Foundry College Improvements & New Building Opened
A new building at Foundry College in Wokingham has been officially opened by the Mayor of the borough. Mayor Cllr Keith Baker MBE cut the ribbon at the secondary school with acting headteacher Iain Thomas last week.
Foundry College Improvements
The £1.7million project saw a range of improvements to the school in Budges Gardens, creating more space for its students. The new buildings have been dedicated to previous headteacher Jay Blundell, who passed away earlier this year. She worked tirelessly alongside the council to see the project through to completion.
The project included modifications to current classrooms, relocation of temporary buildings and a range of landscaping around the school site. A new school hall, outdoor workshop, gym and dedicated classrooms for English, maths, cooking and science have all been created as part of the work, which was completed in late 2020.
Sensory rooms and dedicated spaces for different lessons have been built, as well as additional parking, CCTV and secure access pedestrian and vehicle gates. The college now has a separate block accommodating workrooms and counselling offices, as well as new parking arrangements for staff and an extended outdoor play space. A new courtyard is now at the centre of the college building and there is a new secure, separate entry point just for use by the school.
Acting headteacher Iain Thomas said: “The building has been dedicated in memory of Jay Blundell the previous headteacher who we sadly lost this year and who worked tirelessly with Wokingham Borough Council to make it a reality. We are now able to extend our curriculum offer having a dedicated science lab, fitness suite, food and cookery room, indoor and outdoor workshop as well as the provision of additional classrooms.
“These additions enabled our pupils to achieve some of our best results both in terms of the number of qualifications and grades achieved last academic year. We are all very excited about the future of Foundry College.”
“Foundry College provides fantastic support for students and helps them find their own successes in our borough,” said Mayor of Wokingham Borough Cllr Keith Baker. “I was delighted to officially open the new building and was pleased to hear about how the improvements have already had a positive impact on the lives of students and staff who work there.”
Foundry College was created in September 2011, and provides education and support to pupils who have been permanently excluded or are at risk of permanent exclusion, as well as those with medical needs who cannot attend school regularly. The number of children supported by the college varies over the course of each year, but the new premises are designed to support up to 47 pupils.
It also provides a range of outreach services to support pupils from Wokingham’s mainstream schools who have social, emotional and mental health issues, special educational needs and disabilities, poor attendance and those benefiting from alternative provision.
Mr Thomas added: “I would like to thank Wokingham Borough Council on behalf of the staff and pupils for their commitment to supporting the most vulnerable in our Borough through the provision of this amazing facility.”
Previously, the college was part of the Brambles Neighbourhood Centre and the college lacked internal space, which impacted on pupils’ learning. Work began on the project last year, with planning permission granted in mid-2019. The project was completed in partnership with Morris & Blunt, HLM Architects and Faithful & Gould. More information on Foundry College can be found via the school’s website.