Work on a multi-million pound facility for youngsters with complex learning needs is forging ahead.
Orchard Brae School, which is due to open in August, will cater for up to 150 children and young people, between the ages of three and 18, with Additional Support Needs (ASN).
Yesterday, Aberdeen City Council officials visited the Howes Road site, in Northfield, to view progress on the school, which will replace the city’s Woodlands School, Hazlewood School and the pre-school ASN facility currently housed within Seaton School.
Orchard Brae executive head teacher Caroline Stirton, said a significant amount of research and planning had gone into the design of the new building.
She said: “This is a purpose-built specialist facility for children with a range of complex needs.
“It has got flexibility and space and a awful lot of thought has gone into the design of it in terms of acoustics, lighting and colours, which can all move barriers to learning.
“I feel really honoured to be able to play a part in shaping this model which is the first of its kind in Scotland and will help us improve the long-term outcomes of our children and young people.”
Aberdeen City Council’s director of education, Gayle Gorman, said the new building would bring health, education, early years provision, social work and community facilities all under one roof.
She added: “We have waited so long to have a state-of-the-art facility.
“Parents are very excited about having a school which is a centre of excellence.”
The school will also feature a special ASN playground and sensory garden, as well as an independent living unit, where older children can learn essential skills for their transition into adult life.
There will also be an allotment, where pupils can grow produce for use in the community cafe.
Education convener Angela Taylor said she was sure the pupils would be thrilled with their new facilities and surroundings.
She added: “This will be first state-of-the-art facility of its kind in Scotland and I thing the rural setting will be very peaceful for the children.
“This is more than just a school we are building; it will be a centre of best practice where children and staff will be able to enhance their potential in the best possible setting.”