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Hethersett boarding school doubles size of nursery - with further expansion on the cards

Youngsters at Hethersett Old Hall School nursery. Picture: Rachel Kassulke

Youngsters at Hethersett Old Hall School nursery. Picture: Rachel Kassulke

Archant

A boarding school set in the heart of a housing development zone has doubled the size of its nursery - with more expansion on the horizon.

Youngsters at Hethersett Old Hall School Nursery. Picture: Rachel KassulkeYoungsters at Hethersett Old Hall School Nursery. Picture: Rachel Kassulke

Hethersett Old Hall School, on Norwich Road, has added another classroom to its nursery block, doubling the number of youngsters it takes.

The independent boarding school houses around 200 pupils, made up of girls aged three to 18 and boys from three to 11, on its 15-acre site - with around 24 of those now in the nursery.

Head teacher Stephen Crump said: “In 2008, when I joined, several parents said that they wished their three-year-olds could come to the school. We are a family school and it felt like we could extend that,” he said.

But the deepening recession meant that the idea of a commercial partnership proved unviable and the dream was forced back to the drawing board.

The nursery at Hethersett Old Hall School. Picture: Rachel KassulkeThe nursery at Hethersett Old Hall School. Picture: Rachel Kassulke

Four years later, the nursery finally welcomed its first youngsters.

“We had some kids at first, but it wasn’t a great rush. It has just grown more and more popular as it has become well-established.

“We didn’t want to overcrowd the school - we are small and our pupils benefit from that.”

But with 1,200 homes planned in Hethersett, and 2,200 in neighbouring Wymondham, the school could benefit from another boost in interest.

“The housing that is coming is for families and feedback is that primary schools are oversubscribed. It’s reasonable to suppose that parents might take the private option. There are ways we could expand further, but it’s something we would take slowly,” he added.

Mr Crump put the school’s success down to its values, which prize “childhood and children enjoying traditional things”.

Do you have a Hethersett story? Contact lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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