Aspire Academy Trust
Posted on: 13/02/2019

'Topping Out' at Nansledan School

A milestone moment has been celebrated in the development of the impressive new primary school for Nansledan, the Duchy of Cornwall’s extension to the seaside town of Newquay.

Excitement is building as the school rapidly takes shape, and a topping out ceremony was held to mark the 14-classroom facility hitting the high-point in its construction.

Residents of the new community and local children visited site for the event and joined representatives from the Duchy of Cornwall, contractor Midas Construction and Aspire Academy Trust, who will be running the school.

Local Nansledan residents and prospective pre-schoolers were also invited to add their own design touches to specially-decorated roof tiles, which will feature on the finished school.

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In addition, 27 roof tiles decorated by all the schools managed by Aspire Academy Trust in Cornwall were on display.

Ben Murphy, Estate Director at The Duchy of Cornwall, said: “The topping out marks a significant milestone in the construction of Skol Nansledan and we are thrilled to see the excellent progress being made. It is a fantastic school building designed in the arts and crafts style by Dominic Roberts and built to a very high standard by Midas. The school was always going to be an important part of this thriving Nansledan community and it was important to us that we made sure it was delivered at the earliest opportunity. We are all really looking forward to it opening its doors for the first time later this year.”

The 14-classroom school will cater for around 420 children when full. It will open in September with two reception classes initially and a mixed Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 class. The name of the school, Skol Nansledan, was unveiled by HRH the Duke of Cornwall, when he visited the site last year. ‘Skol’ is Cornish for ‘school’ – fitting with the theme of Cornish names used throughout Nansledan, which means ‘broad valley’.

Andrew Fielder, CEO of Aspire Academy Trust, said: "We are committed to providing an outstanding education at Skol Nansledan from day one.  Following an innovative STEAM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics), the children will embark upon a learning journey packed full of adventure, discovery, experience and fun.  After all, they are the innovators, educators, leaders and learners of the 21st century and the school motto ‘Today’s Learners, Tomorrow’s Leaders’ reflects this.  We cannot wait to welcome our first intake of pupils in September!"

Designed by Francis Robert Architects and Alan Leather Associates, the school has been co-funded by the Department for Education and is being constructed by regional contractor Midas Construction, who also built the Great Cornish Food Store and Waitrose on Duchy-owned land in Truro.

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The focal point of the new building will be the hall at the centre, with classroom wings at either end. Other facilities will include sports pitches, outdoor play and teaching areas and allotments that will help to reinforce the sustainability ethos of Nansledan. The school will also be within easy walking and cycling distance of the whole of Nansledan to reduce car usage and encourage healthier lifestyles.

Steve Rosewell, Operational Director at Midas, said: “The new school is looking fantastic already and is clearly going to be a beautiful landmark for Nansledan. We’re proud to involved, to be continuing our strong relationship with the Duchy of Cornwall and to be marking this milestone in creating an excellent new facility for the children and community here.”

Nansledan mum Lucy Thomasson, who is hoping to send her son to the school when places are confirmed in the summer, added: "Right from the start my little boy has been transfixed by the busy building site and what he proudly calls, 'my school'. Not content with having to drive past Nansledan School every day, he asks me at least a couple of times a week to walk down and see his school - he's seen the walls going up, the roof going on and windows being put in. As a family, we already feel so emotionally invested in our lovely new school that I'm confident my son will feel right at home from day one."

Theresa Ferguson, Chair of Nansledan Residents Association, said: “There is a lot of excitement about the new school and it will be a real focal point for our growing community. It’s great to have these facilities provided so early in the development of Nansledan and we can’t wait to see it open.”

Nansledan is being developed on Duchy-owned land to the east of Newquay and will eventually comprise around 4,000 homes mixed with retail, offices, workshops, green spaces and a range of community facilities. To date 257 homes have been occupied, of which 190 are open market homes and 67 are affordable.

Nansledan is being built by a consortium of South West building companies including Wainhomes, CG Fry & Son and Morrish Builders. For more information on the development log onto  For more information on Nansledan School, please visit 

Written by Aspire