Happy New Year... happy new school!

One of the classrooms in the new Dearne ALC.
One of the classrooms in the new Dearne ALC.

IT WAS a Happy New Year – AND a happy new building – this week, as pupils of Dearne High prepared to move into their brand new, £29m school.

As the Times went to press yesterday (Wednesday), Year 7 students were having a few hours of lessons for a “familiarisation day” in the new Dearne Advanced Learning Centre (ALC) building – just a stone’s throw from their old classes.

And as part of it, they were being handed new uniforms to take home carrying the new school motto: “Aspiration, Ambition, Achievement”.

The uniforms have been paid for by funds raised by stalls at special “open days” last year.

Although lessons in the new building will not start until January 24, pupils in all years are being “inducted” into their new school this week.

After presentations in the new Lecture Theatre led by Principal Neil Clark, the students were then given their new time-tables, planners, computer passwords, and personal lockers.

They were also taken down to “the Street” – the name for the new foyer and dining area on the ground floor, for a taste of the new lunch menu, before being given a thorough guided tour.

But before the school can take up its new residence, staff face a busy couple of weeks, moving the books and equipment across.

However, they have found a novel use for the unwanted junk they planned to leave behind – a student fashion project.

In a special eight-day break from regular lessons, while teachers prepare for the move, pupils have been busy fashioning school junk into outfits, and have even held a catwalk show to flash their “rubbish” designs.

Meanwhile, others have turned the waste into musical instruments for a samba-type band.

The students have also spent the New Year collecting, writing and illustrating “horrible” stories for a special picture book to be given to local primary schools.

However, they will have another break from class over the next few days... while the school shuts to pupils while staff finalise the move.