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Skippers Hill’s Two Year Development Plan Unveiled

Posted: 31st January 2014 | Category: EYFS, Kindergarten, Reception, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6, Year 7, Year 8, Years 1 & 2

This week Skippers Hill Manor Preparatory School in Five Ashes, unveiled its two year development plan, which will include a brand new Creative Arts block, extended Early Years provision for children aged from two years, as well as a new science area.

Bellevue Education, which acquired the school over three years ago, will be investing £500K between now and 2016, leading to further developments in the school’s facilities as well as areas of the school’s curriculum. Site work will also involve upgrading the school’s sporting facilities including the swimming pool and the outdoor tennis and netball courts, and extending the school’s Early Years provision to enable children to join Kindergarten from the age of two.

The non-selective, co-educational school, which teaches pupils from East Sussex and West Kent and recently featured in the Sunday Times Top 100 Prep School list, has already undergone a number of developments since joining Bellevue Education in 2010, including the re-opening of the school’s Kindergarten, new state-of-the-art classrooms for Years 6, 7 and 8, and a new ICT suite.

Curriculum innovation will also be a major part of forthcoming plans. This will focus on Maths and ICT as well as rolling out the successful weekly ‘Woodland Explorers’ programme introduced in 2013, so that all year groups can benefit from the scheme that takes learning outdoors, making the most of the school’s 22 acres of fields and woodland. This programme has already proved to be effective in providing a stimulating learning experience, keeping the children enthused and engaged long after the activity has taken place and helping them embark on other areas of learning with enthusiasm and confidence.   

UK Schools Director of Bellevue Education, Steven Wade, comments: “Ahead of defining future plans for Skippers Hill School, we reached out to those closest to the school – the staff, the pupils and the parents - to obtain their views on the ways in which they felt Skippers Hill could be further developed. The findings were incorporated into the two year development plan which was presented to parents and staff at a special event held earlier this week and I am pleased to say that the response has been incredibly positive.”

When asked about the development plans, Head Teacher, Tim Lewis, said; “This is great news for Skippers. The school has been on this site for nearly 60 years, so upgrades and investments need to be made. What is important though is that we ensure these changes are made without changing the ethos of the school. The school prides itself on offering its pupils a welcoming and stimulating learning environment which celebrates each child’s character and capabilities, where they can be themselves and achieve to the best of their ability. These plans will definitely support this.”

Site work will commence in the Spring Term and continue over the first part of the Easter break. It will be undertaken by building company Vivid Green (www.vividgreen.co.uk), experienced in working with schools and ensuring buildings fit in aesthetically with its surrounding areas. Efforts will be made to ensure that disruption to neighbouring residential properties is kept to a minimum.

Phase One taking place this year will see the development of the Creative Arts block, the improvement of the outdoor courts, as well as extending the Early Years provision for children aged two to five years.

Next year’s Phase Two will involve upgrading the swimming pool, renewing changing areas and the development of a new science area.

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