Pupils have been welcomed back to a brand new, state-of-the-art building at Haltwhistle Primary Academy following the summer break.
Doors have opened on the £3.5m school project in Haltwhistle which has seen the former middle school undergo a major refurbishment to create a new primary school, new space for community activities and the Children’s Centre.
Susie Drake, Headteacher, said:
“It was so lovely to see the excitement on our children’s faces when they arrived through the doors on their first day back. The large classroom windows which overlook Northumberland’s beautiful landscape have created stunning light and bright teaching spaces which are equipped with the newest teaching technology. Specialist spaces, such as a large art and design studio, and extensive grounds provide incredible opportunities for our children and their families. The ground floor provides inviting spaces for play and learning and is home to the nursery and reception classes. From the classroom children can step out into their new enchanting outdoor play environment with an abundance of varied play challenges which will enhance development and learning for the youngest pupils. The first and second floors provide a hub for each key stage group, with each having innovative open-plan libraries and other teaching spaces for older pupils. The old school hall has also been transformed through the addition of a multi-purpose stage/dance studio.”
Councillor Ian Hutchinson, Local Ward Member for Haltwhistle, said: “This is a fantastic learning environment for the children of Haltwhistle and surrounding areas. It will give them access to opportunities they didn’t have before and will give them the best start in life here in the west of the county. It was important for me as local ward member to be able to support this refurbishment and I was pleased to be able to allocate £10,000 in funding for the refurbishment of the changing facilities through the capital schemes allowance.”
The project has also received financial contributions from WISE Academies, the trust that oversees the running of the school to further enhance its learning offer.
Zoe Carr, Chief Executive of WISE Academies said:
“We are so proud of the offer here at Haltwhistle now. The children and their families have been so excited for this day and now it is here, and it is great that we can share it with the wider local community, providing facilities for not only our pupils, but also the wider local community.”
The new Children’s Centre will aid in further developing and embedding the County Council’s Early Help 0-19 years children, young people and family provision in the local area. The design of the building allows for the ‘hub model’ to be maximised which allows for an integrated, co-located and co-delivered range of community-based services for families.
In addition to the services that are offered to families through the council’s learning, development and specialist intervention programmes aimed at under 5s, the team will be able to continue the more intensive Early Help Family Worker support services for families with children aged 0-19 years who are facing more challenging circumstances.
Councillor Guy Renner-Thompson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Children’s Services, said: “This project really is the heart of the community and is a prime example of why we should continue to invest in our communities and schools.
“As a council, in partnership with Wise Academies, we are pleased that we have been able to make this happen.”