School chalking up big changes

Amble First School pupils at their  Year 3 Victorian Day outside their new classroom.
Amble First School pupils at their Year 3 Victorian Day outside their new classroom.

Major changes are planned for an Amble school, described by its headteacher as a ‘big step forward’.

A new fit-for-purpose mobile classroom is to be built at Amble First School, in Edwin Street, to replace the current ageing facility.

On top of this, the school is to start a new nursery class for the first time in 105 years.

And two posts for nursery assistants are up for grabs.

Headteacher Joyce Jenkins said: “These are exciting changes and a big step forward for the school.”

The new classroom, costing around £34,000, will replace the old, wooden one, which is around 40 years old.

Work is to start in the summer holidays on the facility, which will be more modern and larger in size than the current building.

Mrs Jenkins said: “It will be a double classroom, providing more space and room to manoeuvre and create a more comfortable environment.

“It will be more energy-efficient, better insulated and fit for purpose.

“Our current facility is too small, too old and too cold.”

As part of the rebuild, Amble town and county councillor Robert Arckless has contributed close to £3,000 from his member’s small schemes money to provide a disabled ramp.

To help mark the end of an era, the school is planning to cover it with memories from pupils past and present, at a special event before the end of the summer term.

A date is to be arranged and people are being encouraged to contribute memories, by sending them to the school by the beginning of July.

The rebuilding of the mobile classroom has allowed the school to convert one of the classrooms in the main building, ready for the opening of a nursery class in September, complete with toilet facilities and an outdoor play area.

The school’s PTA has been actively raising funds for the project and money-making efforts are set to continue.

Mrs Jenkins said: “The new nursery means that we are meeting a need that was identified by parents.

“It means that we can welcome the children into the school community from an earlier age.”

It is hoped that there will be around 16 children to start at the nursery, although places are available and the facility can cater for up to 24 youngsters, aged three and four.

More information about the two nursery assistants is due to be put on Northumberland County Council’s website imminently.