Belmont has a rich and diverse past. Built by the Whitehead Family in 1867, Belmont was originally a family residence until it was designated by the local authority as a school in 1955. Since 1996 the school has provided specialist education for up to 94 pupils. The former house is now the Key Stage 3 base and dining area. Key Stage 4 pupils assemble in the old coach house, which is equipped with specialist classrooms. A new classroom block opened in September 2005 housing two classrooms and a new science laboratory. The school has further expanded to include a large horticulture area and additional recreational spaces for pupils. We are even home to a large cohort of chickens, rescued from battery farms, which supply our kitchens with fresh eggs every day!
In addition to classrooms for each subject area there is the Science laboratory, a Design and Technology room, a media suite, a building and construction room, an Art room, a Food Technology kitchen, a music room and a library/resource centre. The school has three state of the art computer suites one with CAD design facilities. The school is set in several acres of wooded and open grounds and has an all weather football area. PE lessons take place in nearby specialist sports facilities. The school cellars have been converted to accommodate a multi-media Art suite, specialising in large-scale canvas productions and expressive visual art. The other cellar area houses activity rooms where pupils can play pool and table tennis and have access to state of the art gaming/media facilities.
The school has recently opened a specialist Vocational Unit called “The River Side”. This amazing facility has been converted with specialist workshops and state of the art equipment that enables us to deliver City and Guild qualifications in building and construction and motor vehicles. Our young people are able to gain skills and qualifications in bricklaying, plumbing, joinery, plastering, electrical work and other trades. The motor vehicle workshop is a fully equipped commercial garage that houses ramps and other specialist garage equipment. The centre has two cars and two motorbikes for our students to work on, and gain experience and skills that lead to a City and Guilds level 1 qualification.
Our separate Primary site is situated in a large Victorian school building. Within our primary provision we have six classrooms, a hall, calm rooms, THRIVE room, therapy room, sensory room, play room, library, trim trail, horticulture area, fields and playground.
The school plays an active part in community life within the local area with many links which enrich the teaching and learning of our pupils. The school fosters local enterprise links which give our pupils an insight into commerce and the business world. We work closely with a local design studio and hold an annual art exhibition in the local library. The school raises money for local charities including the local hospice. Pupils also raise money to adopt animals from the local animal sanctuary and regularly visit “Callum the Donkey” and his other Belmont sponsored friends.
The school has strong links with Community Health who provide taught sessions on oral hygiene, sexual health amongst other issues. The Stop Smoking service also provides one to one support for our pupils, if needed. The school also has a local community police officer who visits and contributes to our citizenship programme.
The highlight of the Belmont year is the annual community fun day, organised to raise money for local charities as chosen by our school council. Pupils organise the whole day through their life skills and enterprise programme. This has been such a success that the local council community officer has requested that this year’s grand event be hosted in the local park.