The History of our School
Our First Year, 2017 – 2018
We opened our doors to our first class of Reception children in September 2017. Our first temporary home was a portacabin, located in the grounds of another DGAT school, which welcomed one EYFS class and a small staff team.
Staff were incredibly resourceful in creating a purposeful and enriching learning environment, both indoors and outdoors.
The children settled happily into a hive of activity and Clearwater C of E Primary Academy quickly became a very close-knit school community. We enjoyed welcoming our families into school to share in their children’s celebrations; Harvest Festival, Wow assemblies and sports day, as well as fundraising events arranged by our newly-formed PTA and our first Nativity, hosted at St James’ Parish Church.
Being a tight school community helped enormously when planning permission for our permanent site on Clearwater Drive was rejected by Gloucester City Council in November 2017. The decision was appealed and the disappointment did not diminish the spirit of our school.
The children continued to thrive and enjoyed their first sports day and school trip to Westonbirt Arboretum in the summer term.
Planning permission was granted for a second portacabin to house our growing school during the academic year 2018 – 2019 and this was constructed during the summer holidays.
Our Second Year, 2018 – 2019
With our second portacabin in place, we welcomed our second class of Reception children, and our school became home to one EYFS class, one KS1 class and slightly more staff.
The appeal, which was lodged against the decision to refuse planning permission for our permanent site, took the form of a Public Inquiry. It was a worrying time for everyone but on 11th January 2019, planning permission was granted for Clearwater C of E Primary Academy to be built on the Clearwater Drive site. Everyone celebrated the wonderful news!
By May 2019, Kier Construction, the company who were contracted to undertake the construction of our new school, had begun preliminary groundworks at the Clearwater Drive site. The boundaries of the site were now fenced off and Ecological Mitigation works could commence. The Ecological Mitigation works were completed by mid-November 2019.
We continued to make the most of our temporary accommodation and the children delighted in activities including violin lessons, piano recitals, a visit form the Fire Service and even some snowman building!
With another intake of Reception children on the horizon, our time at our first temporary home was coming to an end; we needed a site which could offer more space; space which would allow us to continue to grow whilst our ‘forever home’ was under construction. In July 2019, we said goodbye to the portacabins on the Hardwicke School site. We were on the move!
Our Third Year, 2019 – 2020
In September 2019, we welcomed our third class of Reception children and moved into our second – and much bigger! – temporary accommodation on Olympus Business Park in Quedgeley. We were now a school community of one EYFS class, two KS1 classes and an expanding team of staff.
Everyone settled very happily into our new temporary ‘home’ and the school year started with the anticipation of a busy, fun-filled year of learning ahead. Families enjoyed sharing in their children’s Wow assemblies, Harvest Festival and Christmas celebrations. A special blessing of the new school accommodation by Bishop Robert was a highlight.
In January 2020, excitement was mounting over the construction work which was due to commence at our permanent site on Clearwater Drive. The children enjoyed a school visit from the contractor Kier, who extended an invite to all of the children and staff to visit the site. At the end of January, the first group of children, accompanied by our Chair of Governors, took part in the ground-breaking ceremony. At last, our ‘forever home’ was becoming a reality!
March 2020 saw the first partial closure of schools across the United Kingdom, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst the majority of children continued their learning journeys at home, construction work at the Clearwater Drive site continued at pace! By the end of March, the steel frame of the building had been completed and our school and its grounds had started to take shape.
Whilst the national lockdown brought its own challenges, the weather was most definitely on our side! Work on the site continued to progress well and by May, construction of the ground floor slab and the installation of the first floor and roof level concrete floor slabs were completed. Canopy foundations and rain water drainage had been done and the substructure waterproofing had been completed.
In June 2020, we were able to re-open our doors and welcome most of the children back into school. Whilst school life looked a little different, the children settled back in with gusto and enjoyed the remainder of the school year. By July, school work may have stopped for the summer holidays, but Kier continued working very hard on our new school!
Our Fourth Year, 2020 – 2021
In September 2020, we grew to one EYFS class, two KS1 classes and one KS2 class. Over the summer break, a fourth classroom was constructed to accommodate our Juniors! The children settled happily into their bubbles and whilst we were unable to invite families into school, Class Dojo allowed us to continue to share the children’s performances with their families remotely. The children put on fantastic Harvest Festival, Remembrance and Christmas performances.
By December, the first school term wasn’t the only thing to have been completed – Kier had confirmed the handover date for our brand-new building. As we said farewell to the children for the Christmas break, we also said farewell to our second temporary home – we were on the move again, this time to our forever home on Clearwater Drive!
Kier had done an exceptional job, and on December 22nd 2020, the children and their families were invited to have a (socially-distanced!) look around the exterior of the school. Our Mustard Seed award winners took part in the key hand-over ceremony. It was a really joyous occasion; the whole school community had waited a long time for our very own school building to become a reality, and everyone relished in this special day!
Staff worked incredibly hard to ensure the school was ready to welcome the children on 7th January 2021. The whole school community was disappointed by the Government’s announcement on 5th January that schools were once again to partially close. But in true Clearwater style, the staff and children adapted and all of the children continue to make the school very proud with their ‘can do’ attitude!
Please take a tour of our beautiful new school ?