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New £32million school has the 'wow' factor

By This is Somerset  |  Posted: September 21, 2009

<P>Head teacher David New is very proud of the new Nailsea School</P>

Head teacher David New is very proud of the new Nailsea School

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FROM the moment you walk through the doors at Nailsea's new £32 million school it has the 'wow' factor.

Staff and pupils are filled with excitement and enthusiasm at the state-of-the-art building and facilities, which they helped create.

And the question about what it looks like is such a hot topic for debate that many parents are finding it hard to wait until open evenings later in the month to have a look around.

It is the single largest building project ever undertaken by North Somerset Council, and not only finished four months ahead of schedule, but also came in on budget, leaving enough money for an all-weather sports pitch.

The eco-friendly school, which has a university feel, opened its doors at the start of the September term.

Pupils' return was staggered to minimise any teething problems, but it went even better than expected.

Head teacher David New told the Mercury how Year 13 pupils were speechless when they arrived for their induction and could only utter 'ooh', 'aah' and 'wow'.

Other pupils described it as being like a spaceship, or out of this world, but Mr New said his favourite comment was from a young pupil who said the school made her feel 'like a million dollars'.

Once through the doors pupils are met with curved corridors and multi-use open spaces in between angled classrooms with glass

walls.

An open atrium from which the arterial routes lead into the heart of, is filled with comfy chairs and trees and has the feeling of being outdoors, by sitting under a glass roof..

Each section of the building has been colour coded to stop pupils and staff getting lost, all rooms have braille on the doors and there will soon be computerised swipe cards for registration.

Even the open plan unisex toilets, which were controversial, in this and other schools, have proven a success.

Mr New says his vision for a wall of learning has been achieved and he has high hopes of turning this already good school into an outstanding one.

He said: "It has had a fantastic impact on the students.

"You can see the level of concentration, they are more independent and are enthused.

"What we wanted to do was create spaces that enhanced learning and to make pupils attitudes to learning very positive."

"All the indications from week one in the new building is we are achieving this.

"The new school does what it was designed to do, it makes students feel as if they are all grown-up and therefore they behave in a more mature manner.

"If this school doesn't raise results to more than 80 per cent of 5* A-C grades at GCSE within a couple of years nothing will."

The new building boasts a science 'super lab, unique to Nailsea School, an auditorium, with seating for 350 people, two smaller lecture theatres, a sports hall, dance studio with ballet bar and sprung floor, music recording studios and an education centre.

There is also a media cafe, serving tea and coffee throughout the day and a juice bar, proving this school has everything it needs and much more.

Natural light, solar heating, rainwater for loo flushing and bio-fuel boilers awarded the building top marks in its environmental assessment.

North Somerset Council's executive member for children and young people's services cllr Jeremy Blatchford said: "I don't think the community has yet realised what they have got.

"I think it will make a huge change to the whole of Nailsea and I think it will raise the standards from a good school to an outstanding school.

"It is very interesting to watch the way the students walk, the way they conduct themselves, it is completely different. It is far more like a university than a secondary school."

Many of the school's facilities will also be open to the community for use by sports clubs and drama groups.

The school's official opening is on Monday, October 5, but builders will be on site until March 2010.

Demolition work on the old school, which celebrated its 50th anniversary during the summer, has already begun.

Open evenings for parents to look around will be held mid October.

Read more from Western Daily Press

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    Bob, Europe  |  October 18 2009, 7:57AM

    perhaps T.Corner might be able to use the IT dept. one evening and learn how to turn off the caps lock on his keyboard. In the meantime he should stop whining and support the new school and it's headteacher.

  • Profile image for This is Somerset
    T.CORNER, NAILSEA  |  September 24 2009, 1:52PM

    IT'S A SHAME MR NEW DOES NOT SPEND THE SAME AMOUNT OF HIS TIME SORTING OUT THE CHILDRENS' EDUCATION AS HE DOES THIS NEW BUILDING, WE DON'T REALLY CARE WHAT HE THINKS ABOUT THE SCHOOL. WHAT WE DO CARE ABOUT IS HOW OUR CHILDREN ARE EDUCATED. SO MANY PARENTS IN NAILSEA ARE NOW FUNDING OUT OF SCHOOL TUTORING FOR THEIR CHILDREN JUST TO GET A DECENT GRADE, YET HE IS HAPPY TO MAKE OUT THAT THE GRADES THE CHILDREN DO GET ARE DOWN TO THE SCHOOLS EDUCATION SYSTEM. THE PARENTS OF NAILSEA SCHOOL CHILDREN SHOULD MAKE A STAND AND DEMAND BETTER TEACHING. THE NEW UNIFORM WAS ONLY AVAILABLE FROM SCHOOL TOGS, UNFORTUNATELY THEIR SUPPLIER WAS UNABLE TO SUPPLY ENOUGH TIES FOR THE BEGINING OF TERM (WHICH ENDED UP BEING A LOT LATER THAN OTHER SCHOOLS). EVEN THOUGH THE SCHOOL WAS INFORMED THAT THE TIES WOULD NOT BE AVAILABLE IN TIME, ALL CHILDREN WHO DID NOT WEAR ONE WERE SENT HOME WITH A LETTER TO SAY IT WAS NOT ACCEPTABLE. THEN TWO DAYS BEFORE THEY WERE DUE BACK ANOTHER LETTER ARRIVED IN THE POST, SAYING EXACTLY THE SAME THING, THAT CHILDREN NOT WEARING FULL SCHOOL UNIFORM WOULD BE SENT HOME AND EXCLUDED FROM SCHOOL UNTIL THEY HAD THE CORRECT UNIFORM. THIS WAS A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY, (MONEY THE SCHOOL DOES NOT HAVE). MR NEW KNEW TIES WERE UNVAILABLE YET STILL INSISTED AND WASTED HIS/EVERYONES TIME TRYING TO MAKE EVERYONE LOOK THE PART FOR HIS NEW BUILDING. IT WOULD APPEAR HE CARES MORE ABOUT APPEARANCES THAN THE REAL IMPORTANT ISSUE WHICH IS THE STANDARD OF EDUCATION THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF NAILSEA ARE RECEIVING.

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