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A view from inside the build!

Our Y5 and Y6 school councilors were very excited today as they had the opportunity to look around the building site for the first time. The builders are up to first floor level now, with the timber frame flying up and about to be clothed in bricks. It was amazing to get a feel for the layout of how the new parts of school will be, and walking through what will become classrooms, toilets and corridors was a fascinating experience. The children had lots of questions about the equipment the builders were using (especially powertools!) and the different materials used in the construction process. Thanks to Ian, Jordan and Ken from Engie for taking us around.

Getting out of the ground…

The builders have been working flat out to make up for lost time due to the predominantly cold, wet conditions we have experienced in 2018. The ground work involved with preparing the footings and foundations for the two-storey block to the rear of the school has taken a long time, with awkward access and high levels of ground-water making things tricky. However, as the pictures show (taken 2 weeks ago), the walls are now starting to emerge and it won’t be too long before floor platforms can be installed. The children coped extremely well with having reduced play space on the junior yard but the now completed MUGA has given playtimes a much-needed boost!

Mega MUGA!

We were extremely excited to be able to open up the MUGA (Multi Use Games Area) for use for all of our children today. The children absolutely loved being out in the sunshine and running around on our new sports area. It was fantastic to have all of the children outside playing together and enjoying the next completed part of our school’s expansion.

We can’t wait to continue make full use of the MUGA and the viewing steps. We just hope that the sun keeps shining!

Work gets off to a flying start

In spite of some very cold and wet conditions, the early part of the building work has gone smoothly. During the weekend following the go-ahead from the planning department, safety hoardings were erected around the top and bottom of the school field, to allow for heavy machinery to commence work on preparing the ground for the new MUGA and staff car park respectively.

Meanwhile, at the back of school, the junior playground – while still usable – has been reduced in size and fenced off. This has facilitated the creation of a service road in from an entrance in the Baslow Road boundary wall and allowed digging equipment to start excavating the ground which will eventually lead onto the preparation of the foundations for the new classroom block adjacent to the hall. Excess earth is being transported from the back of the school to the front, so as to build up the ground at the downhill end of the MUGA so that it lies as flat as possible.

The builders are currently on schedule and have been brilliant in trying to keep noise levels to a minimum during the school day. They have also created a viewing point in the hoarding at the front of the school so that we can keep an eye on what is going on and continue to admire the diggers, of course!

We do thank the whole of our school community and, in particular, local residents for being patient and putting up with a degree of disruption both around the school site and on the roads around the school.

Expansion planning application

We are pleased to be able to tell you that we have had our planning application approved and work to create the additional space required for Totley to become a two-form entry school will begin in earnest. After long delays and set-backs, it was really good to finally get this approval and to have this ratified by the Mercia Learning Trust this week. This blog will hopefully be updated regularly with pictures, information and updates as we head into this venture together! We are working on the ability for our website to host questions posed by yourselves for us to answer, but we haven’t quite managed that yet!

As part of the planning approval, some conditions were applied to ensure that the planners were happy to proceed. A lot of the conditions were for the Council to provide evidence that certain procedures were in place, tests had been completed and thought had been given to the fact that they are working on a school site and within a residential community. The list of these can be found below.


  1. 10% renewable energy provision
  2. Construction Vehicle management plan           
  3. Construction dust control measures 
  4. Air Quality report– which refer to construction dust control for the most part.                  
  5. Proposed Surface water drainage design       
  6. Proposed Surface water disposal
  7. Highway improvements including pedestrian crossing to Baslow Road, pedestrian barriers to Baslow Road, associated traffic regulation orders.      
  8. Details of Highway improvement works             
  9. Wheel washing to construction vehicles           
  10. Full hard and soft landscape scheme – this is a muga line marking detail and tree species list
  11. Tree protection measures  
  12. Soil contamination results to muga side    
  13. Lighting Impact report
  14. Implementation of recommendations of para 4.4 of Bat Survey
  15. Details of proposed materials
  16. Any site remediation works noted in Phase 2 site investigation
  17. Details travel plan
  18. Remediation strategy
  19. Remediation Validation
    20. Provision of Cycle parking
  20. Provision of Car parking
  21. Maintenance of Soft landscaping for 5yrs
  22. Notification of Landscape works completion
  23. Construction hours of work


Some of these conditions were pre-commencement conditions (nos. 1-10). As you can see, that included the new pedestrian crossing on Baslow Road. This was agreed that this was not feasible to get done before 29th January as the planning application had been delayed getting to the planning board. However, a letter of intent to complete this work before occupation has been entered to the planner and he has accepted this as acknowledgement of this condition. I am sure, like me, you are really pleased to hear that the community will benefit from a crossing on Baslow Road and that it is a stipulated condition in the planning approval. We are certainly pleased about this!

As for moving forward, please keep an eye on this blog for updates and pictures as the project develops!