A NEW primary school in Abertillery has officially opened.

The 360 pupil Six Bells Primary Campus in Abertillery was officially opened by Kirsty Williams AM, the Welsh minister for education.

The £8million school is the second three-to-16 school to be established in Blaenau Gwent and is aiming to provide first class educational facilities. It came about through a partnership between Blaenau Gwent council and Welsh Government’s 21st Century School Programme.

Six Bells Primary Campus also replaces two Victorian school buildings and is located on the former colliery site, overlooked by the Guardian Memorial.

It forms part of Abertillery Learning Community – which originally saw five primary schools and one secondary school come together under one organisation but remained on separate campuses. Six Bells now sees the merge of two of the primary schools and a nursery.

South Wales Argus:

(Pupils at the opening of Six Bells Primary School with Welsh Assembly member and minister for education Kirsty Williams)

Joining Ms Williams at the opening – where a plaque was unveiled – was Blaenau Gwent Council chairwoman Cllr Mandy Moore, chair of governors Brian Davies, Cllr Joanne Collins executive member for education, council managing director Michelle Morris and director of education Lynette Jones.

Head teacher Meryl Echeverry and primary phase lead Louisa Tudge took the minister on a tour of the school before pupils sang, We Are The Young and Psalm 23 – The Lord Is My Shepherd.

A speech was made by the minister, Cllr Collins, Ms Jones and Ms Echeverry as a commemorative plaque was unveiled.

The minister also received gifts from the children, including a ceramic tile showing the Guardian Memorial by a Year Six pupil and a bouquet of flowers made by the foundation phase children.

South Wales Argus:

(Welsh Assembly minister for education Kirsty Williams with the gifts from children at Six Bells Primary School)


Kirsty Williams AM said: “It was a pleasure to visit here today and see first-hand the difference the new school is making to both pupils and staff at Six Bells Primary.

“We’re investing in our school estate through our 21st Century School and Colleges programme so that pupils have surroundings where they can enjoy their primary learning years in an environment that creates better opportunities for learning and wellbeing.

“It’s been a real team effort and the local authority, the community and the hardworking staff should be proud of the inspirational learning environment they’ve created here at Six Bells.”

South Wales Argus:

(Pupils during the assembly to officially open the school)

Abertillery Learning Community head Meryl Echerverry said: “I am extremely proud to be the leader of Abertillery Learning Community which has seen the joining together of primary and secondary education to secure excellent progress and achievement in learning for all learners.

“I lead a strong, dedicated and committed team of professionals who ensure that all learners have access to the highest quality of education.

“The vision for an all-through education system is both exciting and sector leading, preparing our learners for the modern world, enabling them to be confident, capable, aspirational citizens for the future.”

Blaenau Gwent council’s executive member for education, Cllr Joanne Collins said: “We were absolutely delighted to welcome the minister for education to Blaenau Gwent and to Six Bells today to see our new campus. This is a wonderful vibrant 21st century learning environment and I’m pleased that we have been able to work in partnership with the Welsh Government in order to provide this for the children of the area.

“We are committed to working closely with the Abertillery Learning Community and all our partners so that we can raise standards and aspirations for all our Abertillery learners and give them the best possible educational start in life.”