A NEW headteacher who has recently taken over the reins at Castle School has reflected on her first term since being appointed. 

Headteacher Jessica Lobbett who joined in September says she is especially proud to be joining the school at such an important milestone. 

The Thornbury secondary - which teaches nearly 1,500 students - is half-way through a major construction project.

Once completed, the scheme will expand the existing school to incorporate the sixth form students on the same site, with a three-storey maths and science block extension.

Construction is officially due to finish in 2024, modernising science and maths facilities at the school, with a focus on provisions for year 12 and 13.

Ms Lobbett, who replaced former headteacher Joe Docherty, was previously deputy head at Oldfield School in Bath, where she worked for six years. 

She is also currently the South West representative on the Association of School and College Leaders Council. 

"The school community is unashamedly values driven, with passionate and dedicated staff, united by our shared vision to be an exceptional school at the heart of the community," she said.

"As a large comprehensive school with over 1,500 students, Castle is fortunate to be nearing completion of a large building project. 

"I am proud of the school. Not only for its academic success and wealth of extra-curricular opportunities but because it is a safe, happy and vibrant community within which to learn."

The 56-week construction project is being overseen by Morgan Sindall Construction. 

A group of year ten students and teachers were recently taken on a hard-hat tour with members from the construction team. 

Gazette Series: Students and teachers from Castle School during a visit to the new site with staff from Morgan Sindall ConstructionStudents and teachers from Castle School during a visit to the new site with staff from Morgan Sindall Construction (Image: Morgan Sindall Construction)

Gazette Series: Students during a recent visit to the new siteStudents during a recent visit to the new site (Image: Morgan Sindall Construction)

Pupils were able to sign their names on the steel beams that will form part of the building's structure for future generations to discover in many years to come. 

Rob Williams, area director at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: "It's great to celebrate the progress made so far on this brilliant project.

"We hope it will facilitate the next generation of construction careers, both through the building of the science and maths block itself, and through site visits and work experience opportunities for students.

"We are in regular contact with the school about the build and are enthusiastic about supporting young people with an interest in careers in construction, both while the project is underway and beyond."