A SCHOOL will be ship shape for the start of term — after architects designed new classrooms using shipping containers.

Developers have been busy expanding and modernising St Bede Primary Academy in Morris Green and the new block for years four, five and six will be ready for September.

The materials used have cost about two-thirds of traditional brick building — costing about £800,000.

The units are insulated and have modern fixtures and fittings inside — and the school has even added portholes in the corridors to reflect the shipping connection.

Deputy headteacher June Roberts said: “The school has been around for a long time. The oldest buildings were originally built in the 1870s and were state of the art in that time.

“Now, more than 140 years later, the buildings don’t meet modern educational standards.

“The time has come to replace the oldest and worst classrooms with new ones.”

Last year, the first phase of this new construction project saw three classrooms built and two old classrooms demolished.

Now, the new block has been added and the school has also renamed its school houses as sea areas around the British Isles — Faeroes, Lundy, Shannon, Viking, Malin and Humber.

Mrs Roberts added: “The new classrooms have been much admired by everyone and really enjoyed by the children and their teachers.

“The new facilities have certainly enhanced the learning environment.”

The new classrooms were financed by the school itself and so the school looked for the most cost-effective construction methods.

The new build re-used former shipping containers, which Mrs Roberts said were readily available due to the imbalance of trade between the Far East and the UK.

She added: “It is the ultimate recycling project converting containers into new modern bright and airy classrooms.”

As the development continues the school will have a dedicated music workshop, a dance studio, small gym and a games court and outdoor activity play space on the roof — which the school has not had before. There will also be new toilets and other changes to the school.

Mrs Roberts added: “The school hopes to gradually move forward with its plans as funding allows over the next few years.”