Athletics ace Aly Dixon helps open Sunderland school after £1.4million revamp

Athletics ace Aly Dixon was on her marks to help officially open a Sunderland school after its £1.4million revamp.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 2:10 pm
Updated Monday, 9th December 2019, 9:15 am
Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland, Coun David Snowdon and Coun Diane Snowdon, and Olympian Aly Dixon unveil a commemorative plaque with support from Link School pupils Jacey Wood and Matthew Somers.

The Olympian, world champion and current 50km world record holder attended the special ceremony at the Sunderland Link School, in Springwell Dene.

The school provides alternative provision meeting the needs of pupils aged 5 to 14 studying Key Stages 1 to 3, not attending mainstream school and the new location provides an additional 40 places.

New facilities at the school include a new £250,000 ICT infrastructure, music recording studio, refurbished arts and ceramics studio, upgrades to every classroom, refurbished sports and dining halls, a dedicated Key Stage 1 zone and the creation of an outdoor classroom area.

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Aly took part in a PE lesson with pupils in the sports hall while the Mayor of Sunderland, Coun David Snowdon, unveiled a commemorative plaque, that is positioned alongside plaques that mark the opening of the original building in 1949 and a refurbishment in 1989.

Guests enjoyed a singing performance from pupils Jayce Wood and Matthew Somers and were also given tours of the school that included a drumming and guitar skills workshop, a science lesson that looked at materials and their properties when making ice cream, Christmas arts and crafts, a business and enterprise showcase and a mindfulness and mediation session.

Sunderland Link School provision is rated Good by Ofsted with inspectors praising good progress from starting points, improving attendance, good behaviour and pupils taking pride in their work and increasing in confidence.

Donna Walker, Link School Headteacher, said: “We are grateful to everyone that came along to help us mark this occasion. Anyone that visits our school will see what a welcoming and caring place it is and today demonstrated that.”

Jill Colbert, Chief Executive at Together for Children, said: “The improved standard of accommodation at Springwell Dene is fantastic and parents and carers should be very proud of pupils that showed off their talents today.”

Fiona Brown, Executive Director of Neighbourhoods at Sunderland City Council, said: “This project really does offer improved alternative provision in Sunderland and it was great to share in showcasing high levels of teaching. This council and its partners are committed to ensuring that all our city’s students get the very best.”