Following delays in construction, students at the new Bicester school will be temporarily hosted at Gagle Brook Primary School. This page will answer some of the questions parents and members of our school community might have.
Why has this happened?
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the site construction was interrupted and, even though progress has been positive in recent weeks, the completion of building works has understandably been delayed. Because of this, it is not possible for Whitelands children to safely access the site in September. It is expected that the development will be completed by January, although it is possible that it could be completed sooner.
How will the safety of my child be ensured with the extra students at Gagle Brook school?
Gagle Brook is a newly built school and so currently has the capacity to host extra students. We will also be ensuring that both school communities have separate spaces within Gagle Brook, with individual entrances, play areas, classrooms, and toilet facilities. It is not currently expected that any students from either school will come into contact with each other, in line with current social distancing guidelines.
How will the increased traffic around the school site be managed?
While Gagle Brook has been designed for a larger capacity and should therefore be able to manage increased numbers of pupils, bus services for Whitelands Students have been arranged with Oxford County Council to limit the number of vehicles at site. Whitelands students will arrive after Gagle Brook pupils have started the school day to minimise traffic around the school.
How long will this arrangement last?
The Whitelands Academy site is scheduled to be ready by as early as November. However, in anticipation of any potential further delays, Whitelands Academy students could be hosted at Gagle Brook until as late as the end of term 2 (December 2020).
What lunch arrangements for school lunches will be made for both sets of pupils?
Gagle Brook students will have the same provision as in previous years. Lunch times for Gagle Brook students will be staggered in line with coronavirus safety guidelines. Whitelands students will be asked to bring packed lunches during this time to minimise risk. We will contact those students who receive free school meals to arrange provision.
Will Gagle Brook’s nursery provision be affected in any way?
No - all Gagle Brook classes and provision throughout the day will remain as is expected. We will also be welcoming our first year 2 class at this time.
Will any areas previously available for Gagle Brook pupils be made unavailable during this period?
Given the small number of pupils at Gagle Brook, they had not utilised all outside space at break times and lunch times. They will continue using all the areas they had access to previously. They will also be able to use the hall and all classrooms they had previously accessed so no change will be made to their provision (other than that required by coronavirus safety measures).
Will the Crowdcast event, taking place on Friday 10th July, be shared?
Yes - a video recording of the event will be uploaded to the school website and social media channels shortly after taking place.