Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 09:00

Proposals for a new two form entry primary school and nursery for St Austell and the Clay Area were submitted to the Department for Education last week.
The ACE Sky Academy and Eden Project Nursery, a new primary school based on the national curriculum and enriched with learning about sustainability and global citizenship, is being proposed.  The school will cater for 420 pupils and build up from Foundation Stage in the first year (September 2018 at the earliest).  The capacity of the nursery will be 60 children aged 3 and 4 years old.  The nature inspired nursery will be led by Eden and involve children being outside 80% of the time.  This outdoor learning ethos is the key first step for the youngest children of the West Carclaze Eco-Community in becoming globally and environmentally aware and fully prepared for life and learning in the 21st Century.

The Atlantic Centre of Excellence Trust and the Eden Project advocate the outdoor learning approach and we believe that it leads to significant benefits for children’s health, happiness, well-being and development; in their relationship to nature and each other; and that it is a better start to formal education.
This application represents many months of dedication and hard work. To complete the lengthy application form the Atlantic Centre of Excellence Trust had to write detailed education plans and budgets; explain why the school is needed by this community and demonstrate that it has local support. 
If their application is approved, the next stage will be a rigorous interview with the Department for Education, after which they will hear whether their school has been given the green light to open.
Jennie Walker of the Atlantic Centre of Excellence Trust said:

“Our vision for the ACE Sky Academy and Eden Project Nursery is something that we at the Atlantic Centre of Excellence Trust feel really passionate about and so I truly hope that we get a chance to make it a reality within the West Carclaze Eco Community.  If the school goes ahead on this site then children would get ‘the complete package’ an outdoor inspired curriculum that benefits from the unique and diverse open spaces within the new development which will in-turn support children to understand who they are, where they are from and what impact they have on the world.”
“I’d like to thank everyone who has supported our bid so far through attending our public event, sending encouraging emails and completing our online survey.  I’d also like to thank Eco-Bos, the Eden Project and the New Schools Network for supporting us throughout the process.”

Sarah Pearson, Interim Director of New Schools Network, said:

“The Atlantic Centre of Excellence has worked tirelessly to prepare an application for the Department for Education and we hope they will have the chance to put their plans into action and see their vision of a fantastic new school realised.”

“There are now more than 500 free schools open or approved to open across the country and the momentum of the programme continues to increase. These schools are proving popular with parents and are providing good new school places where they are needed.”

Sam Kendall, Education Manager at the Eden Project, said:

“We believe this unique nursery and school will be a fantastic opportunity for the families of West Carclaze. To that end we’ll continue to work in partnership with ACE MAT to bring our plans to life pending the decision from the Department for Education.”
Interested parents can find out more at