Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

UNITED IN LEARNING; Pupils Forge Links in New School Setting

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

UNITED IN LEARNING; Pupils Forge Links in New School Setting

Article excerpt

Byline: JOANNA DESIRA

A PAIR of Middlesbrough schools have forged closer bonds in their first term in a unique new building.

In September, Ormesby and Priory Woods schools moved into a new shared building constructed thanks to Middlesbrough Council's Building Schools for the Future scheme.

As the weeks have gone on the two schools have found new ways of working together to the benefit of both sets of pupils.

Older pupils at Priory Woods, a special school, have the opportunity to take activities and classes with mainstream Ormesby pupils.

Teachers are finding ways of working together and pupils are socialising more.

And Ormesby headteacher Steve Burrows even goes litter picking with Priory Woods pupils.

Bernadette Knill, headteacher at Priory Woods, said: "It's been much better, I thought it would be full of problems in terms of routines and procedures, but things have gone swimmingly, and the children have been just fantastic; they've coped really well.

"Priory Woods has really good links with Ormesby through after-school and lunch time clubs and shared facilities."

Priory Woods and Ormesby are housed in separate wings and have a shared heart, known as the street.

Shared facilities include therapy rooms, meeting rooms, the school kitchen, and the learning and resource centre.

Mrs Knill added: "I think the lives of pupils at Priory Woods have been enhanced by having a lovely building and by being around mainstream children, it's made them aspire to another level."

Mr Burrows said: "The LRC is a shared resource in lesson times and outside lesson times, where we have pupils working together, helping each other out and they pass each other in the corridor.

"At times we have as many as 200 students travelling through the corridor but there is total respect between the two groups and it's lovely to see.

"There is no question that we are not retaining the two schools separately, but it really is a shared resource. …

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