Haltwhistle Primary School project makes progress
28 May 2021
A £2.65m school project in Haltwhistle is another step closer to welcoming pupils.
Having undergone a major refurbishment over the last year, the former middle school has been upgraded to create a new primary school for the town, new space for community activities and the children’s centre.
Pupils and staff will be wowed by the building’s large windows and spacious classrooms which overlook Northumberland’s beautiful landscape.
Councillor Ian Hutchinson, Local Ward Member for Haltwhistle, said: “I am extremely excited for the children of Haltwhistle and surrounding areas to be able to learn and grow in this new, fantastic learning environment. It offers so much for them and gives them access to opportunities they didn’t have before. As local ward member I was also pleased to be able to allocate further funding for the refurbishment of the changing facilities as part of the project through the capital schemes allowance.”
Pupils will be able to access great art facilities and a hall fit for all purposes, eating, dancing, acting and celebration. Play is also a key part of a younger child’s learning and the new outdoor play equipment will enhance what they learn in and out of the classroom.
The ground floor will become home to the youngest of the school's children through its nursery and reception - an area offering open space and learning areas for all to enjoy.
Classrooms for older pupils occupy the first and second floors, along with innovative open-plan libraries on each floor and other teaching spaces. The old school hall has also been transformed through the addition of a multi-purpose stage/dance studio.
Pupils will love using these spaces, as will the wide range of community groups who used to call the middle school their home.
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: “This building is something we can all really be proud of and we can’t wait to welcome all children into it in the new school year.
“Despite some setbacks, we have now made plans to open the school in September and contractors will move forward with the final works needed to make this happen.
It really will be something at the heart of the community, providing facilities for not only our pupils, but also the wider local community.
As always, we would like to thank pupils, staff, parents and the community for their continued support. "
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.
Individual family support will be available alongside a range of group-based programmes ranging from adjusting to being a new parent, speech, language and other development concerns for very young children, through to programmes which support parents and children who have, or are currently experiencing domestic abuse, families where there may be child to parent violence in the home, programmes to assist with good nutrition and parenting techniques and a programme aimed at parenting teens.
The increased space at the centre also allows for a wider range of partnership working which is key in providing much-needed services in the area including midwives, health visitors, mental health support services for children and young people, domestic abuse provision, and a range of diverse community and voluntary groups.
The county council is currently investing in and undertaking a number of refurbishments across schools in Northumberland.
Councillor Guy Renner-Thompson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for children’s services, said: “Investment in our communities and schools is vitally important and a project such as this just shows us why.
“By making investments in our schools we will be able to ensure more places are available for more children where they are needed, and that quality education is provided and accessible for all.”