A world champion gymnast visited a Wolverhampton school this week to help showcase its impressive new facilities.

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Greg Silvester, a former GB Special Olympic star, officially opened Penn Fields School, in Boundary Way, Penn, in front of pupils, staff and invited guests yesterday (Wednesday 17 July, 2013).

The school was one of the first 7 to be opened last September as part of Wolverhampton's £270 million Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.

Greg and Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Learning, Councillor Phil Page, unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion. The celebration also saw a performance from the Penn Fields Choir and a tour of the school including the public art projects.

Penn Fields caters for 160 children aged between 5 and 16 who have moderate, severe or complex educational needs and aims to raise confidence, aspirations and achievements of all pupils.

The school has been relocated to Boundary Way where it shares a site with Highfields School, allowing it to share expertise and facilities in subjects such as sports and science.

The new facilities are built to BREEAM standards, meaning they meet high environmentally friendly requirements.

Among the new unique features are a hydrotherapy swimming pool, a multi-sensory room, a new sixth form which will enable it to cater for older students and an integrated working area that will provide space for external support agencies to come in and use when necessary.

A learning resource centre has also been located in the atrium area, which is right in the heart of the new building, which can be made even larger by opening up the main hall's sliding folding doors.

Ground floor classrooms have direct access to their own external learning areas, and a new multi-use games area is also provided, as well as an adventure play area for both younger and older pupils.

Councillor Phil Page, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Learning, said: "I am delighted to be able to showcase the excellent new facilities at yet another one of our schools that has benefited from the BSF programme.

"The superb, enhanced school has transformed the education these children receive and given them the essential facilities they require.

"I am very grateful Greg was able to attend this celebration. His achievements as a world class gymnast are an inspiration to all the pupils here and prove that anything is possible."

Elaine Stanley, Headteacher said: "Wolverhampton's BSF programme has given Penn Fields School the unique opportunity to design a purpose built school that can deliver a curriculum appropriate for the 21st century. 

"Penn Fields now has an inspiring building that allows traditional values and innovation to go hand in hand ensuring that every pupil is able to focus on realising their potential and achieving their very best."

  • released: Thursday 18 July, 2013