New school facilities
are fit for a prince
His Royal Highness the Duke of
York visited The Royal Docks Community School (March 29) to
officially open new facilities that will help young people who have
profound and multiple learning disabilities.
It was the first time that a member of the Royal Family
has visited the school in Prince Regent Lane. The whole school of
more than 1,000 students joined invited guests to watch as he
unveiled a plaque in the school's rotunda reception area to mark
Prince Andrew was greeted by head girl Lola Kim-Jamal; head boy Sam
Knight; head teacher Ruth Martin; Deputy Mayor Councillor Lester
Hudson; Tim Harrison, the chair of governors; and Teresa Onyemah,
head of inclusion.
The royal guest was shown around a new wing that houses the
specialist PMLD facilities. They are part of a £2.9 million package
of improvements paid for by the Building Schools for the Future
programme, and include a new dining hall, drama space and multi-use
Deputy Mayor Councillor Hudson said: "The new wing is a great
example of the state of the art facilities that the BSF programme
has introduced here and at other schools in Newham. All of our
pupils deserve to have the best."
The PMLD wing caters for 22 pupils, 18 of who have complex medical
needs. There are enhanced classrooms with large computer screens
and keyboards and a sensory room with coloured lights and different
A room is also set up as a life-style flat complete with bedroom
and kitchen designed to teach independent living. Prince Andrew
enjoyed some home baking with pupils in the flat.
Head teacher Ruth Martin said: "It was a privilege to welcome such
a distinguished guest to open our PMLD provision. We were delighted
that we could share with him the work and achievements of our
students of whom we are very proud and for whom we have very high
hopes and aspirations. All our young people were so well
His Royal Highness also saw a music performance by PMLD students
with a solo sung by Alya Sheik. He was presented with a picture by
pupil Mehwish Shazadi.
The BSF work on remodelling the interior space at the school to
accommodate the PLMD wing, improve the dining space, relocate the
drama studio and create the multi-use games area was carried out by
developers Jerram Falkus.