New Building Project


PLANNING HAS BEEN GRANTED, MONEY HAS BEEN RAISED, AND THE BUILD HAS STARTED! 

If you would like more information on the New Build please download our pamphlet.

Background

Ramsbury Pre-school began 40 years ago at The Methodist Church Hall as a toddlers group. Over the decades it has become a registered charity rated as “Good” by OFSTED.

In 2014-15, we taught 40 local children aged 2-4 and employed 6 local staff. A team of parents head up the committee on a voluntary basis behind the scenes. We have forged a new and close relationship with Ramsbury School, in particular the Reception staff, and have benefited from their excellent facilities. In 2014, 90% of the Ramsbury Primary School Reception class attended Ramsbury Pre-School. Reception Staff said: “Children from Ramsbury Pre-school are noticeably better prepared for primary school, settling quickly and easily into school life.”

We have always been based at the Methodist Church Hall and have had to pack away all the Pre-school equipment whenever the hall is used by others.

Our position now

We believe that Pre-school offers an excellent stepping stone from home or nursery to school and that our continued presence in the village is a benefit to the families, the school and the local economy. We have spent the last year working closely with the Ramsbury Methodist Church to find a solution to the increasing need to comply with government regulations in terms of the building’s condition, layout, facilities and external space. We have, unfortunately, been unable to achieve these requirements.

What we want

We want to stay in the village, in a permanent home that meets all government regulations and helps us give our children the best start. We are a charity run by a committee of local volunteers, hiring local people to teach local children. Ramsbury Pre-School belongs in the village.

Options we considered

Renting – We have been unable to find any property within the village that we can afford on the very small margins on which the charity childcare runs.

Buy an existing building – Again, with property at a premium in Ramsbury, we have been unable to find a suitable property location that we can afford.

Build a new Pre-school – There site we are building on on the school ground was originally earmarked for a Pre-school when the school was built in the 1980s. This site benefits from being in the heart of village and close to all the amenities. It offers convenience for parents, for drop off and collection, as the majority of parents have children that attend Ramsbury Primary School. The new site and building will enable us to have a bigger and better designed interior and exterior space, appropriate for an increased capacity of 30 children in a session, matching school class sizes.

Isn’t the site too small?

Surprisingly the site is actually larger than we have currently, both inside and out. The new layout is more conducive to the children’s needs, with child-sized toilets, warm, well ventilated space, easy front door access for mothers with prams, step-free play area, trees and grass. See the designs for our new layout and space 150111-02 design scheme

That space is lovely and green. Won’t a large school there make it look too built up?

Our single-storey design has a front garden look with leafy aspect that will minimize the impact on the streetscape. We plan to keep as much of the existing planting as possible. These offer great learning experiences for the children. Where we have to remove trees, new suitable planting will be added. It’s in our interests to use the mature planting as a natural screen for the children’s play area.

The traffic and parking is already a problem on and near Isles Road. Won’t this make it worse?

We actually have very few pupils coming in to the village and even fewer who are not already travelling in to the school for siblings. In 2014-15 out of 40 children on roll we had only two driving into the village just to attend Pre-school and as of September 2015 none of our 29 children will be.

Following our research into the figures for the last few years we believe that the nearer we are to the school the less traffic impact we will have, as parents will combine journeys instead of making separate ones. We will also modify our drop off and pick up timings to be even more convenient for parents, which will actually shorten the busy periods.

Parking

Isles Road and Back Lane are already very busy roads at 8.40-9.10am and 2.45-3.25pm during term time, due to staggered drop off and pick up times. At other times Isles Road is quiet and Back Lane is quiet to moderately busy, peaking during events at The Church Rooms.

As the current Pre-School is only 213 meters from the school we do not expect the current parking habits of parents to change with Oxford Street continuing to be used. Therefore we do not see that there is any evidence for a marked increase in traffic issues on Isles Road.

We are convinced that a location next to the school will:

  • Minimise any traffic movements between the venues,
  • Not affect the current traffic and parking based on figures from the last two years and current proximity of Pre-School,
  • Shorten the length of the school run by having synchronised drop off and collection times.

The problem with the parking in Isles Road and Back Lane is caused by the school children. The school has tried to address this by:

  • Children wearing PE clothes to school instead of having to take kit bags, thereby lightening the load,
  • Raising awareness by promoting walking with Walk on Wednesday events,
  • Giving free reflective wear for better visibility in winter,
  • Introducing permanent Rise and Shine and After School Clubs which reduce the number of children moving around at busy drop off and pick up times.

In the future Ramsbury Pre-School and Primary School will work together to continue to support and encourage the children and parents to walk where possible. Where families need to drive they will be encouraged to park considerately for the safety of the children and residents.

Do you have a suggestion to ease the traffic or parking issues?

Please let us know any ideas you have and we will make sure we look into them.

email them to buildingcommittee@ramsburypreschool.org.uk

Or pop a letter into us at: Ramsbury Pre-school, Oxford Street, Ramsbury SN8 2PG

How are you going to fund this?

We have secured all funds, which has been an amazing achievement from everyone in the village.

How disruptive will the building work be?

It’s our plan to do the majority of the ground work in the school holidays to reduce traffic and inconvenience – these ground works started as soon as summer holidays started in July 2017. We have also reduced build time by the careful and thoughtful way that we have designed it.  We forecast to open the new building around Easter 2018.

Will the Pre-school increase the noise on Isles Road?

We don’t expect the little Pre-school children to make anywhere near enough noise to be able to be heard over 200 school children.

Will the increased pedestrians be safe crossing to the Pre-school?

In 2015, the council added a new yellow crossing point on Back Lane, which we will utilise. Also, has become a 20 miles an hour zone. We will ensure that there are security barriers opposite the exit doors to ensure our children cannot run straight out into the road.

 

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We are committed to building the best possible Pre-school

for the children, for the village.