Painsley Catholic College, in Cheadle is celebrating the opening of its brand new purpose-built ‘Digital Hub’ building.
The digital hub has been built exclusively to accommodate those students who are studying the new T Level in Digital Production, Design and Development, a qualification that combines academic work with technical skills and is equivalent to three A-levels. Painsley was picked as one of the first schools in England to offer this new flagship vocational qualification back in September 2020.
The new building represents an investment of over £1 million. Work on construction began in 2019 and has now been completed with the first students able to use the facilities.
Kitted out with the very latest equipment the Digital Hub is located near Painsley’s main sixth form centre.
Mr Steve Bell, Chief Executive Officer of the multi-academy company that oversees Painsley, said: “The facilities are not like traditional classrooms. They are more like the kind of place a top employer would send their staff for training and they have the very latest technology and software.”
The two teaching rooms inside the new block are set to be used for both theoretical and practical activities that include mastering current programming techniques to develop software in a range of languages. There is also a ‘collaborative task room’ as well as an office and meeting space.
One of the first students to use the facility, Ethan Steele, 18 commented, “I believe that the T-Level course has given me a much more in depth view of the computer science world. It has been interesting to see how each aspect of the course links back to each other in some way or another, and this course is good for being able to talk one-on-one with the teachers without being too constrained for time. This allows us to go into more detail about each topic and really get to know what the course is about.”
Mrs Rachel Waugh, Principal at Painsley Catholic College said, “This has been such an exciting development. We were able to work closely with the architect and designers to ensure the facilities met the needs of the new qualification in a very precise way and provide our students with a learning environment that better prepares them for work in industry.”
The first students on the T Level course will complete their qualification in July 2022.