CHILDREN at Shakespeare Primary School have started the new year in a new and exciting school environment.
Thanks to a grant of more than £1m, and as part of a major cash injection to the Fleetwood primary school cluster, the Manor Road school has undergone extensive renovation work to build a new extension with extra classrooms and a range of superb facilities.
And now it is all complete, the children and staff are already reaping the rewards.
The first phase of the development was finished in September and involved the reshaping of part of the old school building.
A new nurture room, to give extra support to children who need help to settle at school, has been created as well as a fantastic new reception and office.
The school’s learning support mentor has also a new purpose-built office.
At the back of the school is where a new-build extension is, creating classrooms for Years Three and Four to bring the junior department together in one area.
The classrooms are bright and airy with tall ceilings, soundproofing, remote control skylights – which even sense the rain and close at the first sign of a drop – and ambient lighting which can be controlled at the touch of a button.
Class teacher Paula Haughton said: “It has made a huge difference and the children have come back to the new year full of enthusiasm.
“It’s wonderful to work in a new classroom.
“The lighting is fantastic, it’s great to have direct access outside and we all really love the kitchen area.”
Pupil Emily Kilburn, eight, reflected her teacher’s views.
She said: “We like the airy ceiling and how the shades come down over the skylights.
“We like the space, the colours of the room and the kitchen area.”
Shakespeare’s school business manager Debbie Tripp said: “It has given us the ability to spread out.
“We are an oversubscribed school with an intake of 60 children in two classes every year.
“The new extension has given us an empty classroom which can be utilised for all kinds of purposes.
“Before, the children had to stay in their classrooms but now there’s room to spread around.”
New toilet facilities for infants and juniors have also been included.
But they are not ordinary school toilet blocks.
These are individual ‘en-suite’ toilets which are housed in separate cubicles complete with a sink and washing area inside each one.
Along the corridors in the new extension, there’s more ambient lighting with natural light sources and power lights which brighten or fade automatically to adjust to the changing light.
All the classrooms have cutting edge Smart boards and the school’s IT has been upgraded to include Smart tables and mobile technology.
Added Debbie: “Out of all the schools, we were awarded the least amount, but we worked hard to make sure the money was spent wisely.
“Some of the small things, like the lights, the colour school in the school’s yellow and green, extra storage spaces that have made a difference.
“The new classrooms all have separate storage rooms for things like filing cabinets. That leaves more room in the classrooms for the children.
“We are absolutely delighted with it, and by the construction work from Siddons.”
At the front of the building, the school has ensured it remains a traditional looking school. The Friends of Shakespeare School has been fund-raising to enhance the playground with a ‘ship’ for the children to play in and a junior activity trail. The next thing on the list is shading for the outside areas.