Bright future in new-look school
Burnside opens doors after £7m upgrade
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