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Two Schools, One Heart

Councillor Jo Monk stands in front of the new Church Hill Middle School Library  building as a blue ribbon is cut. Published Friday, 26th November 2021

Official Opening of new library at Church Hill Middle School, Redditch

The official opening of the new library at Church Hill Middle School and a joint reception area with Abbeywood First School took place on Thursday 25th November.

The building project has been funded by Worcestershire County Council, to support a one-year bulge in local pupil numbers which has seen Central Region Schools Trust take an additional sixty pupils into year 5 across Church Hill Middle School and Ipsley CE RSA Academy.

Central Region Schools Trust also contributed to the new building as part of their commitment to bringing together the school communities of Church Hill Middle School and Abbeywood First School.

Visitors from Worcestershire County Council and Central Region Schools Trust were able to take a look around the new space and enjoyed performances of poetry and book readings from Church Hill pupils. 

Councillor Marcus Hart, Cabinet Member for Education at Worcestershire County Council said: “Ensuring our students have access to resources to promote and support reading is key to a good education. The County Council are committed to improving facilities and provision across the County to ensure students are able to go on and achieve their full potential; the new Church Hill Middle School library in Redditch is another example of that. We are pleased to have worked closely with the Central Region Schools Trust to deliver this project. The new library, with a shared entrance with Abbeywood First School, will help ensure that facilities are able to meet the needs of the local school communities, following an increase in pupils in the area over the last year.  We look forward to seeing how the new facility benefits local school communities; both now and in the future.”

The project has been developed in the space that previously sat between the two schools. “We have worked to bring the school communities of Abbeywood and Church Hill closer together since they joined our family of schools,” said Guy Shears, Executive Principal (CEO) of Central Region Schools Trust. “This wonderful building sits at the heart of the shared site and enables even deeper connections between the two.”

Despite Church Hill offering many more places for the current Year 5, the school was still able to fill all places. “It has been wonderful to see how well the extra two classes in Year 5 have settled in and made our school even more vibrant,” commented Cherie Lewis, Head of School. “We still pride ourselves on being a small, friendly school, even with our increased number of pupils as the popularity of the school has grown.”

Most of the new building is taken up by a library that was designed specifically to appeal to the age range of pupils at the middle school. “I love the new library! It feels really grown-up and we can relax in here,” said a Year 7 pupil. 

The window coverings of the library feature a bespoke map of the local area, highlighting the importance of the relationship between the schools and their community.

The former library space is being redesigned to create additional, more flexible learning spaces within the main school building.

The rest of the pupils in Abbeywood and Church Hill also celebrated the opening with a series of events based on ‘The Wonderful World of Books’.

These included Year 6 pupils working with the poet Tomos Roberts, who performed his poem Alive with Poppies at the recent Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.

Logo for Church Hill Middle School in Redditch; features two trees and a green letter C.
Logo for Abbeywood First School in Redditch; featuring two children sitting on a bench behind three trees.