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SHIREBROOK: Opening at new academy

Anne Western, leader of Derbyshire County Council, with head teacher Julie Bloor and  head boy Dylan Collier and deputy head girl Katie Salmon at the official opening of Shirebrook Academy on Saturday.

Anne Western, leader of Derbyshire County Council, with head teacher Julie Bloor and head boy Dylan Collier and deputy head girl Katie Salmon at the official opening of Shirebrook Academy on Saturday.

The official opening of Shirebrook Academy has taken place six months after it opened its doors to pupils.

Developers took nearly two years to build the new £27m school, in Common Lane, which saw the 700-pupil academy co-locating with Stubbin Wood special school.

Derbyshire County Council leader Anne Western performed the official ribbon-cutting ceremony at the weekend, a month after she also officially opened the new Stubbin Wood facility on the same site.

Academy principal Julie Bloor said: “Plenty of pupils have commented how, compared to our old building, the new school is like a magical place.”

The move is one of only a handful of examples in the country where a mainstream school has co-located with a special school.

There are some shared facilities and the option for students to eat together, but the schools have separate entrances, classrooms and outdoor areas, while anyone who wants to pass from one school to the other has to use a swipe card.

Following the official opening, the school held a special winter wonderland event.

The new development has WiFi throughout the building, a well-equipped ICT suite, light and roomy classrooms and a dance studio complete with mirrors, a sprung wooden floor and LED lighting,.

The space also has retractable seating, which can be pulled out to turn the room into a cinema – complete with 3D projection facilities – or a theatre space.

Elsewhere, the building has a sports hall with four full-size badminton courts and a 3G surface multi-sport courts outside.

These can be accessed by a separate entrance and reception to enable members of the public to use the facilities outside school hours.

Stubbin Wood’s pupils, who all have a range of complex learning and physical disabilities, moved into their new base a week after their academy counterparts.

 

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