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New school hub at Ilkeston (the Gallows)

The team at R.E.A.L.’s Ilkeston hub (known as the Gallows) have been working hard over the last few weeks to transform the learning space.

The outside of the building has been painted, plants have been added to the fencing and a new patio area and artificial grass have been laid. There are just a few final touches left to add to complete the work – some outdoor equipment and a seating area, due to be added soon.

The Gallows is actively used by young people in all key stages, and during the Coronavirus lockdown the hub has remained open to support vulnerable learners.

R.E.A.L. staff members have worked hard to maintain as much normality as possible for learners, offering a much needed routine and ensuring that they feel safe.

Over the past few weeks, learners have been engaging in various activities about the rainforest, volcanoes, horticulture (planting carrot seeds which will be used for future cooking sessions), making cards for Captain Tom Moore, creating ‘positive pebbles’ and also displaying messages to help uplift people who pass by the building. They have also painted rainbows which are proudly displayed in the hub windows.

The hub has five classrooms, and under normal circumstances, they would be filled with young people sharing and working in pairs or small groups. Courses from AIM Awards through to GCSEs are undertaken at the Gallows, and younger learners can also access the key stage 2 and 3 curriculum.

The transformation at the hub has been continually developing over the past 12 months. Claire Bishop, Learning Manager and Transitions Lead at Ilkeston hub said: “The young people and staff have been very responsive to the changes – it has been a pleasure to be a part of it. The positive attitude and willingness of our young people to understand each other and support one another has been inspiring.

“We are surrounded by playing fields and have a canal that runs behind the hub which we will be taking advantage of with the implementation of cycling on the canal paths. I have now secured some bikes, and after some staff training they will be ready to use in the future. We are very lucky to have a hub in such a beautiful area!

“I am so proud of our team. The hub now looks amazing, and the atmosphere created by our amazing staff working at the Gallows throughout the Coronavirus lockdown has been incredible.”

For more information about the facilities and courses available at R.E.A.L.’s Ilkeston hub (the Gallows), or to arrange a tour email enquiries@real-education.org or call 01158 220400.

R.E.A.L. Alternative Provision