As Woodgate Primary School opens its doors for the first time this September, among the first children starting there will be Cody Dutfield, 7, and his friends at Woodgate in Pease Pottage.
Moving to Woodgate
Cody and his parents, Jennifer and Kirk Dutfield, moved to Woodgate earlier this year after buying their new home from local housebuilder, Thakeham.
At Woodgate, Thakeham have provided a new village primary school. This also becomes home for the staff and children of the former Warninglid Primary School which changes its name to Woodgate Primary School with the relocation.
The Dutfield family decided to move from their previous property in Maidenbower for more space for their growing family and a dedicated area for working from home. Having a brand new school on the doorstep tipped the balance firmly in favour of Woodgate.
Creating a perfect home/work-life balance
“The new school was a massive bonus to us moving,” said Jennifer. “The perfect home/work-life balance means spending time with my son and walking him to and from school each day. I’m looking forward to dropping Cody off every morning, waving goodbye to him at the door, and watching him run into my arms at pick up.
“Being able to walk home with friends or popping to the park for a quick swing, knowing that we don’t need to jump on the motorway every morning and fight through school run traffic with the added difficulty of parking played a huge part in our deciding factor to relocate.” At Woodgate the homes are all within 5 mins safe walking distance of the school.
Jennifer and Kirk had already taken Cody to visit the teachers and staff at Warninglid School who were reassuring regarding the introduction of a new school, year, class and environment for the children.
A new community
“We love that fact that most people will be new to the school, meaning they will be new to the community also,” said Jennifer. “When moving to Woodgate, Cody didn’t know anyone who would be joining the school but we signed up to the community pages on social media and met other families. He now has a few friends locally that will be joining him at Woodgate Primary.
“Cody is most looking forward to seeing what sports they offer at school. He loves football and outdoor activities and seeing just how big the playing field is at the school has put a massive smile on his face. He also loves being able to scoot to school but in our previous house I would mainly have to drive to get home in time for work, now he tells me we have no excuse to drive, it would take longer to buckle him in then it would to walk!”
“One of the best parts of being able to do school drop off is you can interact with other parents and families. We all live so close by that in time we can support one another in drop off, if the children wanted an after-school play date or trip to the park, being on the door-step this should be nice and easy. It would be lovely to have a quick morning coffee after school run with the other parents on the odd occasion.”
Plenty of Amenities
Along with the new school, Thakeham are also providing a shop and a cafe, a community centre, parks and a pavilion.
The £4 million school will eventually have capacity for 210 children, with five modern classrooms and early years nursery provision, a main hall, library, multifunctional space and a special educational needs room.
Rob Boughton, CEO of Thakeham Group, said, “We sought to fund and deliver Woodgate Primary School at an early stage of the development. This is because the school will play such a crucial role in inspiring a thriving new community. We are grateful to everyone who played their part in helping us to design a school to make West Sussex proud.”
Falling in love with Woodgate
Before moving to Woodgate, the Dutfield family had viewed numerous older homes but decided a new build home was what they really wanted. They booked an appointment to view Woodgate and fell in love with the area instantly.
“We were given a tour of the grounds by the sales team who explained the primary school, local shop, café and community hub, which are all great selling points.” The family settled on a house in a Capella and as soon as they were able to look around their chosen property, they could picture themselves living at Woodgate.
“Seeing the size of the garden for Cody to play in, the closeness to the school, the proximity to Tilgate Forest , yet being connected by nearby motorway for easy access to family, it just felt like home. I think we were extremely lucky,” Jennifer added.
*Imagery of Capella Showhome
“There’s an amazing community spirit here. Everyone waves or stops to say hello when walking by and the Thakeham staff know you by name and always ask how things are going. When the Euro Cup finals were on a big screen was arranged on the Village Green courtesy of Thakeham for all the residents to meet and watch. We love that there is a fish and chip van on a Sunday evening, the ice-cream van is always around and we just can’t wait to see what the community hub has to offer. The fact that there is so much greenery space for fitness on the green and launch events supporting local businesses, is an added bonus.
“Although we’ve only been here for two months, we love the move more and more every day. This area feels like the perfect place to raise a family. We have a large family which means everything to us, so I would love my family to move closer and I’m encouraging my mum to move here too.
“Everything so far for us has been perfect – from Thakeham, the sales teams, contractors and the site teams. Moving to Woodgate is the best decision we’ve made. We believe we have made the perfect move for our little family and this feels like our forever home.”