News - 26 November 2021

Pupils at Alfreton Park Community Special School given life-enriching experiences

Contractor Henry Brothers has organised a raft of interesting experiences for pupils at Alfreton Park Community Special School as part of the company’s commitment to supporting the school, facilitated through D2N2’s Derbyshire North Careers Hub.

Events have ranged from an exciting birds of prey encounter to hands-on brick laying and plastering demonstrations and tutorials.

Henry Brothers Midlands is currently building a new £13.2m Alfreton Park Community Special School in Derbyshire, which will provide a modern, larger purpose-built facility for pupils with special needs and replace out-dated and unsuitable teaching facilities at the school’s existing site.

During the construction phase, Henry Brothers has arranged a string of life-enriching experiences for the students – including insights into the trades involved in building a new school.

Henry Brothers Midlands MD Ian Taylor said: “We have been delighted to organise a number of exciting activities to appeal to the youngsters at Alfreton Park Community Special School. These have ranged from fun encounters like the birds of prey demonstration to insights into the construction sector, with opportunities for the pupils to have a go at some of the trades involved in building. One or two of them really had an aptitude for brick laying and plastering and we hope it’s given them valuable understanding of a work place environment.”

Acting head teacher Josie O’Donnell praised Henry Brothers for its commitment to sharing information about the construction process with the youngsters.

She said: “Henry Brothers made the events onsite as inclusive as possible by providing wheelchair access and giving the pupils excellent experiences in brick laying and plastering. The pupils enjoyed handling the tools and materials and were very excited to be onsite having regularly visited as far as the gate to watch the diggers! It’s been a great opportunity for our young people to experience the world of work and supporting raising aspirations for all young people.”

Emily Carter, Operational Hub Lead for Derbyshire at D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It has been a delight to work in partnership with Henry Brothers and colleagues at Alfreton Park Community Special School, one of our Derbyshire North Career Hub Schools, to support the collaboration between the new school site development and careers provision at the school. Raising the aspirations and understanding of the world of work is essential for all young people and could not be done without the partnership of employers.

“In Derbyshire, transition to the workplace for young people with additional needs is below the national average, with only 3% of young people entering the workforce (6% nationally). Meaningful employer engagement and inclusive approaches to employment are key to unlocking an untapped pool of talent in our future workforce, and what has really stood out here is the close working and enthusiastic approach between Henry Brothers and Alfreton Park which has been of huge benefit to young people beyond the site development itself.”

The new single-storey building is being constructed on a site adjacent to Alfreton Park, known as Highfield Plantation. The old school will be demolished once the new site is up and running.

This is the second project that Henry Brothers has delivered for Alfreton Park Community Special School – the company previously delivered a hydrotherapy pool, which opened in early 2017 – and the latest in a number of schemes that the company has worked on for Derbyshire County Council.

The new school will expand the teaching and other facilities available at Alfreton Park Community Special School. Featuring 12 classrooms, six group rooms, including specialist therapy rooms and soft play areas, and a combined hall and dining area, it will have space for 100 students. The building is expected to be completed by late 2021, with the school opening early in 2022.

The Henry Brothers team building the new facility includes Maber architects and structural engineer HWA. Faithful + Gould is carrying out project management and quantity surveying roles for the client.

Nottingham-based Henry Brothers Midlands is part of The Henry Group, which comprises a number of manufacturing and construction sector companies, ranging from external construction through to interiors fit-out. In partnership with clients, it has a proven track record in education, defence, accommodation, commercial, industrial, transport and healthcare sectors.

Derbyshire North Careers Hub

The Derbyshire North Careers Hub is one of 4 across the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire area, supported locally through D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

Careers Hubs are part of a national programme by the Careers & Enterprise Company, funded by the Department for Education, and are designed to connect employers with schools and colleges throughout England to deliver world-class careers education. Careers Hubs test, trial and evaluate what works. They are centres of excellence, helping schools and colleges to develop careers programmes that support national intent, providing local implementation that is cohesive, connected and progressive.

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