Outstanding New School’s Story Penned By Pupils

THE story of a new £5 million primary school in Liverpool is told in a new book written by three of its pupils. ‘Our New School’ has been penned by children in years two, four and six at New Park Primary School in Kensington and published following a story writing competition. The new building – which was officially opened by Mayor Joe Anderson on Wednesday 4 November – replaces the previous Victorian structure which was over 100 years old and costing a lot of money to maintain. DSC_3978 webGood News Liverpool attended the event at which guests were met by impeccably polite and charmingly confident pupils at the gate. This school impresses as soon as you arrive; the great rapport between staff and pupils is obvious and a culture of mutual respect was evident throughout our visit. Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony outside, the pupils put on a great show in the school hall – nothing at all like the kind of stuffy nonsense that went on when I was a kid, this was fun – there was even some air-guitar playing! DSC_3872 webPupils also unveiled a special sculpture detailing the remarkable history of the school’s site. In the 1800s it was home to Liverpool Botanical Gardens – which was second only to Kew Gardens in London in terms of the quality of its collection, and Liverpool Zoological Gardens which had caged lions and tigers with antelope running free. The new school includes a dedicated cooking room, 4D immersive learning space, outdoor classrooms with canopies and a ‘Spanish Step’ area for assemblies and performances. It is part of a £169 million scheme which is seeing 17 new and refurbished schools funded through a mix of investment from the Government and contributions from the council.
Mayor Anderson with Karen Hutchings
Mayor Anderson with Head Karen Hutchings
Headteacher Karen Hutchings said: “We are all so proud of our new school and have been fortunate to have had so much say in its design and creating the learning spaces.  “Everyone who comes into the building absolutely loves it and the feedback we’ve had from parents and pupils is absolutely fabulous.  “I can’t emphasise enough how much of a transformation it is compared to what we had before. Our outdoor space was a concrete jungle, whereas now we have different areas where children can play games or just sit and read quietly if they want to.  “It’s a great building for our children to be taught in.”  The school has a timber frame and an energy efficient design, helping reduce heating bills because it is well insulated.  Almost all of the subcontractor work – 95 percent – has been spent with firms in Liverpool city region, benefiting local companies and meaning that workers benefit from the scheme. DSC_3867 webMayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “This is a fantastic new school for Kensington and is a major boost for present and future generations of young people.  “I am so pleased that the school are delighted with the new facilities, improving their surroundings and enabling them to use the latest technology to deliver a fantastic education to their children.”  Councillor Nick Small, Cabinet member for education, employment and skills, said: “This is a badly needed new school giving young people in Kensington a brilliant start to their education.  “We have also made sure that the vast majority of the work has been carried out by contractors based in Liverpool City Region, so that the money we have spent has been recycled into the local economy and created opportunities for young people through apprenticeships.”