New facilities for teaching and learning have been unveiled at a Sunderland college as part of a major investment programme launched within weeks of it joining a leading academy trust.
Science, food technology and engineering have all benefited so far from the upgrade in facilities at Christ’s College, formerly Grindon Hall Christian School, in Pennywell.
The Emmanuel Schools Foundation multi academy trust began the improvements after welcoming the college into the trust in July.
The £186,000 investment has seen the creation of three dedicated science laboratories – one each for chemistry, physics and biology – bringing all the sciences under one roof in the former stable block to the original Grindon Hall.
The college also now has a dedicated engineering room, allowing a new subject to be introduced to the curriculum, with workbenches and specialist equipment including pillar drills, a sanding machine, polisher, bandsaw and an oven for heating polymers and acrylic, as well as storage for a range of hand tools.
A former art room has been transformed into a fully equipped food room with cookers, kitchen worktops and storage.
College principal Julie Roberts said: “Our staff in science, engineering and food are delighted with their new facilities, which provide dedicated teaching and learning environments for these subjects.
“The school’s old labs weren’t tailored to their subjects and they were on different floors. We were very keen to bring them together as this has all sorts of practical benefits but also fosters better collaboration between the sciences for both staff and students. Engineering is now available to all secondary school students and the new food classroom provides students with a much bigger, brighter space in which to learn.
“This is just the first of several improvements already under way or planned as we move towards grouping relevant subjects together in new classrooms to provide the best teaching and learning facilities that we can.”
Christ’s College is ESF’s second ‘all-through’ academy with students aged from 4-16. Older children in the primary years will also have a chance to be taught in the new facilities.