Double decker celebration at Peterborough school

Bishop Alan Hopes blessed the school's new library bus and officially opened and blessed an extended St Thomas More Catholic Nursery in Peterborough.
Bishop Alan Hopes blessed the school's new library bus and officially opened and blessed an extended St Thomas More Catholic Nursery in Peterborough.
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There was a double decker celebration at St Thomas More Catholic Primary in Peterborough, where Bishop Alan Hopes blessed the school’s new library bus.

The red double-decker London bus blessed by Bishop Alan provides a new library space for 420 children at the school after a search to find one, organised and led by Deputy Headteacher Becky Dickson.

“It is really important to us to raise reading standards,” she said.

“We wanted a designated library space, but did not have enough room in school. We came up with the idea of having a big red bus. Year 1 read a book called Naughty Bus, which is about a big red London bus which goes on an adventure, as part of their thematic work on Transport, and Year 6 study London in their themed lessons, so only a big red London bus would do” she added.

Terry Austin, Head of Engineering at Stagecoach London, liaised with Becky, arranging to kindly donate the bus to the school.

The bus was refurbished by Alexander Dennis Ltd, who created seating, reading spaces and bespoke book shelves, freely donating their time and services.

“We are really appreciative of the companies involved generosity. The long awaited arrival of the bus on December 8 was a really special day for us,” said Becky.

A £350,000 grant from the Department for Education has extended and refurbished St Thomas More Catholic Nursery, which was also blessed by Bishop Alan.

The nursery can open from 8am-6pm instead of its original time 9am-3pm.

“These two new additions will help secure good or better outcomes for our families and the additional opening hours of the nursery will support our working families” said Anne-Marie, Headteacher and Chair of the Nursery Committee.

Anne-Marie McElhinney