A specialist school in Bolton is going from strength to strength as it plans to expand one of its sites.
Green Fold Special School, part of The Orchards Federation, is co-located with Cherry Tree Primary School and The Orchards Nursery School. The school operates across three sites in Farnworth and Little Lever and provides specialist education for children with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Since headteacher, Mr Gary Anders, joined in 2016, the school has gone from 96 pupils and twelve classes, to 140 pupils and eighteen classes. Its projected growth means a further five classes could be formed by 2023.
The increase in pupils means expansion of one of the school’s sites on Highfield Road or Highfield Drive would be required in order to accommodate the projected increased cohort within the ASD provision.
Architects have been commissioned by the local authority’s planning team to ascertain which site is most suitable for the proposed expansion. Phase 1 works are scheduled to begin in the summer.
In response to the influx of new pupils, Green Fold has also consolidated its multi-disciplinary team with specialist teachers, support staff, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, as well as a dedicated school nurse.
The school also boasts a specialist resource provision, which includes several multi-sensory rooms and a hydrotherapy pool.
In summer 2020, the leadership team was restructured and strengthened in order to facilitate the projected growth. The new appointments included Lisa Walker as deputy headteacher, Laura Venables as ASD leader, Jordanna Whittleston as PMLD leader and SENCO, Harriet Davidson as SLD leader and Terrill Longworth as communication leader completing the leadership team with existing assistant headteacher, Kathryn Oliver and early years leader, Caroline Glover.
Headteacher, Gary Anders, said: “It is an exciting time for Green Fold Specialist School as we plan the expansion for one of our sites. We now have an excellent leadership team in place that are ready to support this exponential growth.
“The new facilities will allow us to increase our intake of pupils with ASD and continue to deliver the highest quality of specialist education to children in the area.”