Students proved that a stage was the one that they wanted when they christened their new auditorium with a gala performance of the popular musical Grease, watched by Mayors, councillors and a host of VIPs.
The Bulmershe School in Woodley welcomed Wokingham Borough Mayor Cllr UllaKarin Clark to open the entrance to its all-singing, all-dancing auditorium on Wednesday, February 11.
The £3.5million project boasts six classrooms, all with computer workstations, a new sixth form centre, meeting rooms, a reception area and offices for school staff.
The auditorium benefits from retractable seating, meaning its flexible space can be used for conferences.
Pupils from the school had been busy rehearsing Grease specially for the gala opening. They sang popular songs from the 1971 musical, including Greased Lightin’, Born to Hand Jive and Summer Nights.
Guests at the gala evening included Cllr Brian Franklin, the mayor of Woodley Town Council; Cllr Keith Baker the leader of Wokingham Borough Council and Matt Rodda, the Labour candidate for Reading East in the forthcoming General Election.
A large crowd of people gathered round Cllr UllaKarin Clark and school headteacher Emma Reynolds as they cut the ribbon to officially open the new entrance block and applauded loudly after the speeches.
Wokingham Borough Council says it has invested £6million in Bulmershe School over the past three years and it is now above the national average for the percentage of students achieving A* to C including English and Maths (59% compared to 57% nationally). It is also above the national average in its students’ average point score at GCSE; 312 points compared to 308 nationally.
The Council is hoping that the new block will help pupils go on to achieve more in the years to come.
“We’ve planned and planned for these new facilities, and debated every detail to make sure we get it right for the students and staff,” said Cllr Rob Stanton, chairman of the Bulmershe School Project Board. “But there’s nothing quite like seeing it up and running – as we have done tonight – seeing just how much of a difference it will make to this school.”
Bulmershe head Emma says that she feels that the new learning space will help the school achieve its goal of helping every child succeed and make progress.
“Our new auditorium and 21st Century learning environment represent further superb opportunities to prepare our students well for their future working lives as successful and well-rounded young people.”
Now, plans are being made to refurbish more classrooms during the summer holidays, adding to a new outside Piazza area and sixth form garden as well as a new dining hall.
For more on the school, log on to its website.