£28m Sheffield redevelopment school celebrates a new era

Baroness Sue Campbell with headteacher Diane McKinlay.

Baroness Sue Campbell with headteacher Diane McKinlay.

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A SHEFFIELD school is finally in top gear after a £28m redevelopment.

In addition to a new building, Forge Valley Community School at Stannington has a 1km cycle track for racing and training.

The school opened last September, but formal ceremonies were delayed until landscaping was completed.

The new campus – a merger of Myers Grove and Wisewood Secondaries on Myers Grove’s Wood Lane site – was officially opened in front of pupils, staff and parents by Baroness Sue Campbell, chairman of UK Sport and the Youth Sport Trust.

The outdoor cycle track, which has been part-funded by the British Cycling Federation, was opened by John Mills from British Cycling. It is being used by students as part of the PE curriculum, as well as by elite youth cyclists, community clubs and for safety training for primary pupils.

Headteacher Diane McKinley said: “It’s a fantastic building, very airy and light. We have tried, and I think we have succeeded, in striking a balance between a school that functions well and that has innovative and unusual spaces that inspire students to want to learn.

“Everybody that comes to the school is blown away by the facilities. Certainly some of the parents who were against the merger in the first place have said they now understand it was important and they think it was the right thing to do.”

The opening ceremony was an emotional occasion for Mrs McKinley, the former head of Wisewood School and Community Sports College, who has overseen the merger and the redevelopment.

“It means a lot to me personally. It makes you feel emotional when you see such strong teamwork in putting on a fabulous event and people’s response. I was very proud.”

Guests at the school included two students and four staff from Kibuli Secondary School in Uganda, with whom Forge Valley is twinned.