Fresh, new look marks school’s 40th birthday

Sue Hutchinson explores the new greenhouse and raised flower beds with help from six-year-olds Zuzanna Mezynska and Levi Russell. Photo: SG150911-122NG
Sue Hutchinson explores the new greenhouse and raised flower beds with help from six-year-olds Zuzanna Mezynska and Levi Russell. Photo: SG150911-122NG
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PUPILS and staff at Spalding’s Garth School have much to celebrate this month.

Not only are they getting ready to mark the school’s 40th anniversary, they have a new £300,000 extension to show off too.

The growing school can now boast a new classroom with a double kitchen, an outdoor area with a greenhouse and raised flower beds, and a new bathroom.

The extra space has also freed up another classroom to be used as a library and meeting room.

Sue Hutchinson, head of site, said: “We are very proud. We’ve worked very hard to build up a good school.”

The school started as a small group of children with severe learning difficulties meeting for two hours, two mornings per week in the Holland Road Clinic.

It wasn’t until September 1971 that 29 pupils finally moved into a new facility on Pinchbeck Road.

The Garth School, which is federated with The Priory School, now has 42 pupils divided between five classes.

Mrs Hutchinson describes the school as a “special place”, where all of the children are treated as individuals and are respected for who they are.

She said: “Right at the beginning there was a lot of emphasis on the care of the young people, which there still is.

“Over the years we have developed a curriculum so that the children’s needs are met. It used to be on things such as self-help skills and learning for life.

“Then the National Curriculum came out. There was nothing written that was suitable for children with our sort of needs. Schools had to work very hard to develop it.”

Mrs Hutchinson said more recognition has been given to children with learning difficulties in the curriculum over the last ten years, leading to where the school is today.

She added: “We are a really happy school. Everyone is happy to be here and the children are making good progress.”

The extension will be officially opened by Maurice Chappell, who has been a governor at the Garth School since it opened, on September 29.

The following day, former pupils will visit classes for an afternoon of activities.