December 13, 2023

School celebrates the completion of new sports hall which has made a ‘big impact’

A Woburn Sands school which counts a current England footballer as a former pupil has celebrated the opening of their new sports block, with student sports leaders saying the state-of-the-art facility has already had a “big impact” and made them feel “more confident”.

Following in the footsteps of Fulbrook School alumnus, Chelsea defender Ben Chilwell, the class of 2023 has already been shooting, scoring and running the new sports hall through its paces since construction was completed last month.

Built as part of Central Bedfordshire Council’s programme to change schools from the three-tier to the two-tier model of education, the sports block is the first part of the construction works to accommodate the increased number of pupils, with a new teaching block currently under construction and expected to be completed in the summer.

The Fulbrook School choir helped sing the praises of the new facilities, with a specially written song for the official opening event attended by guests from Central Bedfordshire Council, contractors Spacemaker Developments (SMD), designers Concertus, Woburn Sands Town Council and Leighton Linslade School Sports Partnership.

Two student sports leaders addressed the guests, with Kady saying: “The sports hall has had a very big impact on us at Fulbrook. The space allows us to play bigger games and greater variety of sports. It will also be useful as our school extends and we have more students.”

April said: “The sports hall at Fulbrook has helped us feel more confident in PE and will allow us to experience more sports. It has been a great addition to our school and we’re excited to see how it will be used in years to come.”

Fulbrook School Headteacher, Sam Clancy, said: “Fulbrook was originally built in 1958, as a boys’ secondary school. It later became a middle school in 1973. In 2023, our fantastic sports hall is the newest part of the school and a perfect example of the state-of-the-art facilities we are offering, as an extended secondary school.

“It is wonderful to be able to have this resource for the students and staff at Fulbrook, not to mention the opportunities it gives to engage with the wider community. This superb sports hall is an exciting sign of things to come, as we now watch the new two-storey teaching block take shape before our very eyes. On behalf of every student, member of staff and governor, I thank all those involved in delivering this resource, which is already being enjoyed on a daily basis and enhances the Fulbrook offer.”

After cutting the ribbon to officially open the sports hall, Cllr Hayley Whitaker, Executive Member for Families, Education and Children, said: “I’m delighted to have celebrated this important milestone in the development of Fulbrook School which reflects Central Bedfordshire Council’s commitment to supporting schools in changing from lower, middle and upper schools, to primary and secondary schools.

“For Fulbrook, this brand-new sports hall will allow the school to further develop their sports curriculum while being a great boost to young people’s health. I also look forward to the celebration next year when the new teaching block is completed, so that pupils can also get even more from their academic studies.”

SMD Director, Moomith Ullah, said: “We’re delighted to have celebrated the opening of the sports hall, which is a key milestone in this much-needed expansion project. It’s great to hear the positive impact that the sports block and the overall expansion project is having on students and to see their excitement and enthusiasm makes all the effort and the hard work more meaningful.

“We’re honoured to be part of this project and to have had a valuable impact on Central Bedfordshire Council’s programme to move schools from three-tier to the two-tier model of education. We’d like to thank the Council and Concertus for their continued collaboration on the project and Fulbrook School’s staff and students who use the sports hall every day. We continue our commitment in achieving and delivering the highest quality build while maintaining a positive relationship, which echoes our motto of ‘spaces crafted with care’.”

David Garrard, Associate from Concertus, said: “The new sports hall not only provides a fantastic facility for a variety of sports, but also a large assembly space allowing the school to come together as a community. The school’s enthusiasm for their new space was demonstrated at the opening ceremony by the wonderful singing of the pupils. I am proud to be part of the team Involved in this exciting project and look forward to the completion of the new teaching block next year.”

Fulbrook began its transition from a middle school to an extended secondary in August 2023, and will teach pupils from Year 5 through to Year 11 by September 2024. The Council is continuing to explore options for the remaining lower schools in the area to join the school and the nearby Swallowfield Primary in the transition to a two-tier model of education. The Council will provide further updates on the progress in this area as it becomes available.