Hive creates a real buzz at Houghton school

(Left to right) Headteacher Joan Hobbs with Anthony and Geoff Rippon, or Rippon Construction, and pupils Alfie and Isaak Rippon.

(Left to right) Headteacher Joan Hobbs with Anthony and Geoff Rippon, or Rippon Construction, and pupils Alfie and Isaak Rippon.

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A Houghton school is building towards a brighter future after a new area for early years pupils was opened.

A unit called The Hive has been unveiled at Dubmire Primary School, in Britannia Terrace, Houghton-le-Spring.

(Left to right) Headteacher Joan Hobbs with Anthony and Geoff Rippon, or Rippon Construction, and pupils Alfie and Isaak Rippon.

(Left to right) Headteacher Joan Hobbs with Anthony and Geoff Rippon, or Rippon Construction, and pupils Alfie and Isaak Rippon.

The area is exclusively for children aged between three and five, with the pupils to be taught based on their individual circumstances and speed of learning.

It was originally a separate nursery and reception area, but work has been carried out to extend the space, and now pupils in both classes can learn together.

Headteacher Joan Hobbs said: “The area was a much smaller nursery and a separate reception, but now it’s a combined unit.

“The two classes can be separate if they need to be because of the dividing door, but the children will be taught to an age which is appropriate for them.

“All of the children will be treated as individuals, and taught accordingly.

“We’re really pleased with how it’s working, and the children have settled into it extremely well.”

The extension work was carried out by Rippon Construction, and an event was held to introduce the new facilities.

Mrs Hobbs added: “It was a long time in planning, as it probably took us two years to plan, budget and get everything together.

“We wanted to develop a shared resource area for the early years so that children can develop at their own rate, and to provide a differentiated curriculum within the early years.

“The idea came from discussions about children’s learning.

“When we first opened it at the start of term, we kept the nursery children separate with the dividing door, but the children wanted the door open so they could access the whole area, and it has been brilliant.

“The little bit of extra space has provided what was needed.

“We had already started developing the outdoor environment, and decided we needed an extension inside as well. It’s going to raise standards.

“There is also a purpose-built home corner to make it feel very much like home, because some of the children need that.”