CHILDREN, teachers and parents gathered at the school gates for the first time yesterday morning (September 6), as the merging of two Marlborough schools was complete.

Parents waved off pupils in their new uniforms with their school bags as they started the school year at Marlborough St Mary’s

Primary School’s brand new building in Ducks Meadow.

The children from St Mary’s Infant School and St Peter’s Junior School joined forces officially for the first time as the amalgamation was completed.

The two schools merged to form Marlborough St Mary’s organisationally last September, allowing teachers to get to know one another and ensure that once the school was amalgamated in one building it would be able to run as smoothly as possible.

Mark Thomas, chairman of governors for the new primary school, was impressed by how smoothly the first day went.

“It went amazingly well, I was very impressed,” he explained.

“The opening went fantastically, it went amazingly well, and I was very impressed.

“I sat in with the Year 6s and the school kids have had a tour around the school.

“It was the first time trying to run the kitchen for this many but it has gone really well.

“It has been fantastic bumping into parents. Everyone is in support and really likes it.”

Yesterday afternoon the reception classes had a garden party with their parents easing them into the school atmosphere.

The new building, which cost about £7 million, has space for 420 children, with classrooms designed for up to 30 children, as well as space for 20 special educational needs children.

St Mary’s Infant School was the natural feeder school to St Peter’s Juniors, but evidence had shown that the fewer moves a child has during their learning career, the better they perform.

Funding has been required to equip the school with items such as furniture, IT equipment, PE and outdoor play facilities.

On Tuesday (September 5), organisations who kindly donated to the fund were invited to an opening night to see what their donations were used for. So far, £40,000 of the £75,000 target has been raised.

It is uncertain what is going to happen to the former St Peter’s building, which is Grade II listed and dates back to the early 1900s, but the old St Mary’s building is in the process of being demolished.