On the back of an $8 million funding boost to replace Salisbury School’s out-dated classrooms and rundown residential accommodation, the board has just announced the appointment of a new principal, Ellie Salcin-Watts.
Board chair Emma Thompson says Ellie has both hands-on and management experience in learning support, and as the school’s deputy principal for five terms she has a good understanding of the school and its students.
“Ellie’s passion for the school is palpable and her strengths are numerous,” says Emma.
The new principal says she is excited about a new future for the school.
“We’ve seen huge growth in our students since introducing playbased learning and trying to find new ways of helping our girls see themselves as a success.”
Ellie has been involved heavily with restructuring the school’s curriculum this year and introducing new and innovative ways of learning.
She says that it’s rewarding to be able to see the growth of students and continue to help the school evolve.
“We’ve really seen a success in our girls in the last year – and now imagine how much better they’ll be able to do with a new purpose-built facility.”
Last week Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced an $8 million construction budget to replace the school’s classrooms and accommodation.
The special school for girls aged 8-15 was earmarked for closure by the last government until the process was stopped in 2017.
“It is really exciting to know we will have new school buildings specifically designed for what our extraordinary students need, given that their needs are a lot more complex today compared to when our current buildings were designed,” says Emma.
The redevelopment, which is expected to begin in 2021, will see the demolition or removal of the existing residential and ancillary buildings, administration block and day school.
These will be replaced with new residential units to cater for a roll of 20 high-needs students, a new administration block, a multi-purpose hall and dining facility and a kitchen.
A new day school will also be built.
“It is fantastic that the need of our students has been listened to.”