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Late on the evening of the 26th October 2023, our little school caught fire, following some works that were taking place in the roof.

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Seven local pumps attended the fire, including those from Sheppey, Maidstone and Chatham, as well as Teynham, Sittingbourne and Faversham, and they successfully controlled the fire and managed to put it out within 15 minutes. These photos are taken of the damage to the school on that evening, once the school was handed back to us. 


As the headteacher, I had no idea where to start with the next steps; I had an emergency plan but had never really considered that one day the school may catch fire, so as a staff, we had to consider the priorities and the resources we had available to us. We needed to get everyone back into face-to-face education as soon as possible while ensuring everyone was safe. When you say it aloud, it seems quite an easy task, but in reality, it is not! So, thanks to COVID, we were able to get everyone online for the first few days back after the half-term break, as we had all the resources in place to be able to do this successfully. 

Whilst this was going on, lots were going on in the background to work out what to do next; the KCC infrastructure team were organising the rebuild, the governors were assessing our options, and I was in contact with other schools and community venues who were offering their support in abundance, all offering us temporary accommodation or a place to meet. Ten days after the fire, the whole school was back in face-to-face learning, and our new normal was running.  Thankfully, we had two rooms unaffected, but the fire and we had the village hall in addition, we had offers of support from local schools in our collaboration, so we were able to empty the school supervised by the team at KCC, and thankfully, we realised that we were able to retrieve most of the children's books and resources.

and so our new adventure began....

Oct 2023 - This is Peter... our project manager and he keeps us up to date with the development of the re-build.  He keeps us smiling and laughing even on the most stressful of days!

For the first week we had to empty the building, including the loft; for those of you who have ever undertaken the 'loft clear out' you may understand why it took 4 days to complete, 3 industrial skips and 30 confidential waste bins!  It was a relief to find our giant picture of Captain Jack Sparrow though!!!???


Nov 2023 - The next step was to organise a place for the office staff and myself to work as well as a place for the staff to have their lunch and the all important cup of tea!  The admin block arrived a couple of weeks later and its arrival caused lots of excitement in school!  This gave us plenty of opportunities to practise our flat pack furniture building skills.


And whilst all of this was happening the school was completely stripped out.   I had originally thought this meant that the furniture would go and perhaps the notice board; but I could not have been more wrong!  The plasterboard was ripped off and the floors came up; walls came down and tiles were taken off the roof.  In a matter of weeks the school was just a carcass! 


December 2023—The school has a 'skirt' with a watertight cover over the hole caused by the fire, and a generator is now constantly pumping heat back into the school to dry it out so that work can start on the rebuild. 


Jan 2023 - The school has now dried out and the work can now begin, which is very exciting.  We also have had our planning permission granted for the extension we had planned for a year ago.  Fingers crossed for 'ok' weather so we can get everything back up and running soon!

Feb 2023 - Dean and Dan joined us in February.  They are from Building Associates, and this company has been chosen to rebuild the school. They were keen to get going, and it wasn't long before we started to see such a big difference in the building.   Walls and lights suddenly appeared! And the new office area started taking shape.


March 2023 - The entrance for the new extension has been created, and the scaffolding has come down! Still a little way to go but we are getting there!

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