23 July

The school’s Senior Site Manager, Ben Connor, took on the project after being inspired by George Clarke’s amazing spaces. Ben, who is retiring from his position at the end of the 2017/18 academic year, assembled his team to completely transform the space.

The helicopter has electrical power, lights, carpets, Wi-Fi and a reconstructed working propeller. The cockpit has been transformed and has tablets with a flight simulator programme on for the students to experience.

Lee Abbott, Headteacher at Hillside Primary School and Nursery said: “We’re so proud of what Ben has achieved. This new learning space is fantastic, and I know that it will inspire so many of our students! Ben has slowly transformed different spaces throughout our school over the past few years and when we ran out of space inside, he used his creativity and really thought outside of the box.”

Ben Connor, said: “Showing the helicopter to the children and teachers has been really emotional. The team and I have been working on this for months and it has been great to be able to create something that the students are so excited for. We’ve made it very homely, and my personal favourite aspect is the propeller that spins around to get the full helicopter effect!”

The Helicopter cockpit lights up and has a flight simulator programme on a tablet. The school will also hold its Place 2 Be sessions in the helicopter at lunchtime, which allows the children to take some time to support their emotional wellbeing outside of the school building.