Building future for pupils

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A SHEFFIELD special school is preparing its pupils for life in the adult world - with help from a £13 million makeover.

Bents Green School on Ringinglow Road teaches young people with complex communication difficulties and has an outstanding rating from Ofsted.

It has been given a complete overhaul thanks to the Building Schools for the Future programme, which is now close to its goal of rebuilding or refurbishing every secondary in the city.

School staff had a big say in how the school would be remodelled, with its facilties designed to offer a safe, familiar environment - crucial for its pupils, many of whom have some form of autism.

Much of the school’s work is centred on preparing its young people for adult life, and helping them to gain a degree of independence.

Headteacher Jan Wiggins said: “This development has created a fantastic new building that offers a unique and specialised opportunity to meet the needs of pupils with highly complex needs.

“By organising learning in a way that allows us to incorporate the support for pupils’ social communication and emotional learning needs, our pupils make outstanding progress towards independent lives.

“It cannot be underestimated how important the versatility of this unique design is in meeting our students’ needs.”

Coun Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children and young people, added: “Some of the city’s most vulnerable pupils are at Bents Green and the fact we have helped build an environment more suited to their needs as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme is great news.

“All our children deserve to have a great environment to learn in – no matter what their needs are.

“I am very pleased to see this building now helping serve some of the city’s children who need it the most.”

The project, which took 17 months to complete, involved the partial demolition of the school, and the construction of a new three-storey building.

Two other buildings, a three-storey residential block dating back to 1740 and the two-storey sixth form building were completely updated and refurbished.

Another key part of the project involved incorporating the school’s sixth form into the rebuilding and refurbishment project.