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Teens bond ahead of merger

Pupils Courtney McDonald of Bispham High (left) has an injured arm tended to by Collegiates Chelsea Dowling. Below: Declan Taylor attempts a Bushtucker style test, with Kayleigh Rothery.

Pupils Courtney McDonald of Bispham High (left) has an injured arm tended to by Collegiates Chelsea Dowling. Below: Declan Taylor attempts a Bushtucker style test, with Kayleigh Rothery.

Teenagers spent a day team building and bonding, in a bid to merge friendships as well as schools when their high schools join forces in 2014.

Schoolchildren from Bispham and Collegiate high schools took part in workshops to encourage them to get to know each other and work well together.

The schools are set to merge fully from 2015, with building work already underway to create a new £10 million school at the Collegiate campus, on Blackpool Old Road.

From January Year Eight and Nine, children will be in classes together at the
Bispham school, with around 85 in each year group.

Year Seven children from both schools are already in classes together at the
Bispham Road campus.

But Year 10 and 11 pupils at both schools will remain in their own schools for the rest of their GCSE years.

The schools are already working with a collective staff.

Blackpool and The Fylde College put on the ‘discovery day’ at the Bispham school.

Chris Hewitt, from the college, said: “The children might be a bit apprehensive or a bit nervous, so this is about partnership working and team building. Traditionally these years are quite key years, they’re maturing, friendships can fragment and change and with new peers that’s where it can explode – so it’s about settling them down.”

Children agreed the days made them feel more optimistic about the merger and about having new classmates.

Collegiate pupil Bethany Walton, 14, said: “I didn’t want to do the merger but now it’s not as bad because we’re getting to know each other.

“The teachers thought there would be a lot of arguments but they’re telling us everything will be all right and we do trust them.”

Bispham pupil Chantelle Waldron, 13, added: “At first I didn’t like the idea but now I think it’s actually a good idea, we’ll get a better education.

“I think it’s going to be good having a new school.”

Collegiate pupil Liam Harrison, 14, said: “Some of the Collegiate lads aren’t happy coming here and say they’re going to break the rules, but the discovery day will make them feel better. At least we’ll get a year of the new school.”

Teachers from both schools supervised the meets last week. Debbie Hanlon-Catlow, acting headteacher at Bispham High School, said: “It’s just getting them used to one another, so it’s not alien to them.”

 

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