Little Heath School open new sports hall with visit from mayor
- Credit: Daniel Gayne
A special educational needs school in Little Heath has opened a new sports hall with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by the Mayor of Redbridge.
Cllr Roy Emmett and Dr Nadia Rahman, chair of the board of governors at Little Heath School, officially opened the facility on Wednesday in a small, socially-distanced ceremony, streamed to classrooms across the school.
Staff say the new sports hall will allow the children to engage in a wider range of activities than was possible in the school’s assembly hall, which had formerly been used for sports.
Cllr Emmett said: “Today has been really wonderful, to see these children who have got quite a few problems in their life come out there dancing, singing and signing.
“The staff have done a wonderful job, it’s a wonderful building, and I’m sure they will make the most of it.”
The sports hall, funded by Redbridge Council, was completed in October 2019, and senior staff had hoped that a late June date in 2021 would enable a full opening ceremony.
While the delayed easing of restrictions made such plans impossible, the school put on a show with around 20 staff and students performing a sign language version of ‘What a Wonderful World’, followed by a dance.
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Dr Rahman, who has a child at the school, said: “This [sports hall] means that they have an up-to-date facility like other mainstream children.
“And sadly, this is something that our children suffer with, is that they don’t have all the up-to-date facilities, so they can’t achieve or be pushed to their full potential.
“When you have restricted facilities, you are going to have restricted teaching, restricted learning, so what this means is that they can now learn like all the other children.”
Before the hall was built, staff played construction noises in classrooms to familiarise the children with the sounds.
Headteacher James Brownlie, who is set to retire at the end of term, said: “I can’t think of a nicer way to end my time at Little Heath than to celebrate an occasion like this with some really important people – and the most important of all are those young people who were in the room today showing just what they can do.”