Talk as part of Local History Month 2016.
Pupils in Middlesbrough will be unwrapping a very special present on Thursday – their new £6m school!
Berwick Hills Primary School has a brand new building and the pupils, staff and friends of the school will celebrate its official opening at 2pm on December 1.
The new building was built as part of Middlesbrough Council’s Primary Strategy for Change programme and was the only school in the programme to receive an entire new building.
The one storey state-of-the-art school features a central hub containing a library, ICT suite, art gallery, dance studio and hall. There are three learning wings coming off the hub containing classrooms for each key stage.
The Primary Strategy for Change team at Middlesbrough Council worked with staff and pupils to create a “wish list” for what they would like in the school – and almost every single wish has been granted.
To celebrate its official opening the school will be wrapped in a big ribbon.
A special assembly will then take place when the school will be officially opened by two of its former headteachers – Mrs Cowan headteacher from 1966 to 1995 and Mr King 1995 to 2008 – and the present headteacher Louise Moore, together with the school’s Head Boy Tyrhys Swales-Bradley and Head Girl Libby Büte-Reynolds.
Berwick Hills first opened in 1954 and now has around 360 pupils. The special celebration will be led by the children and include music, poems and readings.
In attendance will be former and present staff, governors, friends of the school and representatives from the builders and the local authority.
Headteacher Louise Moore said: “The relationships that have been established and developed over time between the school, its staff, pupils and governors together with the design and construction teams have meant that this school has been created by a community for a community.
“All of us at Berwick Hills Primary School thank everyone who has been involved in this project and promise that we will take the greatest care of this most precious building, not just for ourselves but for all those children, their families, teachers and support staff who will follow us over the years as they become part of the future community of Berwick Hills Primary School.”
Ms Moore thanked builders Walter Thompson’s, her staff for coping with the upheaval the new build has caused and asset manager Sue Corner and architect Nigel Carr, and their teams, at Middlesbrough Council for their work over the past three years.
The school staff even managed to cope with an Ofsted inspection just six days after moving into the new building in June this year – which resulted in a judgement of “Good” overall. Ofsted inspectors said: “Berwick Hills is a good school. Pupils achieve well in this caring , friendly school community.”
Head Boy Tyrhys Swales-Bradley and head girl Libby Büte-Reynolds spoke of “a very important day” for everyone in Berwick Hills Primary School.
Libby Büte-Reynolds said: “The school is excellent because we have got a dance studio with a glistening disco ball and a wall of mirrors.”
Tyrhys Swales-Bradley said: “The all-weather MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area) is the best because everyone can use it and play different sports in it all year round.”
Ms Moore praised asset management officer Sue Corner and Design Services, Group Leader Nigel Carr, and their teams, at Middlesbrough Council for their work over the past three years.
Councillor Mike Carr, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Children, Families and Learning, said: “This is a wonderful day for everyone at Berwick Hills Primary School.
“The new school building is a superb learning environment that will be enjoyed by thousands of pupils for many years to come.
“Middlesbrough Council is proud to have helped realise a building that has been so well received by pupils, staff and parents.”