SEND school in Guide Post opens satellite sixth form centre named after 'greatly missed' former staff member
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Cleaswell Hill School in Guide Post opened The Appleby Centre, a facility with capacity for 30 students with special educational needs and disabilities, on Friday, September 29.
Teaching at the centre will focus on helping older students become more independent and develop life and vocational skills as they prepare for adulthood.
It is named after popular former staff member Christine Appleby who passed away last year after having worked at Cleaswell Hill for 23 years.
Headteacher Mike Jackson said: “The Appleby Centre is an exciting addition to our provision at Cleaswell Hill School, providing our older pupils with new learning opportunities and supporting their transition into adulthood.
“I hope that the provision proves to be a fitting tribute to Christine, a greatly missed colleague and friend.”
The centre has three vocational areas, with rooms focused on performing arts, science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and core skills.
Outdoor space around the building, including a polytunnel and allotment, will be used to teach horticultural skills and help pupils complete the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The Appleby Centre was officially opened by Christine’s family at an event attended by staff, governors, and supporters from the local community.
In a statement, Christine’s family said: “As a family we would like to thank everyone involved with the project and making the centre a great place, especially Christine's colleagues and friends.
“Christine loved working at Cleaswell Hill and was extremely committed in her role teaching and caring for the pupils, with a passion for promoting progression to adulthood.
“Christine would be honoured and delighted that the centre has been named in her memory and even more thrilled that it will be the pupils who will benefit most from the facility for years to come.”
Lynn Watson, who works with the school’s senior management, added: “Cleaswell Hill SEND school has a dynamic vision for an aspirant sixth form provision that supports pioneering approaches to the education of its oldest students.
“Leaders have worked with the local authority to provide a bespoke centre which will provide opportunities to extend the school’s curriculum offer within the context of optimising independence in adulthood.
“Students will gain experience of work-related learning in a dedicated base.”