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Improvements to be made to Abergavenny school site

Tim Bird, Sustainable Communities for Learning Advisor

As work on the King Henry VIII School site has begun, Monmouthshire County Council’s Sustainable Communities for Learning Team have been hosting engagement sessions in Abergavenny’s primary schools to support pupils in their understanding of sustainability and sustainable school design.

After the plans for the new 3-19 school were given the green light by Welsh Government, Full Council and the Planning Committee during last academic year, the building programme has made a successful start. For example, the new bus drop-off and parent pick-up on Pen-y-Pound Lane is now open and is operating successfully.

New bus drop-off and parent pick-up on Pen-Y-Pound Lane

Through consultations, Student Councils have helped the Design Team make important decisions on aspects such as outdoor learning, classroom design and sustainability.

On returning to the new school year, the Council’s Sustainable Communities for Learning Team have been able to feedback to pupils how their ideas have been incorporated into the design, as well as sharing with them the sustainability features of the new school. The new 3-19 school will be Monmouthshire’s first NZC (Net Zero Carbon) school.

‘Sustainable Buildings’ workshop with models made by pupils

The Sustainable Communities for Learning Team have been visiting primary schools within the catchment area of the King Henry VIII school, hosting a ‘Sustainable Buildings’ workshop. The workshops include Year 5 and 6 classes who may enrol in the new school in September 2023 and September 2024.

Cllr. Martyn Groucutt, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “I am so pleased to see the incredible progress being made to the Abergavenny 3-19 school site. Having a sustainable, NZC school in Monmouthshire will be a huge step in the right direction for the younger generation. I am really looking forward to seeing how much the engagement sessions with pupils have positively affected the design process of the new school, all whilst the pupils are educating themselves on important matters, such as sustainability and reducing a carbon footprint.”