Official opening of inspirational new school

Daily Echo: NEW LIFE: The youngest and oldest pupils, Alana Bailey, four, and Shane Johnson, 11, help Mike Osman and head teacher Lucy Jones plant a tree NEW LIFE: The youngest and oldest pupils, Alana Bailey, four, and Shane Johnson, 11, help Mike Osman and head teacher Lucy Jones plant a tree

IT promises to inspire generations.

Teachers and education officials hope Southampton’s newest primary school will prove a springboard to improving standards at the school and giving youngsters the best possible start in life.

The state-of-the-art £6m home for Newlands Primary in Millbrook was this week officially unveiled by local comedian Mike Osman.

It is the largest primary school to be built in the city for more than 25 years.

As part of the radical overhaul of facilities, the 420 children at the Ullswater Road school are being given access to use computers and iPads in a bid to teach them vital IT skills from an early age.

Head teacher Lucy Jones said: “This is a very exciting time for Newlands Primary School.

“The new building is fantastic and will be a truly inspiring environment for pupils and staff. Pupils have been involved in the project from the start and have enjoyed contributing to the designs.

“They have been consulted on the layout and facilities and made suggestions which were incorporated into the finished plans. We are particularly pleased that the new design has incorporated our wish for ICT to be an integral part of the curriculum and pupils will be able to access IT and use laptops, notebooks and iPads wherever they are on the school site.”

The new building has been constructed on the same site as the old school, which is now being demolished to make way for playing fields and a multi-use games area for pupils.

It features 17 classrooms, a stage area, nursery, two halls, a kitchen, staff facilities and offices, and solar panels have been installed on the sloped roofs.

Capacity at the school has been increased by the new building, as part of Southampton City Council's ongoing bid to cope with rising numbers of primary- age children in the city.

Southampton’s education chief, Cllr Sarah Bogle said: “It’s great news that the Newlands rebuild is now complete and the keys have been handed to the school.

This isn’t just an investment in bricks and mortar – it’s a demonstration of our commitment to investing in our schools and our young people.

“We are committed to sustainability in Southampton schools so we have made sure that energy efficiency is woven into the fabric of the school by using the latest technology.

“The new building will be a great asset to the whole community and will inspire pupils for generations.”

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