THE FINAL sections of a £33 million new school are being completed as it prepares to fully open in September.

Heartlands High School, in Station Road, Wood Green, opened to its first group of students in 2010, but the building work has continued around them.

Now the finishing touches to the vast school, funded by the Building Schools for the Future programme, are being done. It will be ready to take on a new year group, as well as its first set of special needs children, this autumn.

Headteacher Simon Garrill, who joined the project in 2009, said: “This new space will allow our students to achieve even more.

“It's a very innovative building that puts us in the heart of our community – I think it's going to make a real difference to the area.”

The newly completed areas, which are being handed over to school staff by builders day-by-day, include three floors of extra teaching and learning space - with 24 classrooms – a sports hall, auditorium, dance studio, woodwork and electronics rooms, and a specially designed learning space and playground for autistic pupils.

Mr Garrill added: “It's really exciting that the autistic provision is complete. This really will be an inclusive school.

“The children have been learning about autism so that when our first pupils join in September they know what to expect.”

Every aspect of the school has been designed to be energy-efficient and allow wildlife to migrate through open spaces in the building, protecting the ecosystem that has built up around the nearby rail line.

Children have use of seven allotments, and even the building materials have been sourced from recyclable materials where possible – a new outdoor teaching space has rubber seating areas made from discarded tyres.

The school has 162 Year 7 pupils, but will eventually grow naturally to cater for 1,080 children, in form groups of 27.

Pupils voted to have a house system named after star constellations, and the corridors of the building are colour-coded around the five houses, which helps navigation around the huge complex.

Mr Garrill was keen to stress that the school wanted to become an important hub for the community, with the sports hall and open spaces open on weekday nights and all day at the weekend.

He said: “For a community that didn't have a school until last year to suddenly have this fantastic building – that can only be a good thing.

“That will be a good thing for our students and we will work with the community so that it will add something for them as well.”

And with specialist visual arts and media status, children have been building links with artists at the nearby Chocolate Factory art studios.

Students and staff at the school are already enjoying access to four levels of classrooms, IT suites, science and food technology rooms, three multi-use games areas, a dining hall and kitchen, and cycle racks for up to 80 bikes, all opened over the last nine months.

On a recent visit to the school, Councillor Lorna Reith, cabinet member for children and young people said: “We’re so close to realising our ambition of creating an outstanding school in Wood Green where everything is designed to enable students to succeed.

“The teaching taking place here is already very impressive, and completion of the final sections of the school will make it an even bigger asset to our young people and the wider community.”