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Eco-academy is first primary school proposed for Waterbeach New Town





Deneia Primary Academy will be the first primary school at the development of the former barracks site in Waterbeach.

Jonathan Culpin, CEO of Anglian Learning, and Caroline Foster, project director at Urban&Civic - Anglian Learning and Urban&Civic have been working on plans for Deneia Primary Academy, the first primary school at the development of the former barracks at Waterbeach. (59547605)
Jonathan Culpin, CEO of Anglian Learning, and Caroline Foster, project director at Urban&Civic - Anglian Learning and Urban&Civic have been working on plans for Deneia Primary Academy, the first primary school at the development of the former barracks at Waterbeach. (59547605)

The name reflects the history of the area and will be part of Anglian Learning, a multi-academy trust covering Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk. It will be built as part of Urban&Civic’s development and, subject to successful final planning permission, will open from September 2024 for children aged to 11.

Anglian Learning has been working with Urban&Civic, Van Heyningen & Haward Architects, Cambridgeshire County Council and the school builders RG Carter throughout the design stages. The 630-place, three-form entry academy will have large grounds and be an environmentally friendly building. It will be built as a nearly net zero energy building and whole life carbon emissions are minimised within the proposals.

Provision for each year group will be created using linked classrooms and shared breakout spaces. The academy has additional facilities to provide for children with special educational needs.

The school has also been designed into the wider development by providing nearby woodland play areas and a car-free zone, so the children can walk, cycle and scoot safely to school. It will also have a shared public square for parents to meet and the community to come together.

Jonathan Culpin, CEO of Anglian Learning, said: “We are delighted to be the sponsors for this new primary school. As a trust our vision is for dynamic, empowered learners who will thrive and lead within their community. Deneia Primary Academy will be built with an outstanding setting and learning environment, both indoors and outdoors, and this will enthuse the children in their learning and deliver on our ambition.”

Rachael Johnston, the school’s executive headteacher, said: “I am thrilled to be leading the establishment of this new school for Anglian Learning. The eco-credentials of the school will significantly influence our curriculum. For example, the extensive grounds, including mature woodland, pond and wildlife area will provide the opportunity for outdoor learning through our Forest School while the orchard, with heritage fruit trees, will provide pupils with the experience of growing their own food and be incorporated in lessons on cookery and nutrition.”

She added that there will be a strong focus on the arts due to the formal memorandum of understanding the trust has with Arts Council England.

Caroline Foster, project director at Urban&Civic, said: “This is a significant milestone for the development, and we are really pleased to be working with an academy trust that shares our vision for the community. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the county council and Anglian Learning on the delivery of Waterbeach’s first primary school in an inspirational woodland setting.”

Deneia Primary Academy will be the sixteenth school to join Anglian Learning. Formed in 2016, it spans education from early years through to Year 13 with nine primary schools and six secondary schools, including two sixth forms.



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