School’s unique way of utilising its space

Headteacher David Godfrey at Ashington Central First School-converted rooms at the school.'REF 15401159090
Headteacher David Godfrey at Ashington Central First School-converted rooms at the school.'REF 15401159090

A south east Northumberland school has come up with a host of innovative ways to use the space they have more effectively.

Central First School in Ashington has been getting creative in finding new means of teaching its pupils.

And after realising that new buildings or temporary buildings would be too costly, the school decided to transform areas of the existing building to maximise what is already available.

Headteacher David Goffrey said: “We are an extremely popular school in our locality and we are full to the brim.

“The population bulge means there are going to be more children than there is space, so we had to be really innovative about the use of space that we have.”

The school looked into the possibility of building external buildings or purchasing a Portacabin, but the costs priced the idea out of the equation, and they decided they needed to get creative, which included transforming wasted space within the school.

“We have used every inch of space that we have got and we have created really nice learning spaces all over the space.

“The cloakroom space has been freed up and set up with heating, internet and an interactive whiteboard.

“But it was a cupboard. It’s now been turned into a lovely space.

“My office years ago used to be a toilet, it’s about thinking of what we can do to best maximise the space that we have.”

Outside the main building it’s a similar story, with wooden structures for art and engineering rooms, and a refurbished double decker bus.

“We have been finding unique ways to get the best out of the space we have available,” he added.

“The double decker bus cost us £5,000 on ebay and it has been fully carpeted, heated, it has internet in it, and painted by Akzonobel, the kids love being on it.

“We are a really forward thinking school and we get involved in all sorts of things that are good for our kids.

“The kids absolutely love it, it is a double whammy for us as we get space that is very affordable, and the pupils love going on it.”