Students are settling into life at Telford’s latest super-school.
The Phoenix Academy in Dawley welcomed Year 11 pupils in to the state of the art building yesterday and Year 10 students started today.
The new building houses not only state-of-the-art school facilities for more than 600 pupils but is also the new home of Dawley library, a fully-equipped theatre, dance studio, community gym and a sports hall so big it will host regional netball tournaments.
And that is just indoors.
Outside, the school boasts a national standard BMX track, sports courts and a 3G pitch.
The former Phoenix school on Manor Road closed at the end of the summer term and pupils are being welcomed to the new building, which has space to accommodate up to 900 pupils, throughout this week – with Year 7 and 8 pupils starting next Monday.
Phoenix Academy principal Neil Stonehouse said: “We decided to open to the older pupils first for two reasons; one because this will be a very important year for them and we want to get them settled as soon as possible and secondly because we want them to set the tone for learning in this new facility to the younger years.”
Mr Stonehouse, who has been headteacher since 2004, said: “I am so proud of what has been achieved. My personal drive is my pupils and the community. We can now provide facilities so that everyone can excel at something.
“The work the teachers have put in is incredible. We moved into the building only last week and the staff have not stopped to ensure we are ready to welcome in a new year of teaching and success.”
Pupils who arrived today were given a tour of the new building, technology and facilities.
Kenan Bailey, 15 said: “I am just astounded how good it is. I have visited universities which are not as good as this building. I wish I could start year seven again.”
Keri Davies, 15, said: “I like the fact that we have our own learning spaces for classes. The school have told us about the plans but it is amazing to see.
“I love the sports hall, it is so big, and it is like an American school. The building feels like a college.”