A school in Ipswich has officially opened its permanent new home for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Woodbridge Road Academy, part of Paradigm Trust, was unveiled at an official opening on Thursday.

The SEND school itself started in September 2022, with an initial intake of 16 pupils at a temporary location in Murrayside Community Centre in Ipswich.

Ipswich Star: Woodbridge Road Academy in IpswichWoodbridge Road Academy in Ipswich (Image: Charlotte Bond)

Ipswich Star: Inside one of the new roomsInside one of the new rooms (Image: Charlotte Bond)

But this new, purpose-built building has meant the school has been able to increase its student numbers to 62.

Principal Naomi Shenton said: "We are committed to high-quality education to broadening horizons.

"This building is really important in facilitating that and allowing us to provide those opportunities.

Ipswich Star: Bill Holledge, Rachel Hood, Tom Hunt MP, Naomi ShentonBill Holledge, Rachel Hood, Tom Hunt MP, Naomi Shenton (Image: Charlotte Bond)

Ipswich Star: The new music roomThe new music room (Image: Charlotte Bond)

"I am really proud to be headteacher here, and in such a short time, we're seeing kids faces glow with pride at what they are doing.

"We are now in a position where we can make an important difference to a far greater number of students and their families."

Bill Holledge, chief executive of Paradigm Trust, said: "We are committed to providing all children with the opportunities they need to fulfil their potential."

Ipswich Star: The ocean roomThe ocean room (Image: Charlotte Bond)

Rachel Hood, cabinet member for Education, SEND and skills at Suffolk County Council, added: "This school is part of our ongoing investment to provide additional school places for children and young people with SEND.

"Without doubt, it will make a significant difference to students in Ipswich who need additional help and their families.

"Transforming the way we deliver SEND services in Suffolk is our top priority."

Ipswich Star: An interactive room on spaceAn interactive room on space (Image: Charlotte Bond)

A student at the school, 11-year-old Phoenix Creyke, said: "I have really enjoyed making friends and going to the lessons.

"The great thing about this school is that there are other children like me here, and we all are in the same situation and all feel like we belong."

His mum, Rachel, who is also a teacher at the school, added: "It's brilliant they have this.

"I am really passionate about breaking down barriers and making learning accessible to them.

"It's great to see children, like Phoenix, who are happy to be here."