Wellingborough primary school now full and fighting fit for the future
A Wellingborough primary school has filled all its places seven years after a major expansion project.
Redwell Primary School opened in 1977, originally as a primary school but became two separate schools - Redwell Infant School and Redwell Junior School.
In 2012, the local authority asked to increase the schools' intake from 60 pupils per year group to 90, two years later the Department for Education asked the two schools to merge under the leadership of one headeacher, Anne Ansell.
Mrs Ansell said: "The school has changed in so many ways in my 13 years here as the headteacher.
"With all of this change, the one constant that we are very proud of is the family values that are shared across the whole school community."
Work started to physically join the two buildings together in 2015 with the school reaching full capacity this September after welcoming its third Year 6 class.
The school is now concentrating on improving their outdoor spaces with new play equipment for key stage one pupils, a sensory garden, a trail around the school for their daily mile and a nine-station outdoor gym area with safety surface.
Part-funded with a £10,000 grant from the 'Sugar Tax', the remainder of the £18,000 was provided by a grateful grandparent, the PTA and school funds.
Key stage two pupils can use the fitness apparatus on a rota basis with the an extra session on Fridays for the 'most respectful' year group.
Year 5 pupils, who have been using the new equipment, agreed it was fun.
Holly, 10, said: "It is interactive and it's more fun and surreal - like walking on air.
Logan, also 10, added: "It's amazing. I like the air walker because it's very fun and gives me exercise."
Mrs Ansell said: "It's been a long time in the planning. The whole incentive was promoting healthy lifestyles. We purposefully chose activities where two to three children have to work collaboratively. It's child-sized and designed specifically for children."
All the 630 pupils were presented with a leather bookmark to celebrate the school reaching full capacity since the merger.
Mrs Ansell added: "We still have a very calm and welcoming environment that visitors to the school regularly comment on, which can be a challenge with such a large school.
"We're very proud that we have a very close-knit family feel and that it's polite, calm and a nice place to be."