A NEW school for children with additional support needs opened today in Erskine. 

The Waterfront Campus will provide a high standard of education for up to 36 children in the town. 

Run by CrossReach, the operating arm of the Church of Scotland's social care council, the new facility will welcome children and young people who have experienced trauma and adverse childhood experiences. 

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The school, which provides places for day pupils, was delivered by Portakabin Scotland and comprises of 41 modular buildings clustered round a central courtyard, which is fitted out in astroturf for outdoor activities and a climbing frame.

Built off-site and craned into position, there are five classroom blocks and a main block which houses a top of the range kitchen and dining room, assembly hall, gym hall, meeting rooms, administration offices, showers and toilets.

Staffed by a team of 20 specially trained education specialists, 21 pupils, aged 7-15, enrolled at the independent school in August.

Kyle Fleming, Head of Education at the Erskine Waterfront Campus, said he and his team were “feeling really motivated and energised” by the new facility, which has been built on ground leased from Renfrewshire Council.

“This is a first class school with a wonderful nurturing ethos where pupils are provided with a high level of support to bring out the best in them,” he added.

“They have access to the full curriculum in creative ways and we are committed to giving our pupils the best possible start in life.

The Gazette:

Kyle Fleming at the site 

“The school community has been welcomed by the wider Erskine community, allowing our curriculum to benefit from local facilities and new partnerships.”

Established nearly 150 years ago, the Church of Scotland’s social care arm is one of the largest social care providers in Scotland.

Pupil Jordan Mackellar, 15, said he really enjoyed being at the school.

“I liked nursery and primary school but when I went to secondary school I found it difficult to focus on the work because there were too many people in the classes,” he explained.

“There were too many distractions and as the years went on I started going less and less and eventually I stopped attending at all.

The Gazette:

Jordan McKellar and Tricia Anderson 

 “But since coming to Erskine Waterfront Campus it has been a lot better and I have been enjoying it a lot more.

 “It is a place where you can come and be yourself and you don’t have to worry about being judged and what others think.

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 “You can just come and learn and be happy."                          

Sheila Gordon, Director of Children and Family Services at CrossReach, said: “We are very excited to have a new, purpose built school campus at the Waterfront in Erskine which provides a quality modern education environment.”