St. Modwen, the developer behind the 1,500 home new community of Kingsgrove in Wantage, has commenced construction of a new two-form-entry primary school for Oxfordshire County Council.

The newly-named GEMS Wantage Primary Academy is set to open its doors in September 2020, with Oxfordshire County Council having appointed GEMS Learning Trust, a not-for-profit educational charity, as operator of the school.

The school, which will 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 227-acre development. It will initially welcome 2-4 year-olds in the nursery as well as Reception, Year 1 and 2 children and will largely serve the new families on the Kingsgrove development, but will also offer places to local families in Wantage.

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

William Bayston, Development Manager at St. Modwen, said:

“We are thrilled to be delivering this new primary school as we begin to create the heart of the new community at Kingsgrove. We look forward to working 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.”

GEMS Learning Trust CEO, Jodie Croft, said:

“The GEMS Learning Trust is delighted to have the opportunity to open a new school in Kingsgrove, Wantage. The close proximity to GEMS Didcot Primary Academy will bring many benefits to the new school and will allow us to further develop our vision of small hubs of excellent schools. We have experience of opening brand new schools and have received Outstanding Ofsted judgements for both our sister schools in the Trust.


“The layout of the new school has been thoughtfully planned and will provide the children with an inspiring indoor and outdoor learning environment. We are currently advertising for a Principal and hope to have appointed early in the Autumn term.”

St. Modwen has appointed Gloucester-based Barnwood Construction to build the new school, with a targeted completion and handover to Oxfordshire County Council for fit-out in July 2020.

For further information and to view all the site progress please visit: