Shared celebrations as work begins on two new primary schools for north Cardiff

The turf has been cut on the site of two primary schools in north Cardiff, signalling the start of work to build a brand-new home for both Gabalfa Primary School and Ysgol Gymraeg Glan Ceubal.




Gabalfa primary head teacher, Mrs Carrie Jenkins, and Ysgol Gymraeg Glan Ceubal head teacher, Mrs Lisa Mead, along with pupils from both schools, welcomed guests to the turf cutting ceremony in celebration of construction getting underway.


Jointly funded by Cardiff Council and Welsh Government, through the 21st Century Schools programme, the £8.2m project will provide accommodation for both schools in a shared layout on a 32,000 square metre site.


Designed by Project, Design and Development in Cardiff Council, the new building will be situated on land between the current schools on Colwill Road and, once completed next summer, the current school buildings will be demolished.


The site will be fully re-landscaped and each school will have its own multi-use games areas, playing field, forest school and grow zone.


Both of the new schools will be one form entry, and each will accommodate up-to 210 pupils, from reception class through to year 6, as well as offering nursery provision.


Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, joined the head teachers and children to cut the turf, along with Cardiff North Assembly Member, Julie Morgan, Llandaff North Councillors, Dilwar Ali and Jennifer Burke-Davies, Governors from both schools, and staff from Cardiff Council and Dawnus, the company building the new schools.


Commenting on the occasion, Cllr Sarah Merry said: "I was so pleased to share this special occasion with the children and staff at Gabalfa Primary School and Ysgol Gymraeg Glan Ceubal.


"This is a really exciting moment for both schools, marking a significant milestone in the project to give them a brand new home.

"It is a very different build to other new schools in Cardiff. The innovative shared design creates an efficient way for us to provide for both Welsh-medium and English medium education on the same site.


"The scheme has been designed in a way that ensures that both schools retain their separate identity, while allowing them to work together for their local community."




Speaking at the event, Gabalfa Primary School Headteacher, Mrs Carrie Jenkins, said: "We are very excited to be given the opportunity to share the new facilities with Ysgol Gymraeg Glan Ceubal and we are fully committed to building on the positive relationship we have, as well as forging new ones in the future."


Ysgol Gymraeg Glan Ceubal was established in 2009, when a starter class was created using some of the space in Gabalfa Primary School, and since then the Welsh-medium school has continued to grow.


Head teacher at the school, Mrs Lisa Mead, said: "The new school will allow us to work in a unique way, sharing our vision and values, our expertise and enthusiasm, to ensure that Ysgol Gymraeg Glan Ceubal and Gabalfa Primary School are strong community focused schools."


Dawnus Regional Director, Matthew Morgan, said: "Dawnus are delighted to commence construction of the new Gabalfa and Glan Ceubal Primary Schools. Through our programme of education projects across Wales we are able to provide maximum benefit to the Welsh pound by investing in people, supporting the local supply chain and engagement with the wider community. We look forward to working collaboratively with Cardiff and the schools on this exciting project."


Cardiff's current round of 21st Century Schools investment totals £174m. The programme includes seven brand new schools which are in the process of being created: Eastern High, Cardiff West Community High School, Gabalfa Primary School, Howardian Primary School, Ysgol Gymraeg Glan Ceubal, Ysgol Gymraeg Glan Morfa and Ysgol Gymraeg Hamadryad.