Sheila Hancock launches new era for Heywood school

Date published: 08 February 2020

Celebrated actor and author Sheila Hancock cut the ribbon in style at the official ceremony to open the new extension at St. Luke’s CE Primary School in Heywood.

The £1.2m extension, delivered by Heywood firm PLP Construction, means the school will be able to provide an additional 30 places each year for local children.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, which saw specially invited guests including the Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale, Sheila addressed the children directly: “I love this school. I love everything you’re doing. This is education at its very best – and it seems to me that you all have fun as well.

“I know that all of you at this school are going to achieve wonderful things. I’m so pleased to know you all.”

Sheila visited St. Luke’s over two days in her capacity as patron of DigiSmart, educational apps for children, spending time with children taking part in the DigiSmart literacy project, and talking to teaching staff and parents.


Left to right, back row: Mrs. Kim Farrall, Headteacher, St. Luke’s CE Primary School; Sheila Hancock; The Mayor of Rochdale, Billy Sheerin; Gillian Barrett, Rochdale's Head of Schools. Front row: 3 DigiSmart pupils at St. Luke’s.
Left to right, back row: Mrs. Kim Farrall, Headteacher, St. Luke’s CE Primary School; Sheila Hancock; The Mayor of Rochdale, Billy Sheerin.
 Front row: 3 DigiSmart pupils at St. Luke’s and Gillian Barrett, Rochdale's Head of Schools


Kieran Heakin, cabinet member for children’s services at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “It is fantastic to see the new facilities here that we’ve invested in.

“We’re really committed to providing much needed primary school places at our wonderful local schools, where pupils can learn in a modern and spacious environment. Seeing the joy on pupils’ faces today is really rewarding.”

All the pupils voiced huge enthusiasm for the new extension. One said: “We are very lucky to have our school extended. I love the new classrooms. They are big and I find it easier to focus on my work.”

Mrs. Kim Farrall, inspirational Headteacher at St. Luke’s CE Primary School, said: “The staff here work so hard, I feel so proud of them all. Without them we wouldn’t be what we are today. They are unbelievably dedicated.

“I feel so lucky to work with such amazing people and amazing children.”

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