MORE students at a Morpeth school will get the chance to see for themselves the wonders of science in a £300,000 extension.
Work began this week on a two-storey building at Chantry Middle School & Technology College, which will contain a new science lab on the ground floor and a general classroom on the top floor.
It is scheduled to open in May next to the existing science lab after 18 weeks of construction and fitting out.
The project has taken eight years from the planning stage, spearheaded by former Headteacher David Mitchell, to the cutting of the first turf on Monday.
The school’s Head of Science, Tom Jackson, has been involved with the architects in the design of the new lab.
“It will greatly benefit our Year 5 and 6 pupils because there isn’t enough time to fit in activities for them in the one lab we have at the moment,” he said.
“They will have the opportunity to do much more practical and investigative work, which will hopefully get more of them very interested in the subject at a young age and ideally lead to some students going on to study the subject at A Level and higher.
“For those who enjoy science, this extra facility will allow us to increase the extra curricular projects we do as part of our technology college status.
“The lab itself has a lecture theatre style design so our pupils will be closer to the action, there is plenty of bench space and we will be able to use state-of-the-art computer and interactive software in it.”
The extension, which will be in keeping with the other buildings on the site, has been jointly funded by the school and Northumberland County Council Property Services.
Executive Headteacher of Chantry & Newminster Middle Schools & Technology Colleges, Paul Lawrence, said: “We have needed two science labs for a long time because of the size of the school.
“After years of planning and several meetings in the last year, we were delighted to see the building work start on Monday.
“It’s really important that despite these austere times, there are governors and teachers who are working very hard to get the best resources for their students – so we’re thrilled that we’re going to have this fantastic state-of-the-art learning resource at Chantry.”