A SCHOOL featuring a virtual reality headset, laptops for all pupils and lessons on coding has finally opened in Bournemouth

Livingstone Academy has finally opened in Bournemouth town centre in a complicated move to its campus in Madeira Road, formerly the site of the town’s magistrates’ and coroner’s courts. 

Pupils aged between four and 18-years-old will eventually attend the school, but for now only a few years have started this academic year as the school eases into its new life. 

The school celebrated its grand opening on Friday, September 22 with an interactive tour of facilities designed especially for 21st century education in a digitalised world. 

Bournemouth Echo: ICT suiteICT suite (Image: Daily Echo)

Local dignitaries, officials from the Department for Education, games designers and university academics were among the invited guests. 

Mark Norris, operations director for Kier Construction London & Southern who led the build, said: “The Livingstone Academy was designed to support STEAM learning and to provide its students with a state-of-the-art campus to learn about the digital world.  

“We combined our expertise in refurbishment and new build construction to deliver this, and we are pleased to have handed over high-quality facilities where students can enjoy learning.” 

The new buildings feature a library, science labs, performing arts facilities, a games design studio and ‘making spaces’ where students will learn how to code, design video games, and create digital art. 

Bournemouth Echo: Sir Ian LivingstoneSir Ian Livingstone (Image: Daily Echo)

Students will also have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities such as robotics, e-sports, and entrepreneurship. 

Sir Ian Livingstone, who the academy was named after, said: “This is a school that will inspire children to learn and to use their creativity to change the world.  

“I have long thought it would be great to bring some of the principles of games-based learning and the methodology of making games to the school curriculum.” 

Cllr Vikki Slade, leader of BCP Council, said: “‘The opening of a new school in the centre of Bournemouth is a wonderful opportunity to reimagine how we all think about communities, and the introduction of a school that is dedicated to modern ways of learning and equipping young people for the future is refreshing.”