A NEW ‘super school’ could be on the way to Almondbury.

Councillors are being urged to approve plans for the ‘all-through’ school for children aged three to 16 – with more than 1,220 pupils.

The plan is to bring together three existing schools – Greenside Infant and Nursery School, Almondbury Junior School and Almondbury High School and Language College – on a single site.

Now parents are to be asked for their views.

The council has been working closely with all Almondbury schools on proposals that would change the local system and make sure the best possible education was available for children and young people.

The move would involve bringing together Greenside Infant and Nursery School, Almondbury Junior School and Almondbury High School as one school with a single governing body and headteacher.

This would happen through the technical ‘closure’ of both the Infant and Nursery School and the Junior School and, at the same time, by expanding the age range of the High School.

Almondbury Junior School
Almondbury Junior School
 

The all-through school would be located at the site in Fernside Avenue that is currently shared by Greenside I&N and Almondbury High, with junior school pupils moving the short distance from their current Southfield Road building to join the younger and older children.

There has been no debate yet on what would happen to the Junior School site.

The current high school building would be adapted to make provision for the new system.

According to the proposal, infant and nursery children at the school would continue using the dedicated facilities in what is currently Greenside I&N. These children would be part of the new, all-through school, but would have their own building and outdoor space.

Children aged seven to 16 – junior school pupils and high school students – would share the current high school building, which has plenty of space to take in extra year groups.

Greenside I&N School
Greenside I&N School
 

At the same time, it is proposed that the nearby Almondbury CE(VA) Infant and Nursery School continues in its current form, working very closely with the new school and enjoying many benefits of being a partner.

All four of the schools already work closely together as a partnership to oversee the learning journey of local children and young people.

The proposals are outlined in a report that goes to a meeting of Kirklees Council’s Cabinet on September 16.

Cabinet members are being asked to approve a six-week consultation process, which would begin soon and give everybody a chance to express their views.

Clr Peter O’Neill, Cabinet member for Children’s Services, said: “We are committed to improve the quality of education in our schools to give every child the best possible start.

“We find that children are most likely to learn best when they are comfortable and settled in their schools, with the teachers and staff that they know.

“It is clear that changing schools at age seven, to go from an infant school to a junior school, is an unnecessary transition for children and families, which can lead to a ‘learning dip’ and hold up progress until children settle in their new surroundings.

“While many children do adapt very quickly to these changes, some take longer.

“A similar argument can be applied to the school transfer from primary to secondary that takes place at age 11.

“The potential for improved achievement through continuity of learning that could take place in an all-through school is even greater.

“The schools in Almondbury have been working in close partnership for some time and could be easily developed into an all-through school, with nursery, further strengthening the collaboration.

“Becoming part of the all-through provision would help children feel a part of the school’s larger family, while the closer working of a wider range of age groups has the potential to accelerate the learning of even the youngest pupils.”