The Two Bridges School has opened a new facility for pupils at the Pagoda Centre, off St John’s Road.
The Pagoda Centre will provide a permanent home for its 14-to-16-year-old Key Stage Four students, who have been based in several locations since the school opened in April 2015.
Two Bridges specialise in working with pupils whose challenging behaviour results in referral from mainstream education.
Their new classrooms were unveiled by Patrick Leeson, Director of Education and Young People’s Services at Kent County Council [KCC].
Also attending were local head teachers, including Rosemary Joyce of Tonbridge Grammar School, as well as KCC’s Area Education Officer for West Kent, Jared Nehra, and representatives of Early Help and the Specialist Teaching and Learning Services.
Sue Beauchamp, Head Teacher at Two Bridges, revealed: “We’ve had a lot of support from KCC. They own the building and their property department has worked with me for two years.
“We secured the centre in May, and then it took us just 39 days from the moment we got in there to change it completely.”
She is thrilled with the development, adding: “The kids really enjoy working here, it feels like a proper school. They feel valued here, which is important for those who have fallen out of the schools system.
“It feels like it’s been built for them, to get the best out of their learning.
“It has very big, bright classrooms, and it’s a good environment for them.”
The pupils will now be offered a broader curriculum, and will have extra subjects to study such as land-based learning and animal care.
Preparing for a BTec in sport will be vastly improved because the school has struck up a relationship with the neighbouring Sports Centre.
There will be swimming sessions and PE lessons at the Fusion leisure centre, while Key Stage 4 students will be able to use the fitness room. Previously, the pupils had used the Skinners’ grammar school playing fields and the Ridgewaye recreation ground.
Key Stage Three students will continue to be based at the school’s existing Charles Street site.