Highfields School - Academy facelift unveiled

Highfields Academy in Nantwich has unveiled its new-look after a £1 million facelift bringing its much-needed facilities into the 21st century.

Parents joined Nantwich Mayor Cllr David Marren in touring Highfields following a lengthy scheme to redevelop the building and boost safety and security.

Work included replacing a leaking roof, redesigning classrooms and installing a ‘fob access’ security system.

Headteacher Simon Dyson said: “It’s been a phased programme of works over 18 months and in all this time the school has been a building site.

“Contractors have worked during school holidays and late into the night to meet targets but a great deal of work has also had to take place during term time.

“Credit must go to teaching staff who have kept the children engaged – often working from make-shift classrooms in the hall or any clear space they could find.

“Thanks also to our near neighbours for their patience and support despite the disruption the works may have caused.

“We now have a school to be proud of and one which is fit for many generations to come.”

Highfields School - Academy facelift

Highfields Academy – Mayor Cllr David Marren unveils its new look

Thousands of children have passed through Highfields since it opened in 1974.

Now with 220 children, it is one of the most popular local feeder schools for Brine Leas and Malbank and its facilities are open to community groups.

In 2016, it gained Academy status meaning it manages its own finances and can draw from special pots of education funding.

The redevelopment was completed with £1.1 million from the Condition Improvement Fund operated by the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

It meant Highfields, on Cumberland Avenue, could finally say goodbye to an impractical 70s open-plan design which included teaching space in a corridor.

The new design includes seven enclosed classrooms, as well a hall, kitchen, school office and well-stocked library.

Long-serving Mr Dyson, headteacher for 12 years, added: “There’s been a complete reconfiguration of the site which actually makes the building feel bigger and certainly makes better use of the space.

“It’s been a long haul but well-worth the wait. It feels like we have a brand new school.”

Cllr Marren performed a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially launching the new-look school.

He gave full marks saying: “Getting the money for this redevelopment couldn’t have been easy. It’s a competitive process requiring a good business case.

“Simon and has staff are to be commended for a project hard won and well delivered.”

In its last Ofsted report the school was praised for its ‘outstanding’ work to keep children safe and secure during the works.

Next, Highfields is to take delivery of seven interactive white boards, one per classroom, and 32 new ipads.

Builders have one more task before they can pack up and leave.

There’s an outdoor learning area to be made for Foundation children aged four and five – complete with mud kitchen and bug hotel for wildlife studies.

Prospective parents are welcome to look round facilities. Call the school on 01270 371196.

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