Staff and students are preparing for their big move into a new state-of-the-art school building.

More than 600 students and staff at The Whitehaven Academy will be packing up before the half term break – and when they return it will be to their new classrooms.

The finishing touches are being applied to the new build, which has risen beside the existing premises over the last 18 months.

Next comes the huge logistical task of packing up computers, books and everything else that staff and students will need and moving it across to the new classrooms.

Headteacher Nigel Youngman said it was a new chapter to which the whole school looked forward.

He said: “Our students, their families, our staff and the whole Whitehaven community can’t wait for the day we can move into our modern school building that matches the aspirations we have for all our children. That day is almost here.”

The building includes 21 classrooms, seven science labs, two art studios and three design and technology rooms. There’s also a sports hall with dance and drama studios.

Mr Youngman added: “Moving an entire school is a huge challenge. Over the past few months, we have been planning how best we do this with the minimum disruption whilst also getting a positive start in our amazing new facilities.

“The academy has drawn up a revised timetable for the last two days of this half term and the first week back to help facilitate a smooth transition.”

During the last two days of this half term, staff will pack up and then during the half term week everything will be moved across to the new build. Unpacking will be done at the start of the new half term and staff will be trained in the new facilities. The intention is then to get every student in for a transition session before the whole school begins its new life together.

The temporary revised timetable will see students undertake remote learning with a spell in the new build in the first week of the new half term.