Building heralds new era for Wymondham High School

Sixth formers at a south Norfolk school have been enjoying their first term in an innovative new building which heralds the start of a new phase in its history.

Students and staff at Wymondham High School have welcomed the arrival of a unique-looking modular building which now houses lessons in economics, government and politics, law, psychology, sociology and business studies.

The Social Science Centre's grand opening shortly followed the school being granted academy status and receiving �3m from Norfolk County Council to help expand its facilities in the face of increasing student numbers.

Headteacher Victoria Musgrave said the cost of the new centre was met through financial donations provided to the community by housing developers working in the area.

She said: 'The school is growing bigger. We have about 1,700 students now with 400 plus in the sixth form and we expect more. We were desperate for space and are looking to expand further.'

Mrs Musgrave added that the students were enjoying the new facility which has become affectionately named the 'sauna' due to its modern timber exterior, which was co-designed by architects at the NPS group and students. Sections of the building – supplied by Foremans – were craned into the site during the summer holidays.

It contains ICT facilities, an office and five classrooms which can be altered in size thanks to partitioning walls.

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Steve Mears, head of social sciences, said: 'We used to be scattered across the school so this has enabled us to come together and given more space back to be used for other things. It's really nice just to use it as a sixth form facility and it has a good atmosphere.'

The school is committed to further expanding and updating its facilities to cope with an expected rise in students as Wymondham prepares to grow by at least 2,200 homes by 2026.

Norfolk County Council has already pledged �3m provided by central government towards new buildings at the school which should help replace a number of its mobile classrooms.

In July, Wymondham High also announced that its application for academy status had been accepted – a move which is due to make the school �600,000 better off by the end of this academic year.