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A Class Of Their Own

A couple of years ago we had the vision of developing a new learning space within the school and thanks to the tireless effort of parents, staff, friends and the community we raised just over £65,000 to put towards such a task which is a tremendous result. We are incredibly grateful to everyone involved who dedicated enormous amounts of time and effort not to mention money to this cause.

Where are we now?

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Now, as anyone who has ever completed a building project on their home will know, such projects take time to design, gain planning permission and to scope out the costs and more often than not the original plans change as life and needs change.

Put this into a school context and it gets even more complicated with layers of red tape, health and safety measures which is time consuming and costly. At the outset of the project the school formed a Steering Group and this team worked hard to secure a design, planning permission and manage a tender process with contractors (as we’re required to do as a school). It is only once you have gone through this process that you truly know your costs and unfortunately it became apparent that no matter what we did to modify the design to save money, our funds were simply not enough to build a new learning space, by some margin.

Given this situation, the Steering Group took the difficult decision to investigate other options. The aim here was to still meet the requirements of the ACOTO Trustees of upgrading the mobile class room and providing an additional learning space within the school, but this really gave us the opportunity to think differently.

Our focus as a school is always the children and so we started looking at ways of how we could meet this requirement and improve all learning environments so that the entire school community would benefit. We therefore discussed this idea with the ACOTO Trustees, who were comfortable this met the terms of the charity and so we progressed to designing and getting quotes for such a project. Over the past few weeks we have been communicating this plan to various groups within our community, including the information evening last term and the reaction has been very positive with widespread support that this route is the best for all the children of our school, both present and into the future.

We are therefore pleased to say that following ongoing hard work over the summer we are now ready to commence with the project.

This will be handled in a phased approach, and will involve four of our seven learning spaces having significant structural improvements completed (including upgrading the mobile classroom and ensuring the the additional space made last year can be used on a permanent basis), which will make a huge difference for the children in these rooms. Then because this work is internal and doesn't incur the overheads of an external build, there will be sufficient funds left over to improve the remaining three learning spaces and all communal areas which will be freshly decorated and have new flooring laid. This means that every child in our school will benefit from a clean, fresh and calm environment no matter which class they are in, and creates a school to be proud of and with seven learning spaces is fit for the future.

This work will start before Christmas and will continue into next year with minimal disruption to daily school functions and learning. The Steering Group and ACOTO Trustees are excited to finally be starting this project that will lead to flexible, comfortable learning spaces for all children for many years to come and we will keep you updated as the work progresses.

 

 

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