Celebrations as North Tyneside school marks end of an era

Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn with Rachael Woods, head teacher at Whitehouse Primary School.

There were celebrations at a North Shields Primary School today (Tuesday 22 March) as children, staff and parents bid a very fond farewell to their old building and get set to move into a fantastic brand new school after the Easter holidays.

Whitehouse Primary School has finally closed its doors after 52 years and will be demolished as part of £40million school rebuilding plan to replace four North Tyneside schools with new buildings fit for 21st century learning.

To mark the end of an era pupils and staff, both past and present, were joined by parents, VIP guests including the Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn for a very special fun assembly filled with songs, poems, a film and even a surprise flash mob!

When the children return in April they will go into their fabulous new state-of-the-art school and nursery built right next door on the existing grounds.  With its bright and airy classrooms, Learning Resource Centre, multi-purpose hall with stage lighting, community room, lots of outside space and a Multi-Use Games Area, the new school is impressive.

Headteacher Rachel Woods said: “We had a wonderful whole school celebration assembly saying goodbye to the old school.  Whitehouse Primary has a special place in the hearts of so many people in the community and it has been great to hear from former pupils and staff who’ve shared their memories of the past half century.

“The children have enjoyed looking at all the old log books, class records and photographs we’ve kept throughout the years. Although it’s the end of an era for the old building which is soon to be demolished; we’re not at all sad just thrilled about moving into our lovely new school.

“Our school motto is ‘Believe in Yourself’ and everyone associated with our school – the staff, parents, governors and of course the children – are happy and believe that they have a fantastic future ahead of them in a beautiful school which is offering them the very best start in life.”

After the assembly a delighted Norma Redfearn said: “This was a historic day and it was a fabulous way for the whole school community to say farewell to the old building which has so many amazing memories for people in the area.

“I spoke with so many children and they all told me how excited they are and how they are really looking forward to becoming the first ones to be educated in the lovely new school that they’ve been eagerly watching being built for the past two years.

“Such boundless enthusiasm is wonderful as ssupporting the education of children and young people is one of our most important responsibilities; here in North Tyneside we have an excellent reputation for our education and we have high aspirations for every child to reach their full potential.  I’m delighted that when the children come back from their Easter holidays they will move into such a fantastic purpose-built building.  Our children are the best and they deserve the very best.”

The school is being built under the Government’s Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP) to rebuild schools across the country that have the greatest need. It will cater for 210 pupils and has a 26-place nursery. Money for the new-build has come from the Department for Education’s Education Funding Agency, with a contribution from North Tyneside Council.

Whitehouse School was opened 52 years ago on 16 January 1964 by Alderman J. Lisle JP.  It now has breakfast and after school clubs; parent and toddler groups; is a member of the Learning Trust, has a partnership with John Spence High School and links with Durham University.