“It’s the best school ever!” and “The wheelbarrows and the garden are my favourite” – that was the expert verdict of children at Whatriggs Primary School and Early Childhood Centre when Provost Jim Todd visited to perform the official key handover.
The school and early childhood centre opened on Monday 21 August and the children have been enjoying exploring the new buildings, the playgrounds and outdoor learning spaces.
Provost Jim Todd, with Councillors Douglas Reid, Fiona Campbell, Clare Maitland and John Knapp, toured the Campus with Headteacher Diane MacKinnon.
They viewed the colourful classrooms and playrooms, which have been cleverly designed to include built in storage to maximise space. The classrooms and playrooms open directly onto outdoor learning areas and the open plan areas within the building, giving teachers and practitioners the opportunity to change learning spaces seamlessly which encourages active learning.
The children love their new school and early childhood centre. Each had a favourite area. Ben Fulton loved the dining hall; Nathan Craig thought the playground and outdoor spaces were amazing while Brooke Cunningham thought the STEM classroom was the best. Ashley Rae from Primary 3 was very concerned that the big key wouldn’t fit the front door of the school but the Provost reassured her that it was just for the photograph.
The Whatriggs uniform was designed by Holli Marshall when she was Primary 3 at Bellfield Primary. Parents have embraced the new blue and yellow design and pupils looked very smart in their new uniform.
Provost Jim Todd said: “Whatriggs Primary School and Early Childhood Centre has welcomed children and young people from the former Bellfield and Kirkstyle Primaries with open arms. The Campus will ensure our children and young people learn within a positive environment.
“The £12.4m campus is a massive investment for Bellfield, in a beautiful setting in the heart of the community and I was delighted to officially handover the keys to the building.”
The Whatriggs Campus is part of the Council’s 10 year £500m capital improvement programme. It will provide children and young people with a state of the art learning environment and the local community with purpose built meeting facilities.
The early childhood centre is the first in East Ayrshire to deliver 1140 hours of early learning and childcare. It provides a flexible model of provision between 08:00 and 18:00 Monday to Friday throughout the calendar year.
It is registered for 88 places for children aged 3 and 4 years old and 10 places for children aged 2 to 3 years. In addition to the normal morning and afternoon sessions, parents can access a different pattern of hours dependent on their needs.
The original campus design by East Ayrshire Council architects was developed by the main contractor Morrison Construction in partnership with award winning architects, Keppie Design.