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Dorset pupils learn safety lessons and see new school take shape

14 Nov 11 Children from two Dorset schools learned important safety lessons from the company building their new state-of-the-art school: the Chesil Cove Federation Primary School at Osprey Quay, Portland.

Construction company Stepnell, which has local offices in Hamworthy, Poole, visited Brackenbury Infant and Underhill Junior schools to give pupils presentations about the potential risks associated with construction activity, helping them understand that construction sites should never be seen as playgrounds. 

Thirty children – who will be part of the first intake of pupils at the new Chesil Cove Federation school – went on supervised visits to the site in the afternoon to see work in progress on the new building. Considerate Constructors Scheme mascot Ivor Goodsite came along too to help promote the safety message.

Brackenbury Infant and Underhill Junior schools will become one and move into the new school in Spring 2013. Next summer, the building, close to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, will form part of the Sailing Village for the 2012 Olympics and will be used as a facility for athletes competing in the Games. 

Helping children stay safe

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“It was great to meet the pupils, talk to them about safety and show them how work is going on the new building,” says Stepnell contracts manager Ian Chorlton. “Keeping everyone safe is always a priority for Stepnell and our community commitment involves helping children and young people in the areas where we work learn about the potential dangers associated with construction activity so that they understand that building sites should never be seen as places to play. It’s a serious message that we communicate in a fun way.” 

Stepnell has also donated money to the two schools to fund health and safety education programmes through the Children’s Safety Education Foundation as part of pupils’ social and personal education. 

Work is progressing well on the new school building: the roof is in place and the brick and blockwork of some walls is now complete. In addition to state-of-the-art learning facilities for primary school students, the school will house a 26-place nursery. Stepnell will also create an external multi-use games area and a 400m² outdoor play area. The school will incorporate sustainable features including a brown roof, rainwater harvesting and biomass boilers helping it to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’.

The main construction project is due to be completed in April 2012, with the construction team then set to return in October to carry out further work to prepare the school for its first intake of pupils.

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