Oldfield School’s new asset

[Cllr Dine Romero, Sue Hemmings, Headteacher, Steven Mackay, Chair of Council, Cllr Lisa O’Brien, and Council leader, Cllr Kevin Guy]

Bath’s Oldfield School is celebrating the opening of their new Special Educational Needs building.

The Hemming Centre is an innovative building that has been purposely built to accommodate sensory and therapy rooms.  The rooms help to develop children’s social and emotional wellbeing, and provide the space for 1-2-1, and small group, intervention.  The sensory room is a blackout room, with fiberoptic lighting to provide a calming environment for students to regulate and process their emotions.  

Students in the sensory room

The building includes an ASD Specialist Resource Base, a bespoke package for up to 10 high-functioning ASD students, supporting them to access mainstream education and providing additional support for individuals’ learning needs.  All of this support is already proven to have impacted positively the students that are accessing these resources.

The building incorporates a range of sustainability features, including air source heating, a green roof and the design minimises the visual impact of the building.

“The new building is a real asset to the school, and ensures we are able to help all abilities within our school community.  We are grateful to the council for financially supporting this development to enable children to get the support and help they need.  It is so important that these students are given the same opportunities as our other students, and the high quality support for students with additional needs aligns with the inclusive ethos of our school” said Mr Mackay, Headteacher at Oldfield.

The building is named in recognition of the exceptionally long service to the school of Sue Hemmings, who retired last year after 47 years working at the school as a Science Technician.  Sue said “I was sad to leave Oldfield after all these years, it is a great place with lovely staff and students.  I was once asked “isn’t it boring, doing the same thing all the time?” but I’m emphatic in the fact that it was never boring, there was always different things to do, and the students always kept it interesting!  I am very honoured to be recognised through the naming of the new building.”

Councillor Dine Romero, cabinet member for Children and Young People, Communities and Culture at Bath & North East Somerset Council, attended the opening and said, “We are wholly committed to helping every child and young person to reach their potential, so I’m delighted that we have been able to support this important new facility. It’s going to provide the tailored support needed to help students to thrive.”

Cllr Kevin Guy being shown around

‘Councillor Lisa O’Brien, Chairman of Council who formally opened the centre, said: “This new facility will facilitate increased, dedicated support for students to encourage, reassure and promote their development. Congratulations to Oldfield School on the completion of this important project which, I feel sure, will yield impressive benefits.”

Sue Hemmings with the Chair of B&NES, Cllr Lisa O’Brien.

The council contributed £350,000 in funding to the project.