Approaching the finish line…

The build is getting closer and closer to completion as we near the end of the year. Much of the work recently has focused on the interior, so progress on the outside has been more gradual. However, as the pictures below show, the plaster and cladding has begun to appear, showing us what the final building might look like. Work has also just begun on the surrounding wall and staircases from the field.

The plasterboard takes its place…

…followed by plaster.

The new cladding has added a lovely new element to the appearance of the building.

With the plaster painted, a fantastic looking building has emerged from the rocks and rubble.

Keeping the Outdoors Out

Piece by piece, the building is edging ever closer to its final form. We recently celebrated the completion of the roof with a topping out ceremony, which was attended by local dignitaries, representatives from the building company, and the school council.

Since then, a layer of silvery insulation has been attached the the building in preparation for the final outer layer of bricks and cladding. We have also begun to see the first windows and doors being fitted in place. Finally, we are happy to report that the first stage of the new plumbing work has been finished. The playground has been almost completely restored to full use and the children have been enjoying the space they are used to. The next stage of this work will commence over Easter so that disruption to school life is minimal.

The silver layer and the beginnings of windows.

The frame of the building is slowly being covered.

The classrooms are becoming easier to imagine as the entrances appear.

Digital Leaders Big Build Update

Our big build project is going according to plan but we have had to dig up half the playground. Our playground is nearly back to normal but not for about another week. The skeleton of the new classrooms are up and the teachers who are moving in there went to have a look round on Monday.

-Digital Leaders

Taking Shape

The build has been progressing at an amazing rate recently. A network of scaffolding quickly crisscrossed the site, awaiting the walls that would rise up inside. It seemed like no time at all passed before we were watching the walls being craned into position. Before we knew it, the build site had become a building.

The edge of the building begins to appear.

View from the EYFS area.

From the playground side. More on that in a moment…

Looking more complete, with the roof starting to appear.















Unfortunately, all this progress came with a slight downside. There was an unforeseen problem with the plumbing for the new building. The only solution was to replace the majority of the existing pipe network. This means that the builders will now have to dig up a significant amount of the school playground. The children have been really sensible about this and have made the most of the space we have left. We hope the disruption won’t last too long and we are sure it will all be worth it when we see the new classrooms completed.

Digging away top play.

The building work enters the playground.








While this was happening, the building work on the main site wasn’t stopping. The most recent and exciting development has been the addition of a roof to the main structure. With this in place, we are really starting to get a sense of the finished building.


From here you can you see the roof clearly…

…making the structure look more and more like a building.

The All Important Floor

The next stage of our build has been taking place over the last month or so. With the foundations poured and ready, the next step was to start placing the beams that the floor would rest on.

The huge beams that will support the floor are put in place.

Once all the beams were in place, it was a matter of filling the gaps in order to create a solid floor. The shape of the new building became even clearer as the builders finished this all important step.

The floor in place on top of the beams.

More recently, we enjoyed seeing the site covered in a layer of snow. Soon after this had melted away, tall metal poles began to spring up around the outside of the floor. This has begun to form scaffolding, which the builders will use to start constructing the outer walls. As ever, keep an eye on this blog to see what happens when the walls emerge from the ground and the main building work nears completion.

A winter landscape.

The poles seem to stretch into the sky.

The scaffolding is slowly growing around the site.

Solid Foundations

Soon after the ground had been dug away, the shape of our new building revealed itself in the form of deep trenches that were hewn out of the earth by the digging equipment. The rain that had provided us with fascinating views now posed a problem as the trenches slowly began to fill with muddy water.

After providing us with an unintended temporary second pond area, the builders had a hard task ahead of them to clear the trenches of water and get them dry enough to hold the first pouring of concrete. Fortunately, they made quick work of this huge task and before long the concrete was ready to be poured.

The pouring took place over the course of a very chilly morning and the set concrete now awaited the floor of our new building.

The trenches showed us the shape of the new building for the first time.

After heavy rain, the trenches overflowed into a small lake. Many children were impressed with our new ‘swimming pool’!








The concrete pourer in silhouette early in the day.

With the trenches cleared and dry, the pourer began its work.

The mixer that provided the huge quantity of concrete needed.

The pour in progress.














The arrival of the bricks that will support the floor beams signified the start of the next part of the build.

With the concrete dry, the build was ready for its next stage.

Taking Shape

The past month has seen a huge change to the site for our new building. The builders have established the site and the field has transformed before our eyes.

As the earth shifted, we were lucky to find many ammonite fossils. The shape of the new building revealed itself slowly as the diggers created the deep trenches that the classrooms will sit on. In the next post, we will see what happened to those trenches next…


Fencing off the site.


A sign of change.


Farewell field!


The last of the lime tree.


Digging holes to support the pillars that hold up the screens for the classrooms next to the site.




Top layer removed.


We are amazed at how much earth has been shifted!


The building work provides us with interesting new views, especially after a rainy spell.




The Great Lime Tree Felling


An update from the Digital Leaders

Lately lots of things have been happening around Saltford School:

  • The massive lime tree that has been at Saltford for a very long time has been chopped down to make room for six new classrooms.
  • The building work will start very soon, it is planned to be finished by late 2017.
  • Last year the school council approved the plans for the classrooms.
  • They will replace NB, NS temporary classrooms as well as ED, SEH, RJ and NJ which are all due for replacement.
  • There will also be a new and improved EYFS play area. Saltford won £25,000 for this.
  • SEH, RJ, ED and NJ classes will be pulled down to leave room for a new playground.
The children watch the Lime tree come down

The children watch the Lime tree come down

The view from the classroom of the half chopped down tree.

The view from the classroom of the half chopped down tree.


Part of the lime tree has gone and we will use the remains for the reflective garden as bark chippings and seating.

Welcome to The Big Build Blog!

Welcome to our brand new blog, where we hope to keep you up to date with all the latest developments on the building of 6 new classrooms.

This blog will be a space for the children to share their experiences as the next version of Saltford Primary School takes shape.

We hope it will also provide a record for future Saltford pupils to look back on and see how the school as they know it came to be.

Look out for our first update on the ‘Great Lime Tree Felling’, coming soon.

-Mr Styles

See what happened next soon...

See what happened next soon…