A NEW specialist resource unit for deaf children at Newlands Primary School is ready to welcome pupils for the first time.

The new building in Millbrook, Southampton, will provide a dedicated space for specialist teaching and school interventions, including speech therapy.

It's hoped that it will help deaf children meet their full potential in life.

The children will learn alongside their peers and be fully integrated into school life.

Headteacher Karen Mellor said: “All of the children and staff at Newlands are excited about the new resource base and have been eagerly watching the contractors at work as the building project has progressed.

“Our school is a highly inclusive mainstream primary and our deaf children are already fully integrated into their mainstream classes.

“Having the new bespoke extension will further enhance the specialist provision in place for them, providing a high-quality environment where they can work with specialist staff to further their progress and development.

“We are lucky to have amazing grounds for outdoor learning at Newlands and we are delighted that conservation of the grounds and nature has been a big part of the project as well.”

The resource unit has been fully designed by Southampton City Council’s in-house Design Services Team, with input from design team colleagues at Hampshire County Council.

The new building is a purpose-built single-storey extension off the junior wing of the existing school.

It includes two classrooms, a therapy room, group room, staff room and storage along with toilets.

The staff working room will provide a space for teachers and staff to provide learning support, therapy and other specialist services.

Councillor Alex Winning, responsible for schools at Southampton City Council, said: “The new resource base at Newlands Primary School will create a much-needed space for deaf children and will allow for our dedicated staff and teachers to meet their specific needs in high-quality settings.

“This expansion has created more local school places for deaf children in Southampton, meaning that fewer families will have to travel out of the city to an education setting that their child needs”.