SOUTHAMPTON’S first all-through school is beginning to take shape after an old primary school was demolished.

Last June, work began on the expansion of St Mark’s Church of England Primary School on Shirley Road to create the city’s first school to combine both primary and secondary education.

Over the last few months contractors have been finishing the demolition of the existing school and this month the tower crane is set to be installed and the first ground floor slab will be poured.

This will then show the first glimpse of the new school, which will offer 900 “much-needed” school places.

Cabinet Member for Children and Learning at Southampton City Council, Cllr Darren Paffey referred to the expansion as “ambitious and exciting” adding that the project demonstrates the council’s commitment to “ensuring that children get the best possible start in life”.

During demolition and excavation of the site, the archaeology team found evidence showing 200 years of school life including a 19th century Blackwood & Co ink bottle and 30kg of finds dating to the late Iron Age.

As previously reported, the project is worth £39.9m and contractors are said to be actively working to make best use of resources, reducing energy consumption and minimising waste.

Stephanie Bryant, headteacher of St. Mark’s Church of England Primary School, said: “It is wonderful now to see the foundations of the new school taking shape and being able to walk through the new footprint on the site.

“The opportunities that this new building will offer its students and the local community are extremely exciting.”