Sea eagle to greet first children at new school

1:30pm - 25 June 2021
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A soaring sea eagle will greet the first pupils at Chestnut Park Primary School in Yatton when they arrive in September.

The stainless steel sculpture has been created by Clevedon artist Hayley Jones to celebrate the archaeological significance of the site where the school has been built.

A series of archaeological excavations were carried out at North End, Yatton between 2015 and 2018 prior to the construction of the Bloor Homes housing development, a care home and the new school.

These excavations, overseen by North Somerset Council's Senior Archaeologist Cat Lodge, revealed some late prehistoric/Iron Age pits on the school site, one of which contained the claw of a sea eagle.

"I was very pleased to be asked to make a sculpture for the new school and found it interesting hearing about the archaeological finds on the Ridgeway prior to the build,” said Hayley. “To have a public piece locally is quite an honour. I hope it inspires the young to aim high!”

The school's newly-appointed headteacher Tamara Dexter said: “The archaeological discoveries on the school site create a fascinating historical context for the children to learn about. 

“Learning about local history will form an integral part of the school’s curriculum and we look forward to the children having the opportunity to see and explore historical artefacts.

“The sea eagle statue and seating area will make a great place for school visitors to sit, talk and enjoy the school grounds. The children will also be curious about its origins, and I anticipate them having lots of questions about what was found beneath the school playing field.”

North Somerset’s newest school, which will serve Yatton’s North End community, is getting ready to welcome its first reception class in September. A pre-school class will open in January.

The school will initially have 210 places overall with infrastructure already in place to increase its capacity to 420 places to meet future demand from local housing development.

The design and build of the £6m school was project-managed by North Somerset Council. The council awarded the build contract to Willmott Dixon and the DfE (Department for Education) appointed the multi-academy trust, the Clevedon Learning Trust, to run the school.

There are still places available in the reception and pre-school classes. Parents interested in a school place for their child should contact the school on office@chestnutparkschool.org.uk.

The school also has many exciting career opportunities and is currently advertising for a site facilities assistant and school meals supervisory assistant. Details of all vacancies can be found on the school’s website at www.chestnutparkschool.org.uk.

More information about the archaeological discoveries at the site can be found on Wessex Archaeology’s website at www.wessexarch.co.uk/our-work/yatton-trackway-past.

For more information about the work of Hayley Jones go to www.thecoachhousestudio.net.