The new sixth-form centre at St George’s School in Newport has officially been opened.
At a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday (13 July), headteacher, Sue Holman, said the ‘The View’ would provide bespoke facilities for up to 50 young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
The centre benefits from five new classrooms, a hair and beauty studio, food technology room and common room, among other spaces.
The outdoor facilities provide an excellent learning environment which pupils have already begun work on developing.
It was made possible thanks to a £1 million cash injection from the Isle of Wight Council.
Mrs Holman said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer our older students the opportunity to learn in a bespoke setting where they can build on their achievements in the main school and prepare for their futures as successful and fulfilled adults. The students are so happy with the facility.”
The creation of The View has brought back into use the school’s former Clatterford tuition site that had stood empty for more than six years.
It includes one main building and three modular units which have been fully refurbished.
The student council said: “As a school we have wanted a separate sixth form area for many years and this year we finally got one.
“Now that everyone has moved in we have a lot more space, it is not as crowded as being in main school and everything we need is in the same area like at the college.
“We now have a common room which is just for us, a space to make new friends and go at break and lunchtimes which we have never had before.
“As well as our classroom we have a kitchen and a salon and it is a much more grown up space, it is shiny and new and everything works.
“We are very proud of The View and feel very lucky to have a space just for sixth form and want to thank everyone who worked hard to get it for us.”
Councillor Debbie Andre, Cabinet member for children’s services, education and lifelong skills, said the centre would help meet the growing demand for special school places on the Island and support the post-16 SEN strategy.
She said: “Expanding St George’s School in this way will give more children and young people access to the best possible SEND education.
“It provides the school’s dedicated staff with the very best facilities to support young people reach their full potential, gaining greater independence and employability skills as they enter adulthood and help bridge the gap between education and employment.”