Where school is just like ‘home’

Photo Neil Cross
Postie Asim Raza delivers a surprise gift to Azra Butt of Eldon Primary School
Photo Neil Cross Postie Asim Raza delivers a surprise gift to Azra Butt of Eldon Primary School
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They have a long way to go before they reach the age of 21, but youngsters at a Preston school already have the key to the door.

Instead of building a more typical extension, classes at Eldon Primary are expanding into a house across the road.

Photo Neil Cross
Postie Asim Raza delivers a surprise gift to Azra Butt of Eldon Primary School, with  pupils, in the form of keys to the school's new house

Photo Neil Cross Postie Asim Raza delivers a surprise gift to Azra Butt of Eldon Primary School, with pupils, in the form of keys to the school's new house

The school, in Plungington, has bought a three-bedroom terrace property which will be used as a classroom for a range of subjects from life skills to maths.

Headteacher Azra Butt said: “The idea stems back to our 130th anniversary last year when some of our former pupils visited.

“They talked highly about their experiences years ago when they used to go to a house to do things like woodwork, needlecraft, food preparation etc. I thought this was a really good extension of the school curriculum.”

With a budget in place, she had no problem selling the idea to the governors or the education authority and staff set about looking for a suitable property.

They were overjoyed when a house came empty directly across the road – and once the deal was completed the local postman delivered the keys to school at a special assembly.

Azra said: “Our children really understand contextualised learning so working out how many square metres of carpet we would need in the living room would make it an actual problem to solve or printing our own wall paper with a pattern would make it a really meaningful activity.

“The possibilities involving budgeting, designing living spaces etc are endless.

“Our living curriculum will enable learning skills to transfer to children’s homes and in hopefully influence and inspire their future lives.

“Eldon House is a terrific extension of Eldon School. It will be accessible to all our pupils, who will be timetabled to access weekly life skills.”

Classes are due to start there next week.