A NEW dance and fitness studio will be open in time to celebrate an independent school’s 100th year.

Headington School in Headington Road, Oxford, was granted permission by Oxford City Council on Wednesday to extend the existing sports hall on its London Road site. At the moment temporary buildings are used for various activities but these will be replaced by the new facility, due to open next year – the school’s centenary. The new studio, which would be equipped with a sprung floor, barres and mirrors, will offer pupils the chance to study a greater variety of activities than currently on offer, including ballet, modern, jazz and tap as well as providing space for fencing, zumba and cheerleading.

The girls’ school facilities are widely used by the community for sports including badminton, netball, volleyball, sculling, hockey, tennis and dance and it is hoped even more people would benefit from the new studio at the weekend and in the evenings. The aim is to widen the offering of sports and fitness activities to allow girls who are not interested in competitive or team sports to find an activity which suits them and encourages them to maintain a healthy lifestyle in and out of school.

It will also provide a permanent space for the school’s boat club.

Headmistress Caroline Jordan said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to enhance our already excellent sporting facilities and give our young athletes the space to train, practise and compete, which they deserve.

“We have worked closely with Oxford City Council planners to ensure the development is in keeping with the surroundings and fits all the relevant criteria. It represents a really exciting investment in sport to help our elite sportswomen take their discipline to the next level, along with offering opportunities for girls at all levels to succeed.

“Due to be completed in our centenary year, our intention is that this would become a lasting sporting legacy for the school.”

The school declined to reveal how much the development was expected to cost but said it hoped to complete the work within the next 18 months.

Headington School Headington Road 1302697FUL.pdf