Boston’s newest primary school opened its doors to pupils last week – and the head promised this is just the beginning for the project.
Boston Pioneers Free School opened in the former Conway School site in Tunnard Street last Wednesday with education minister Michael Gove due for an official opening later in the year.
The school is free from council control and gets its cash direct from the Government. It has chosen to use the International Primary Curriculum and utilises iPads and Apple technology.
It is operating a ‘stage not age’ policy – where pupils are grouped by ability rather than age, with their progress reviewed every six weeks.
The Conway building has had a £100,000 revamp over the summer to get it ready for pupils, with 56 of the 60 places already taken.
Head Jo Bland, who moved from Fishtoft Primary School to take up the post, said: “Seven weeks ago the building was derelict. Ofsted came and said they loved our plans but that the building was grim and derelict and we’d never open in time. We had an amazing team of builders and they transformed the place.”
It will stay in the building for a year and is submitting plans for the former Ford garage in Fydell Crescent, with a view to also keeping on the ex-Conway site too.
The new building is set to feature a ‘4G’ classroom – where the floor can be transformed into a virtual bed of ‘crunchy’ sand, for example, if pupils are studying Egypt to transport them to the scene of their studies.
That state-of-the-art kit will be available to the community to use after school hours.
Miss Bland said the Department of Education had said theirs was the best free school application of the last round.
MP Mark Simmonds also welcomed the arrival of the new school.
Boston Pioneers is one of 93 new ‘free schools’ that opened in England this month and Mr Simmonds praised the policy for ‘delivering what hardworking parents want’.
Mr Simmonds said: “I am delighted that the Boston Pioneers Free School has opened in Boston. A lot of people have worked incredibly hard to get this new school to this stage and they have done a fantastic job for the local community.
“The Conservatives are making sure many more parents have the choice of a great local state school for their children. What parents want is strong discipline and high standards, and that is what these schools will deliver.”