Bright fu­ture in new-look school

Burn­side opens doors after £7m up­grade

Rutherglen Reformer - - Out And About - Jonathan Ged­des

It took some of the teach­ers at Burn­side Pri­mary time to no­tice what was miss­ing in their new build­ing.

“We re­alised there was no longer any scrap­ing of chairs on the floor,” laughed He­len McGar­vey, the school’s head­teacher.

”Ev­ery­thing is fully car­peted now so it’s a sound that’s gone.”

That seems to sum up the new Burn­side Pri­mary build­ing, which has re­cently re­opened after a £7.7 mil­lion re­fit.

Among the new fa­cil­i­ties are an all-weather sports pitch, a two­s­torey ex­ten­sion and a host of new rooms. There is also a lot more colour. Brightly painted walls show­case the colours of the rain­bow through­out the build­ing, while slo­gans and words of inspiration have been daubed on, quot­ing the di­verse likes of JM Bar­rie and Au­drey Hep­burn.

Oth­ers go for a more straight­for­ward ap­proach, with “Work Hard” em­bla­zoned on one wall.

“They’re read­ing these quotes and see­ing these things all around,” ex­plained He­len.

“That came about through part of the plan­ning. We wanted some in­spi­ra­tional quotes that the chil­dren would un­der­stand and keep them think­ing and feel­ing pos­i­tive.

“We have class­rooms that are much more in line with teach­ing nowa­days, as op­posed to the past. The build­ing has been de­signed in a way that there are break-out ar­eas and the chil­dren can do a va­ri­ety of things.

“For ex­am­ple, we’ve now got a real stage with lighting and a proper sound sys­tem. That will en­hance what the kids are do­ing.”

The build­ing lay­out has been de­signed to be airy and fresh so those of older gen­er­a­tions (in­clud­ing this re­porter) who re­mem­ber trudg­ing up and down drab stair­wells will be in for a sur­prise.

Young­sters spent the pre­vi­ous 18 months or so at the old Spit­tal Pri­mary, which served as Burn­side’s de­cant build­ing.

They were ex­cited about get­ting to dis­cover a new look at Burn­side when they re­turned.

“They were awe-struck,” said He­len. “We piped the kids in on the first morn­ing after the Easter break and it was just ‘wow.

“They were amazed and full of ex­cite­ment. They were all stop­ping me to tell me about what they’d found and they had no­ticed things that you might not have ex­pected them to pick up on.”

While He­len has noth­ing but good words for their time in Spit­tal, she is de­lighted that the school is right back in the heart of the local area.

“What is great about be­ing back is hook­ing up again with the local com­mu­nity” she said.

“For ex­am­ple, we had a great re­la­tion­ship with Ruther­glen Lawn Ten­nis Club be­fore we moved and we’ve man­aged to al­ready set up ten­nis coach­ing here again.

“Grow 73 have been com­ing in too and they’re al­ready look­ing at de­vel­op­ing the school grounds, while Tesco Burn­side is an­other and we’re look­ing at what we can take for­ward now we’re back in the Burn­side area.”

She is op­ti­mistic that the school can con­tinue to move ahead.

“We’ve been mak­ing plans for com­ing back” she said.

“We had a lot of oc­ca­sions where we have spo­ken with chil­dren, par­ents and staff about what they want from the build­ing. Now we’re at a stage where we are start­ing to see those things ap­pear, like what’s go­ing in each of the planters out­side.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to re­ally plan­ning some outdoor learn­ing, which we couldn’t re­ally do at the de­cant.

“I think it has re­ju­ve­nated ev­ery­thing.”

New start Head­teacher He­len McGar­vey along with school staff Mau­reen McAl­lis­ter and Morag Skilling

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