VIDEO: £33m Burnley superschool takes shape

 Headteacher at Ridgewood Fran Entwistle looks out of the window of her new office with pupil Charlotte Broxup, 14

Headteacher at Ridgewood Fran Entwistle looks out of the window of her new office with pupil Charlotte Broxup, 14

First published in Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

CHILDREN and staff have been treated to a close-up view of their brand new £33 million superschool.

Developers at the new Ridgewood Community High School and Sir John Thursby Community College site, in Eastern Avenue, Burnley, gave the headteachers and two pupils from each of the schools a sneak preview of their new classrooms and facilities.

Construction bosses said they are ‘very confident’ the site, which is part of the £250 million Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, will be completed in time for staff and pupils to enter next September.

Headteachers of both schools to be located on the new site were consulted on the design and layout of the development, which will include a balcony outside the first floor art classrooms, horticultural area and artificial turf sports pitch.

Elaine Dawson, headteacher at Sir John Thursby Community College, said: “Each department is in its own pod because we wanted to create a corporate image for each one, so they have a sense of ownership.

“When I was training, as one of the exercises we had to develop was a school from scratch, but not many teachers get the chance to actually do it – it’s really exciting.”

Fran Entwistle, headteacher at Ridgewood Community High, which caters for secondary age pupils with special educational needs, agreed it was ‘every teacher’s dream’ to be able to have an input in the design.

She added: “Even though it’s just started it still gives you a bit of a buzz just walking around.”

Charlotte Broxup, a Year 10 pupil at Ridgewood, said she was ‘really excited’ about moving into the new building.

And Adam Fish, a Year 7 pupil at Sir John Thursby High, said the building looked ‘absolutely brilliant’ and added that he was looking forward to trying out the new sports facilities.

Three of East Lancashire’s superschools opened last month, although delays have been experienced at each site.

But Derrick O’Donnell, project manager at the Eastern Avenue development, said they have learned from those ‘teething problems’ and work should be finished by August 24 2009 – two weeks before children start.


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