Strategic Land

Education & Future Skills

GEMS Wantage Primary Academy welcomes first students at Kingsgrove

Leah Perring, Headteacher at GEMS Wantage Academy, with children in their bubble on their first day of school.

GEMS Wantage Primary Academy, Kingsrove’s brand new primary school, opened its doors to its very first students on 21st September 2020. To celebrate the opening, GEMS welcomed developer St. Modwen, the project team and the landowners to witness the installation of a plaque to commemorate the opening and to see the completed school as its students take the first steps in their education.

The school, which will ultimately accommodate 420 primary students and 26 nursery places and includes sports pitches, a playground, a multi-use games area (MUGA) and car parking, is one of the key community benefits that St. Modwen is delivering as part of the 1,500 home new development. This September the school, which serves the new families on the Kingsgrove development, as well as local families in Wantage, has welcomed 2-4 year-olds in the nursery as well as Reception, Year 1 and 2 children.

Set in 2.2 hectares of grounds, the contemporary school building, designed by architectural practice Roberts Limbrick, features glass, timber, red brick and pitched roofs. St. Modwen worked closely with Oxfordshire County Council on the design of the school and secured full planning consent in February 2019.

From left to right: Tim Jones, St. Modwen; Leah Perring, Headteacher at GEMS Wantage Primary Academy; Harford Smith, Crab Hill Developments Limited; Simon Smith, Crab Hill Developments Limited.

We are thrilled that we have been able to ensure the opening of the primary school for this new school year as we continue to create the heart of the new community at Kingsgrove. We are proud to work in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council and the GEMS Learning Trust to create a first-class academy to offer the children of Kingsgrove and the surrounding areas an excellent facility for generations to come. Achieving such a key milestone on time in such unprecedented circumstances is testament to the excellent project team and our strong relationship with Oxfordshire County Council and GEMS Learning Trust alike. Thank you to all involved.”

William Bayston, Senior Development Manager at St. Modwen

I am so pleased to be opening this amazing school to our brand new community of children and parents. The learning opportunities we are able to offer on such an incredible site are boundless and our team cannot wait for the experiences that lie ahead.”

Leah Perring, Headteacher at GEMS Wantage Primary Academy

St. Modwen appointed Gloucester-based Barnwood Construction to build the new school, who completed the school on schedule despite interruptions due to Covid-19 and handed the building over to Oxfordshire County Council for fit-out in August 2020.

For further information and to view all the site progress please visit: or find out more about GEMS Wantage Primary Academy, visit

GEMS Wantage Primary Academy.

Newly installed plaque gifted by St. Modwen at groundbreaking in 2019.