Up to 360 Year Seven pupils at a Dagenham school of science will be able to enjoy 12 brand new classrooms this term.
To celebrate the opening of the new facilities at Robert Clack Lower School, Headteacher Russell Taylor, met Councillor Evelyn Carpenter, Barking and Dagenham Council’s Cabinet Member for Educational Attainment and School Improvement, Mike O’Dell of Mid Group and Darren Cutts of Be First.
And in addition to the classrooms, which includes a new food tech lab, Mid Group, also donated the materials and built the school a new “Constructionarium”, where construction related teaching and learning can take place, in a purpose-built environment.
Headteacher, Russell Taylor, who is also a former pupil at the school, said: “The new classrooms are brilliant and will enable teachers and students to continue to strive for excellence. I would also like congratulate everyone involved for ensuring the block was built on time.
“Our school motto is ‘For the brave nothing is difficult’ and so it proved for the team delivering the expansion which was accomplished in just seven months, which is a fantastic achievement!”
Cllr Carpenter said: “The expansion is part of a £43.75m investment programme at the school so all our children can receive top quality education in the best possible environment.
“We have one of the fastest growing school-age populations in Britain but we are keeping up with demand and making sure our students get a great education.”
Darren Cutts, of Be First, which project-managed the build, said: “Be First is about delivering quantity with quality – we’re building new schools and classrooms at speed for the people of the borough.
“I am particularly pleased to see the school looking to teach building skills. It’s visionary. There is a really shortage of skilled labour in London and the UK, so the more young people are trained in carpentry, brick laying and other skills, the better for Britain and the construction industry.”
Mike O’Dell of Mid Group, said: “We started building this new block in January and we finished in seven months. It means Year Seven can now move in to a high quality, environmentally sound teaching environment.”
“Mid Group are also delighted to have donated the new “Constructionarium” to the school, where the school will be able to give pupils an introduction to the Construction industry. As a local business it is important to us that young people realise the opportunity a career in construction can offer.”
The works also include a new kitchen and an expanded dining hall.
Nine out of ten schools in Barking and Dagenham are rated Good or Outstanding.