One of the three pillars of our school’s vision is ‘Engaging with our community’ and when the site at Stanley Road was bought on our behalf, we committed to making the facilities available to local people outside of school hours.
Sports clubs and organisations, as well as informal groups, families or individuals, can now hire the 3G pitch and other outside areas, sports hall, dining room, dance studio, music rooms and some classrooms. It really isn’t just for organised clubs; for example, if a group of friends just want to hire the pitch for a couple of hours for a fun 5-a-side match, they can do so.
A wide range of groups have already booked regular evening or weekend slots, including men and women’s football, street dance, badminton, archery and a choir. There’s a real buzz about the school when these activities are going on, and we’re delighted to see the community benefitting from the investment that has been made.
The responsibility for letting the facilities is being managed by an organisation called Schools Plus, who run facilities at 40 schools across the UK. The indoor spaces are available between 6 and 10pm on weekdays and all day at the weekend; outdoor spaces between 6 and 9pm during the week and for up to five hours at the weekend. Schools Plus envisage the facilities being used for a real variety of activities, from sports teams, music and drama clubs and dance groups to children’s parties and even weddings.