Uniting The School Community
Westholme School unveils plans to unite and consolidate on one single site bringing the whole of the school community together
As Westholme approaches its centenary year, there has been constant evolution and refinement of the school’s educational offer. What has remained constant, however, is a commitment to deliver the very best possible outcome for every child in Westholme’s care. The ethos today is precisely the same as it was in 1923 when Emily Singleton began teaching a handful of local pupils, and Westholme still puts the children at the centre of all they do.
Whilst the Infant and Junior sites at Billinge House and Beardwood Bank have played an acknowledged and important role in the school’s history, Westholme strongly believes that the children will genuinely benefit from being in one place, consolidating not only a vision of one school community, but also that of Mr Arthur Rouse, who opened the Senior School at Wilmar Lodge in 1968 and whose stated aim was always to bring the whole school together as one.
Westholme’s next planned development is to relocate all pupils, from Pre School through to Sixth Form onto one site based at Wilmar Lodge.
By September 2021, Westholme will have all primary phased pupils from Pre School to Year 6 housed in a self-contained building at Senior School.
Planning permission has been submitted to convert and extend the current art and music buildings.
The project combines both new build and conversion of existing buildings, allowing the school to maintain some historic features while creating a modern, dynamic learning environment for all children. This development will be a direct result of significant investment to ensure children will have their own learning resources and individual playground with dedicated access points and parking. Parents with Infant children will be able to drive directly onto site and safely drop them off in a dedicated parking zone.
There will need to be an interim move for the children as it is estimated the conversion will take the majority of a year. Over the summer of 2020, and ready for the new academic year in September, all the infants from Pre School to Year 2 will move onto the school’s Junior site.
The Senior School building, Wilmar Lodge, will need to be well prepared for the arrival of the youngest members of the school’s community.
Westholme plans to form a creative hub in the Rouse Building, bringing together the disciplines of art, photography, food and nutrition, textiles and product design by September 2021. Similarly, for music, a refurbished zone in the lower ground floor of the Sixth Form Centre will house practice rooms and teaching spaces.
It is also intended to extend the school’s sporting provision – Westholme recognises that there is a need for more suitable space and facilities in this important area of the educational offering.
A full parking rearrangement and development plan has also been put into place to ensure parking is maximised across the whole estate, with safe entry and exit points for pedestrians and vehicles.
In a rapidly changing environment, providing a sustainable future for Westholme is key to success. Westholme 2021 is the next phase of the school’s continuous development.
Wilmar Lodge, Meins Road, Blackburn BB2 6QU