St Mary’s – set to re-open in December 2023

The pioneering new eco building for a Derby primary school destroyed by fire is set to open to pupils and staff in December 2023.

St Mary’s Catholic Voluntary Academy will return to its Broadway site on Monday, December 4th 2023, three years after the blaze at the school’s original building.

The fire broke out at the school in October 2020 and pupils and staff have been based at St James’ House, in Mansfield Road, Derby, since April 2021.

St Mary’s new building is set to be the UK’s greenest primary school, and first biophilic school, as part of a pilot project by the Department for Education.

Biophilic design focuses on connecting those inside with nature, with the goal of promoting physical and mental health.

Amanda Greaves, Executive Headteacher at St Mary’s, said: “This move is a hugely positive and long-awaited milestone and we know that pupils and staff will be excited to finally return to Broadway, to a brand new biophilic school.

“I would like to thank staff for their loyalty, resilience and everything they have done these past three years to provide the very best education in the most difficult circumstances for the good of our pupils and families.

“We continue to be extremely grateful and humbled by the ongoing support we receive from our parents and carers and we would like to thank them for their patience, understanding and support over the past three years.

“The whole community will benefit from what the new school will offer, complementing our mission and vision for St Mary’s now and in the future. ”

The official handover of the site from the contractors, Tilbury Douglas UK, is set to take place on November 24th.

The school will then take INSET days from Monday, November 27th to Friday, December 1st in order to complete the move and prepare the new school to welcome pupils on Monday, December 4th.

Kevin Gritton, Chief Executive of the St Ralph Sherwin Trust, said: “This is a new chapter for St Mary’s and this wonderful new school will be a place where staff will continue to provide children with the very best education and care.

“St Mary’s recent Ofsted report saw it being graded Good overall with Outstanding features and we are looking forward to seeing the school go from strength to strength.”

Simon Butler, Managing Director Building Central at Tilbury Douglas, said: “It is a great to see progress being made onsite and we are continuing to push on with the finishing elements of the build. We look forward to handing the building over at the end of the year for the students, staff and community to use.”