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Expansion Of Bicester’s Oldest School Starts On Site


Work is underway to expand the footprint and offering at St Edburg’s CE Primary School, in Kingsmere, with Willmott Dixon breaking ground on the £12m project to increase pupil places by 50%.


Procured via the SCAPE framework and designed by Acanthus Clews Architects, the works mark a return to the site for Willmott Dixon, having built the original school in 2016 when it relocated from its historic building behind St Edburg’s Church in Bicester.


With a significant increase in housing around Kingsmere in recent years, the number of students attending the school has steadily increased from 160 in January 2016 – when the school was built – to 420 in September 2022, leading to many of the form entries being oversubscribed.


The school expansion located on a nearby satellite site and set to house the nursery, reception and key stage one classes will see the construction of a purpose-built, net-zero in operation (regulated) facility.


To make the building net-zero regulated, the design incorporates numerous sustainability elements to help lower running costs and future-proof it. It is designed to be BREEAM Very Good and will feature air source heat pumps, a PV array on the roof and seven electric vehicle charging points.


Michelle Cotterill, director at Willmott Dixon, said:


“Being back on site at St Edburg’s School and helping to expand their offering is really exciting. The school is the oldest in Bicester, but it continues to move with the times – modernising and expanding its facilities to offer the very best for pupils, so we’re really pleased to be back.”


“We’re also looking forward to getting to know the local community again. Throughout the project, our team will be engaging with local educational institutions to provide CV advice, mock interviews, site tours and work experience opportunities. We are also looking to run our award-winning enrichment programme that teaches secondary school students about the construction industry, and the careers available, and provides them with a Bronze Industrial Cadets certificate.”


Andy Terrey, headteacher at St Edburg’s CE Primary School, said:

“WITH DEMAND GROWING FOR PLACES AT THE SCHOOL, WE KNEW WE NEEDED TO EXPAND OUR FACILITIES. BY CONSTRUCTING A PURPOSE-BUILT SATELLITE SCHOOL, WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE A BRAND-NEW BUILDING THAT IS IDEAL FOR THE NEEDS OF YOUNGER CHILDREN – INCLUDING AREAS SUCH AS DEDICATED EXTERNAL PLAY AREAS, WHICH ARE KEY FOR OUTSIDE LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT.”

“We’re also able to meet the needs of local families head on, with new housing still underway in local community. I’m therefore really looking forward to seeing the works get underway and to be working with Willmott Dixon again, following the team’s fantastic work on our current school.”


Construction is now underway. Works are expected to be completed in June 2024, ready for the 2024/2025 school year.


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