Work is progressing well on a £4.5m project to revitalise buildings at Haydon Bridge High School – just one part of the largest investment in school stock in the UK by a local authority.
The development is establishing a welcoming new entrance; a new vocational centre; and improvements to the main hall, library, sports hall changing, performing arts and learning hub areas.
A new base for the school’s sixth form has been established within the heart of the school and improvements to the main hall are also complete and work is underway on the attractive new main entrance.
A new vocational centre is being established through re-modelling of an old design and technology block. It is being created as a teaching space to train young people and adults in construction, engineering, hairdressing and beauty therapy, and professional catering.
The car parking area at the front of the building has been redesigned to allow safer access for school transport, and two multi-use games areas are being established to the north of the new parking area.
Councillor Wayne Daley, deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services at the council added: “This school was under threat of closure by the previous Labour Council, and was neglected and forgotten by Bright Tribe, the discredited academy chain. However we had faith in the staff, the pupils and the community to make it thrive, and took over the running of the school.
“We have been determined to invest and put structures and facilities in place that provide a sustainable future for our schools, high quality learning environments and ultimately the best possible outcomes for all students.
“I can see the difference these improvements are going to make at Haydon Bridge - and I am already looking forward to our next visit - seeing them complete and adding to the great experience that students are having here at the school.”
PONTELAND LEISURE AND LEARNING CAMPUS GETS THE GOLDEN TREATMENT
A major milestone in the development of brand-new learning and leisure facilities in Ponteland was reached last week - when the final ‘bolts’ were tightened in the steel frame.
Kier, a leading provider of construction and infrastructure services joined guests from Northumberland County Council, Active Northumberland, Ponteland Primary School and Ponteland High School to witness the completion of the steel frame for the new development of the £43m project that includes building two new schools and leisure facilities which will serve Ponteland and surrounding communities.
Having passed the half-way point of the project, the completion of the structural steel frame is a major milestone in the construction of these much-anticipated facilities. With the installation of the precast concrete components also complete and the installation of the structural slabs well underway, the project is on track for its completion in Summer 2020.
“It was great to visit the site for this significant milestone in what is one of the largest developments ever delivered by Northumberland County Council.
“It will provide two fantastic new schools plus state-of-the-art leisure and community and sports facilities which I am sure the people from Ponteland and surrounding communities will love.
The council is proud of what is one of its largest ever capital programmes with schemes to boost the county’s economy, improve education prospects for all and create new infrastructure for the future, with around £142m being spent on schools in a three-year period.
“Under a Conservative run Council we will be having many more golden bolt ceremonies!”
THE STARS LINE UP FOR NORTHUMBERLAND
As part of Northumberland’s Climate Care package, Ten Northumberland schools have achieved Modeshift STARS accreditation - marking them out for excellence in promoting sustainable and active travel.
To gain accreditation schools have to complete a range of activities including Walk to School Week, Bike Week, Bikers Breakfasts, Smarter Parker Campaigns and setting up Five Minute Walking Zones.
This makes October, and International Walk to School Month, an excellent time to celebrate all of their fantastic work.
Eight schools have achieved or renewed their bronze accreditation and two, Hareside Primary and Allendale Primary, have received the pinnacle of gold accreditation.
In order to achieve gold each school delivered 25 initiatives, 15 supporting initiatives and demonstrated excellence in promoting sustainable travel and reducing car use.
Schools who have achieved bronze awards are: Barndale House School, Morpeth First School, Stannington First School, Hexham Priory School, Cramlington Eastlea Primary School, NCEA Bishops Josephine Butler Primary School, Malvins Close Academy and Whittingham C of E Primary School.
NEW FRESH START
New teachers in Northumberland are set to benefit from additional support to make the strongest possible start in the classroom thanks to Conservative run Northumberland County Council.
The Chartered College of Teaching, the professional body for teachers, is working with the county council to offer free membership to newly qualified teachers (NQTs) in Northumberland.
As part of the partnership, over 80 NQTs will receive tailored research, tools and guidance as they start teaching.
The support comes at a crucial time, with an increasing rate of early career teachers leaving the profession.
The free membership follows the Department for Education’s call for more early career teachers to receive high-quality support to build a foundation for a successful career as part of their recruitment and retention strategy.
“It is vital that we support new entrants to the profession. This partnership with the Chartered College will strengthen the excellent support this local authority already provides.”
Newly qualified teachers will have access to the Chartered College’s early career guide, The Profession; an Early Career Area on the Chartered College’s member site, MyCollege; and exclusive invites to events such as an Early Career Conference in November.
AND FINALLY…..ITS AN EARLY START
Two years ago, Conservative run Northumberland County Council set up the The Northumberland Early Years Professionals Network - it has now won a national Nursery World award - for excellent practice in team development.
The network is led by Northumberland County Council’s Early Year’s Team in partnership with Northumbria University Newcastle’s Department of Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing.
The annual Nursery World awards shine a light on best practice in early years education and childcare from across the UK, with the team development award celebrating those who have built a high-quality staff team through good practice in recruitment and retention, training and career development.
The Northumberland network forms a community of practice which has grown since its inception two years ago.
During this time it has supported strong partnership working and staff recruitment, especially promoting men in early years and childcare.
“This shows that Conservatives are leading the way in all aspects of Education in Northumberland”