New specialist school opens in renovated Grade II listed manor
- Credit: Archant
A new specialist school with state-of-the-art facilities has opened in a Grade II listed rectory near Stowmarket.
The 19th century Wetheringsett Manor has been completely renovated to accommodate the school, which has been created to help meet the growing demand for personalised learning for pupils with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) difficulties.
The building, in Wetheringsett, has also been extended to provide a therapeutic learning environment for vulnerable pupils aged 11 to 18.
The school’s specialist approach is already attracting pupils from the surrounding counties of Essex, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, as well as Suffolk.
Wetheringsett Manor School headteacher David Bishop said: “We are delighted to be welcoming our first students and supporting them on their education journey, helping to unlock both their personal and academic potential.
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“Our traditional manor house has expanded to include a modern classroom block with everything teachers and students could need.
“We believe in delivering an exceptional education and to do this we’ve invested in creating an environment to inspire learning, which, coupled with our professional teaching team, gives our students a first class start in life.”
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The new Wetheringsett Manor School is part of Acorn Education and Care and Outcomes First Group.
The renovated site now features modern classrooms, each equipped with the latest education technology, as well as calming sensory areas.
Classes have a maximum of six children with one teacher and a teaching assistant, with additional support from a team of specialist staff – including speech and language therapists, educational psychologists and occupational therapists.
Students will also visit an exciting forest school every Wednesday, which educators say will give pupils the chance to develop self-confidence and life skills through teamwork activities such as building fires and shelters.
The grounds also have resident muntjac deer, pheasants and guinea fowl and the school is also looking to welcome a therapy dog and chickens.
Further plans in the pipeline include a new sports centre, as well as developing the existing on-site factory to provide vocational training opportunities.