A new play area has been officially opened at Djanogly Northgate Primary school.

At the start of this academic year, the school received £1 million in funding from Nottingham City Council for an upgrade to double its pupil places. The move is already helping to solve a shortage of primary school places across Nottingham. It means that parents and children can stay local, and not have to travel long distances to get to school.

Councillor Sam Webster, Executive Assistant for Schools, Nottingham City Council, who opened the new play area, said: “Nottingham City Council has now invested £15 million to create over 1,600 new school places to meet the growing demand here in Nottingham. It’s a real privilege to meet the children who will benefit from the brand new facilities. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the scheme complete.”

From September this year, the school, which already has 420 children attending its Suez Street site in New Basford, opened its sister site on Sherwood Rise. This has created additional long-term capacity for another 420 children in vacant space at Djanogly City Academy secondary school’s Sherwood Rise premises. Part of the secondary has been converted to make it suitable for young children.

Liz Anderson, Executive Headteacher, Djanogly Northgate Academy, said: “We are delighted to officially open our state-of-the-art play area as part of an upgrade to provide more school places desperately needed across the city.”

She added: “Parents whose children have started with us have said what a difference it makes to be able to stay local at a good school. We know the best start in life is high quality teaching and all of our children have settled in very well.”

The new play area, by Playforce, is a central part of the refurbishment and features a wooden suspension bridge, tower, net tunnel, hang out hut and storyteller chair as well as musical bongo and chime panels, toadstools, and outdoor chalk and white boards.

There are currently 50 children on the roll at Djanogly Northgate Primary at Sherwood Rise, which operates independently of the secondary school. It is likely to reach full capacity by 2019. Djanogly Learning Trust sponsors the schools and representatives from the organisation also attended the launch.

The expansion project was given the go-ahead from the Department for Education and the school’s governing body and parents, and has received £1 million in funding from Nottingham City Council.

PHOTO CAPTION: Liz Anderson, Executive Headteacher, Djanogly Northgate Academy and Councillor Sam Webster, Executive Assistant for Schools, Nottingham City Council, with pupils at Djanogly Northgate School at the opening of a new play area