CAPTION: St James Church of England Primary and Nursery School website

New Church of England School Opens in Okehampton

Posted: 5th September, 2018

Okehampton’s new primary school has welcomed its first reception pupils just nine months after getting the green light from the Department for Education.

Established to cater for the increasing demand for pupil places, St James Church of England Primary and Nursery School will offer a distinctive Christian ethos and a focus on outdoor learning and education.

The school opened its doors on Tuesday 4th September.  The founding class of twelve pupils marked the occasion with a woodland story picnic. The second day will see children picking apples from trees in the school grounds to make their own Gruffalo Crumble.

Marcia Horsley, whose daughter started at the school today, said: “We’ve all been really excited about today after attending the Feast of St James and play session earlier in the year. The classroom looks lovely and the all the children got a really warm welcome from the staff. I’m can’t wait to hear all about my daughter’s first day and am sure she will be really happy at St James.”

Head of School Suzie Stevens, said: “Today marked the start of our big school adventure. Establishing a new school is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am absolutely thrilled with how the children settled in to enjoy their first day. Today set the tone for our school culture with new experiences, fun and lots of opportunities to enjoy learning outdoors. We have a really exciting term of activities ahead and I look forward to watching our Butterflies Class flourish.”

Chair of Governors and Director of Education for the Diocese of Exeter, John Searson, said: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome parents and children to St James and am confident that our pupils will enjoy an education and experiences of the highest quality. Our ability to deliver a school in such a short timeframe is testimony to our strong partnerships within Okehampton and we offer our sincere thanks to all those who have helped us realise this shared goal. St James will serve local families with joy and hope now and for generations to come.”

The new school is based in the self-contained Great Links Tor (in the grounds of Okehampton Primary School) until its brand-new building is ready for occupation in early 2019. Places are available now in the current foundation class and the school will shortly be opening admissions for September 2019.

For more information or to visit the school, please contact Andrea Cowling, the School Administrator on: 07783 591 535 or visit