High Hazels Academy in Darnall, Sheffield, completes £400,000 refurbishment and plans more 'big projects'

A primary school in Sheffield has officially opened its newly-refurbished 'world class' facilities as part of its ongoing commitment to the wellbeing of its pupils and the community.

Friday, 29th October 2021, 12:46 am
Updated Friday, 29th October 2021, 12:47 am

High Hazels Academy in Darnall has spent almost £400,000 for the refurbishments of its kitchen and playground to ensure that the children receive the best facilities to complement the education offered in the school.

Principal Asma Maqsood-Shah said the refurbishments for the two facilities were part of the phased school building improvements that the school has had over the last four years.

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High Hazels Academy Principal Mrs Asma Maqsood-Shah and Sheffield Lord Mayor Gail Smith at the new playground.

She said: "We have had masses of investments from our trust in improving the facilities for our children. We've had a new nursery and we've had reconfiguration of the building.

"This is just the next stage of development to make sure that our children have world class facilities to match the world class teaching that we're offering them."

How has the money been spent?

She explained that the kitchen, which cost about £300,000, and the playground, which cost around £80,000, were essential to encourage pupils to eat healthily and stay active at school.

High Hazels Academy's newly refurbished kitchen now serves hot meals

"Eating well for our children is absolutely important and for them to see a range of age appropriate and culturally appropriate menus and to see what a balanced meal looks like, we encourage all our children to have school meals and it was important to have a kitchen that was up to date and was able to offer them that,” she said.

"With the children being nourished well, this means that they are ready to learn and it has a positive impact on them.

"With the playground, it is all about the emotional wellbeing and the physical wellbeing of the children since there are very limited facilities in the local area for our children to be utilising.

"It's important for us to be able to offer a place for children where they are safe, but also to be able to get rid of their extra energy by developing their social skills and playing within the environment, hence the improvements to the playground."

Children are being served hot meals in the kitchen

What is the school planning next?

Sheffield Lord Mayor Gail Smith, who attended the school as a guest of honour for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, said the facilities are a great addition to the school.

She added: "I think it is an amazing space. The school is very welcoming, the children are very polite, the kitchen is what every school should have and the playground is also what every school should have but the ethos and the children are so lovely it's a lovely family atmosphere.

Mrs Shah told how the school has other big projects in the pipeline.

She said: “We are planning to put in a bit with our trust for refurbishing the infant yard, so I’m creating a similar approach but probably a bit different and age appropriate playground for our children in the infant school. That’s definitely one of our next big projects and some of the work in our junior school to decorate and change the lighting.

"I think it runs hand in hand with our journey of continuous improvement of education and this sits quite in line with our improvements of our facilities to match.”

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