Northern Education Trust

Working to fulfil the potential of young people

Excitement Builds at The Grangefield Academy

21st Mar 2014

Excitement Builds at The Grangefield Academy

An exciting period in the development of Grangefield Academy (formerly Grangefield School and Technology College) has begun with the unveiling of plans for a brand new building on the site of the current school.

The Grangefield Academy was established in January, sponsored by the Northern Education Trust (NET), a not-for-profit multi-academy trust which sponsors a range of primary and secondary schools in the northeast and northwest of England, including four other academies in Stockton.

The proposed design for the new building will enable students to benefit from a superb state-of-the-art building including a large sports hall, activity studio, drama studio, main hall and dining hall as well as the usual teaching spaces. It also reflects NET?s wish to support ?human scale education? where every student is known and treated as an individual.

Built under the Priority Schools Building Programme with an undisclosed sum of funding from the Education Funding Agency, the new Grangefield Academy will be constructed by national building contractor, Kier Group.

Shelagh Potter, principal of Grangefield, is delighted, reporting that everyone is very excited about the range of facilities that will be available. She comments:

?As a learning institution, Grangefield has had a long and interesting history. Now, with a new sponsor and the eager anticipation that comes with a new school building, a further chapter in Grangefield?s development has well and truly begun.

?The architect?s drawings show the front elevation of the mainly three storey building as it will look from Oxbridge Avenue and it already looks fantastic.

?The thinking behind human scale education is to develop small learning communities within large schools so that each year group will remain in a dedicated area for most of their time in secondary education, with their own set of teachers. Students will only be required to leave their designated area to attend lessons in PE, technology, music, art and drama. All other lessons will be delivered by a team of teachers working with the head of school.

?This type of approach delivers proven results and is ideal for creating consistency and stability within the school day. It allows students to develop a greater sense of ownership about their school and to build strong relationships with the same teachers throughout their school career so that academic progress can be more easily evaluated. We are very excited about the possibilities for raising educational standards across the board with this approach.?

John Taylor, interim vice principal at Grangefield and project manager for the new building, adds:

?The drawings on display are those which will be submitted for planning consent. The drop in session will be held on Monday, March 24, from 12 noon until 8pm in the Media Centre (the former CLC building) at Grangefield. Members of the public are welcome to attend to see the plans and question academy staff and representatives from Kier Group throughout the day to find out more about what is planned.

?Subject to gaining approval, we envisage that actual building work will start later this year with anticipated handover in July 2015 for fit out over the summer holidays so that the new school will be fully operational for the start of the new academic year in September 2015.?

Roger Alston, chief executive, Northern Education Trust, added:

?Grangefield has a new sponsor and will soon have a new school building, so it is all systems go towards achieving the significant whole school improvement that its students deserve.?