At last... history made as Holbrook C of E Primary School gets own hall after 175 years
FOR the first time in its 175-year-old history, a Derbyshire primary school has its own hall for assemblies, PE and dining.
Pupils at Holbrook C of E Primary School will no longer have to cross the road to eat dinner, have gym classes or worship in the village hall.
The £1 million project to build the school hall and kitchen was opened on Wednesday by former school secretary Lily Shaw, who is an MBE for her services to education.
Head teacher Andrew Davies said the new building, which is separated from the main school by an enclosed corridor, has made a "massive difference".
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He said: "Previously, the food was cooked elsewhere and transported to the village hall.
"But now we can cook our own, we have seen the number of children taking meals rise from 40 to 100 each day.
"Being able to cook on the premises means the catering staff have more freedom to cook items that might otherwise spoil if they had to be taken distance."
Mr Davies is also delighted that the school's 145 pupils have the use of the hall for PE, assemblies and other events.
He said: "As a church school, collective worship is important to us and takes place every day and so having the hall means we can all gather in one place without having to brave the wet and windy weather on bad days.
"We are also able to put out apparatus for the children to use during PE and games lessons, which we can store in the hall.
"Previously, we couldn't leave anything in the village hall. We are a school transformed."
Several years ago, it was suggested that the village hall could be improved but Mr Davies said that rules surrounding doing that made it difficult to do.
He said: "But we were lucky that Derbyshire County Council recognised the difficulties we were having as a school and about 18 months ago, building work was given the go-ahead.
"Being in a conservation area meant that the stone material had to match the existing school, adding to the cost.
"We can recoup some of this by hiring out the school hall to community groups and organisations."