes, Head Girl Lucy Burroughs (16), Cllr. Donna Jones and Cllr. Neill Young ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (143233-6200) PPP-141113-183113003

Council leader Donna Jones attended along with councillor Neill Young and the Lord Mayor Steven Wylie, and had a tour of the infant section.

There aren’t many all-through schools in the country so to be able to open the first one in Portsmouth is an honour and a great achievement.

I want to thank all those who have been involved in the journey of turning this vision into a reality. Particularly those parents who took the big decision to send their children here to start their educational journey – we welcome them and their children into our school.

Our pupils have been a credit to themselves and the school in the way they have adapted to the new environment and how they conduct themselves around our newest and youngest pupils.

They’ve been instrumental in introducing this new infant provision within the school.

It’s gone brilliantly so far. The older children have appreciated having even more of the pre-school children moving around Year R and having them more visible over the school site.

The children in Year R do feel a part of the Mayfield family. The school feels like an external family with the older ones and the younger ones integrating. They are sharing smiles and waves.

I want to give thanks to the cross-party support the school has received in establishing the project.

While an all-through school is well established in the independent sector, it’s a new model for state schools for Portsmouth.

There are very few schools that are all through.

I want to thank the architects who have done a brilliant job in turning a 1932 building into an up-to-date, modern learning facility.

It’s been great being able to have it there from day one and not have to wait for windfalls of money. We have hit the ground running. The children and parents have really appreciated it.

The children have settled into their new environment.

Already the Year R children are making great strides.

I also want to thank the governing body. Without them, this project wouldn’t have gone anywhere. They have been a real driving force.

What the pupils say...

William Middleton, 5, Year R

‘I like my new school.

‘It’s bigger than pre-school.

‘There are lots of places to go and comfy places to sit.

‘I’m learning all my letters and sounds.

‘I enjoy dinner time and play time with my friends.”

Darcy Longcake, four, Year R

‘I like my new classroom.

‘I think that our new school uniforms are very smart.

‘I enjoy playing outside at discovery time.

‘I especially like playing on the bikes with my friends.’

Greta Milne, four, Year R

‘I like playing on the bikes in the playground at discovery time.

‘I really like my classroom.

‘It’s all new and shiny.

‘I think that my favourite part of the day at school is story time and playtime.’

Lucy Burroughs, 16, Year 11

‘Having been part of the school for the last five years it’s been a pleasure to witness the changes and to be part of creating the future of Mayfield - which our new Year R pupils represent.

‘It’s very exciting and I am glad to have been part of it.’

Ryan Jolliffe, 15, Year 11

‘The new all-through school is brilliant and it has had a positive effect on the senior pupils too. The atmosphere is different and everyone’s behaviour is better.

‘All pupils are benefiting from having younger pupils - it’s made us all more thoughtful and aware of others.’