Tree planted as first pupils view new school

Tree planting at Duke of Lancaster, Fakenham.

From left to right: Lewis Hambling, Prospective Student, Alex Mackay, Construction Director at R G Carter, Joesph Bunn, Prospective Student, Rob Speck, Headteacher at Duke of Lancaster. - Credit: R G Carter

Parents and pupils got their first peek inside a new school this week.

The Duke of Lancaster, located in Fakenham, invited along future students and guardians to view their brand new school which is set to open in the town in January next year.

Construction firm, R G Carter, along with headteacher Rob Speck and Lawrence Chapman, CEO of SENDAT, welcomed parents and pupils for a tour of the new school before taking part in a tree-planting ceremony to mark the occasion.

The school, which has been built on the former Fakenham College Sixth Form site, is part of Norfolk County Council’s plan to transform special educational needs in Norfolk, and address the ever-increasing demand for specialist teaching and help reduce travel times for students who require support.

Lewis Hambling on the left and Joseph Bunn on the right at the Duke of Lancaster school in Fakenham. 

Lewis Hambling on the left and Joseph Bunn on the right at the Duke of Lancaster school in Fakenham. - Credit: R G Carter

The oak tree, which was donated by R G Carter, was planted by Year 6 student Joseph Bunn and Year 7 student Lewis Hambling alongside Lauren Stanbridge, The Duke of Lancaster’s new office manager and Marc Buckeridge, the school’s new Caretaker.

Mrs Dominee Hambling, Lewis Hambling’s mother said: “Lewis says he can't wait to start at the Duke of Lancaster school. He’s excited to make new friends and have the best high school ever.”

The development includes 19 classrooms, three sensory classrooms, therapy rooms, a sports hall and an activity studio spread across three buildings. Outside, pupils have access to a trim trail, a football pitch, two hard play areas, a multi-use games area and a field.

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The development has made excellent progress over recent months with construction work recently completed and the process of internal works now under way.

Headteacher at the new Fakenham school

Former vice-principal and head of secondary at The Wherry School in Norwich, Robert Speck, will be the school’s headteacher. - Credit: SENDAT

Rob Speck, the headteacher of the school, said: “The staff, parents and students were thrilled when they saw the new school which they will start in the new year.

“Everyone is looking forward to the move and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in bringing this much-needed facility to Fakenham.”

The new school will create up to 55 jobs over the next three years. Those interested in vacancies and job opportunities are welcome to the school’s recruitment event on Thursday, October 7 at the Fakenham Community Centre.