Name for new school is announced

An aerial photo of Elements Academy at the former Dinnington Campus site
Elements Academy in Dinnington

Rotherham’s ground-breaking new school for children with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs will be called Elements Academy, it has been announced.

The new school is on course to open for the new school year, starting in September. It will be the only one of its kind in the borough and will meet the growing need for specialist provision, underlining Rotherham Council’s on-going commitment to bolster places for children with special educational needs and meet increasing demand.

SEMH issues can include a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), attachment issues, a diagnosed mental illness such as depression or anxiety and sometimes includes mental health issues experienced by children and young people with autism spectrum conditions. 

The name was selected from a shortlist of four drawn-up by staff, stakeholders and students who will be attending the new school, based at the former Dinnington College Campus.

The suggestion of ‘Elements’ first came from students and staff at the Rowan Centre, who felt it represented the recognition of all the different qualities that the school will bring together to support young people to be able to achieve success.

The other names under consideration were Sunrise Academy, Inspire Academy and Futures Academy. A week-long online poll for people to select their preferred name attracted more than 730 votes.

Ethos Academy Trust (EAT), which was appointed to run the new 125-child school last month following a highly competitive selection process involving Rotherham Council, the Regional Schools Commissioner and the Department for Education, made the official naming announcement.

Jayne Foster, CEO of Ethos Academy Trust said, ‘We are delighted with the name of Elements Academy for the new school. In particular, we are thrilled that the chosen name was the first choice for many of the pupils and staff who will be part of the academy.’

Councillor Victoria Cusworth, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “A lot of hard work and investment has gone in to creating this new specialist provision, so it’s exciting to see everything coming together, with the building work now almost complete, a highly-regarded free school provider on board and now a new name.

"‘Elements’ is a great name, which perfectly describes the way the new school will bring together the local community, other schools, parents, carers and professionals, with the common aim of supporting our children and young people to flourish, academically, socially and emotionally.

“We want Rotherham to be a great place to grow up, where all children and young people are safe, valued, able to enjoy their lives and achieve their aspirations. Addressing children’s mental health needs is a key element of that agenda.”

Demolition and adaptation work at Dinnington Campus to prepare for the new school began in November 2021 and is on course for completion soon.

Students from Newman School have been based at the Dinnington Campus site in separate buildings since November 2021, having moved from the main school site in Whiston as part of an increase in school places to meet demand.

Newman School specialises in provision for children and young people with a range of learning difficulties and particularly those with complex medical needs but the current school buildings have fallen into disrepair.

The transfer of the upper school students to Dinnington College is allowing for the redevelopment of the Upper School buildings at Newman to take place whilst the remaining pupils can continue to attend at the existing Lower School site.

Published: 25th April 2022