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New venue needed for school play after lightning causes arts block fire
Dorset Fire and Rescue at the scene of a fire that engulfed the arts block and Gainsford Theatre at Lytchett Minster School on December 2
LIGHTNING-hit Lytchett Minster School has decided to postpone its latest stage production – of The Tempest – until the summer term.
But an alternative venue will need to be found, as the school’s own theatre was destroyed in the blaze that followed the strike on the roof of the creative arts block on the morning of December 27.
Deputy headteacher Helen Stevens said: “So many offers have been forthcoming from schools and other organisations. It’s a question of sifting through them.
“Our priority has been getting students into classes.
“The important thing for us is to maintain the high quality of education that the school is renowned for. What we can’t have is students’ experiences being ruined.
“We’ll do our very best to ensure that there’s a temporary facility over the next couple of months.”
She revealed that teachers had given up their staff and work rooms to be converted into temporary classrooms as Lytchett Minster School adjusts to life without its beloved creative arts block, which opened in 2003.
“We did have a fire in 2000 and there are people in the school with experience of how to handle this sort of crisis,” added the deputy head.
“A conference room has been converted into a drama room, and within the Manor House there’s an old training room with a minstrels’ gallery with a wooden spring floor for dance.
“In the longer term we will rebuild the devastated block because it was modern and very fit for purpose.”
Year groups are taking it in turns to spend a day a week at home and are expected to complete work set by their teachers, emailing it in for marking. Years 11, 12 and 13 are in every day as they are facing GCSE, AS and A level exams.