Delight as special school moves into its new home in Daventry

Pupils and staff at the new special school in Daventry are celebrating after moving into its purpose built home.

Tuesday, 17th January 2017, 6:00 am
Headteacher Charlotte Whysall outside the new school

Daventry Hill School started taking pupils in September, but on Thursday last week the special school got to move into its purpose built home off Ashby Road.

The eye-catching new school building has been designed from the ground up for pupils with extra needs.

Inside the corridors are extra wide, each classroom has toilets and its own ‘group room’ where children can go if they need a little extra space.

Pupils in one of the new classrooms

There are rooms for health clinics, soft play, a sensory room, library, physiotherapy, and even a pool for hydrotherapy.

Along with general classrooms there are also rooms for music, art and home economics, along with a large hall, and school canteen.

The school operates as a free school under the Education Excellence for All trust. It currently has 61 pupils, with space for 175, covering primary and secondary education.

Until the school opened, children with extra needs faced travelling to schools in Northampton, with long journey times impacting on their energy levels at home and time with their family.

Pupils in one of the new classrooms

Headteacher Charlotte Whysall said: “It is a fantastic building. The amount of space is wonderful, and the facilities are amazing. It’s also very flexible so we can adapt it if needed to meet children’s needs.

“We teach the national curriculum, although it is adapted. We will be running GCSEs and eventually A-levels.”

Throughout the building are quiet areas, seats, large toilets and whole shower rooms, and security means children can use the corridors if they need a break from the classroom with no fear they will be able to wander out of the building.

Until now the school had been housed in part of Daventry UTC’s building, which is next door to Daventry Hill School. Both Hill School and the UTC have said the time they were together brought benefits, and staff at Daventry Hill say they will continue working in partnership with the local schools where appropriate sending their pupils to the secondary schools to use their facilities, and vice versa.

As well as joining the local education community, the school aims to be part of the wider community as well.

Mrs Whysall said: “We have a cafe here that the older students will be able to work in, and we will be opening that to the public.

“Our location here is key. We can take students into the town centre so they can learn about shopping, banking, and other activities.

“The whole building and its facilities will be available for the public or groups to hire, when the students aren’t using it of course. We really want people to see the school as part of the community.