Past pupil and former heads unveil £6 million school facilities

Former headteachers and a past pupil officially cut the ribbon to formally open a £6 million sports hall, library and classroom development at The Wordsley School in Dudley.

Past pupil Varaidzo Kativhu, former head Mike Lambert and wife Maggie, former assistant head, do the honours
Past pupil Varaidzo Kativhu, former head Mike Lambert and wife Maggie, former assistant head, do the honours

Pupils and staff at the local authority maintained school celebrated as former pupil and Oxford graduate Varaidzo Kativhu, together with former head Mike Lambert and his wife, Maggie, the former assistant headteacher, returned to view the new development.

The couple were responsible for clearing the way for the multi-million pound project to be carried out, something that was badly needed because of house building in the area and a requirement for extra school spaces.

The school now caters for 865 pupils, aged from 11 to 16.

Former pupil Varaidzo, from Dudley, who moved to the UK from Zimbabwe when she was seven and went on to study at Oxford University, reading archaeology and ancient history, is now a published author.

The VIPs were invited to tour the new buildings and were told that ground work on the project had started in 2019 after planning permissions were granted in the summer of 2018.

The £6 million scheme has also involved the building of a two-storey facility with 10 classroom, a spacious library area and a Quiet Room where pupils can study or focus on reading skills.

There are also improved sports facilities which have seen a former sports hall refurbished as a fitness suite and toning and training area.

This is now hired out for community use through Learning4Life for recreation and educational courses.

Meanwhile a new sports hall, designed by Dudley Metropolitan Council, is used for cricket, basketball, netball and football and is also leased to the local community.

Although the building works were completed in May this year, the facilities remained unused until September when pupils finally returned to the classrooms.

Building work has also seen key features such as modern heating, lighting and ventilation systems installed to ensure excellent energy efficiency is maintained.

Gareth Burton, headteacher at The Wordsley School, said "This project has been welcomed by the local community with the Wordsley area seeing an increase in provision of housing development over the past year.

"The opening of this facility is a key milestone for The Wordsley School, ensuring that all children have access to the best possible schools and facilities and this is just one part of our commitment to help young people to be the best they can be.

“We feel very fortunate to have acquired such funding to enable children and families within and beyond The Wordsley area access to such excellent facilities.

"The official opening is a great day for the pupils and staff.

"They have seen the construction and redevelopment across the school at various phases of the project until completion in the summer of 2021 and now benefit from these enhancements which will raise the aspirations of generations of pupils to come.

"It was wonderful to welcome Mike Lambert and his wife, Maggie Lambert, who were respectively headteacher and assistant headteacher, back to the school to open the facilities.

"Mike and Maggie led the school for such a long period of time.

"It was their energy and dynamism over many years which led to the successful bid and construction of our new facilities."

Most Read

Most Read

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News