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Padre Pio School


Our School

Many years of planning and hard work came to completion on 8th September 2008 when Padre Pio Catholic Primary School, Pontypool opened its doors to the children for the first time. Padre Pio Catholic School has been built to serve the children and families from the former St Alban's and St Francis' RC Primary Schools. After providing outstanding service to generations of families, St Alban's for 143 years and St. Francis for 145 years, the schools closed at the end of the summer term 2008.

The dedication of Padre Pio was chosen for the new school due to the Governing Body wanting to recognise the tremendous work of the Franciscan Friars who came to Pontypool in the middle of the nineteenth century and established the parishes and schools of the Eastern Valleys. While it was felt that there was a need to recognise this past tradition there was also a need to be contemporary, hence choosing a Franciscan saint who died in the comparatively recent past, in 1968.

The new school was officially opened on 23rd September, the Feast Day of Padre Pio, by the Archbishop, The Most Rev'd Peter Smith. The opening ceremony centred on the celebration of Mass in the school hall. Along with parents and parishioners, many invited guests attended the ceremony including Jane Hutt, Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning & Skills; Councillor Aneurin James and Mrs James, Mayor and Mayoress of Torfaen; Mrs Anne Robertson, Schools Commissioner, Archdiocese of Cardiff and Councillor Mary Barnett, Executive Member for Children and Young People, Torfaen County Borough Council.

Following on from Mass the mosaic which hangs on the outside wall of the school was blessed. The commissioning of this magnificent piece of artwork was made possible by the fundraising efforts of the parishioners from St Alban's, co-ordinated by Canon Hayman, the parish priest.

The mosaic, constructed by local artist Stephanie Roberts, is in the form of the Franciscan Cross, and not only respects the history of the Catholic community in Pontypool but also incorporates contemporary approaches in the use of stained glass and lead work. It symbolises how the gospel preached by the Franciscan Friars in the past is not something just for the past but which also needs to be preached today and in the future.

The school, designed by Petersen Williams Architects, incorporates numerous construction innovations including some of the latest environmentally friendly technology such as a bio mass fuelled boiler, a sustainable surface water drainage system and grey water re-cycling. It can cater for 210 pupils and includes an outdoor play area that will enhance the delivery of the Foundation Phase `learning through play' curriculum. State of the art technology offering wireless internet access, interactive whiteboards in every classroom and the latest high definition video conferencing facilities are also included. The school also has a large playing field and a dedicated space for prayer and reflection. These fantastic facilities combine to provide a stimulating environment to educate pupils for life in the 21st century.

As the gospel underpins everything that goes on in our school, we endeavour to form a strong partnership with home and parish to achieve shared aspirations and to fulfil our mission; `A Catholic family where we pray and learn in peace with each other. Together, we take the message of Jesus to the world.'