A FORMER pupil stunned teachers by donating enough money to open a centre for literacy at the school.
Chris Phillips, the chief executive of investment firm Just Develop It, struggled at school because of dyslexia.
He was determined to help children in a similar position to him and helped The Petersfield School open the Literacy Lab.
The lab helps younger students who have struggled with literacy since primary school, and gives them the perfect environment to improve their literacy skills and enjoy their time at school.
Mr Phillips was the guest of honour at the recent opening and also addressed pupils in an assembly.
He explained that he was never a model student and had experienced his fair share of failures, but the failures have taught him how important perseverance is, and that it holds the key to success.
Teachers Kit Curtis-Raleigh and Ali Whitehouse originally made contact with Just Develop It to enquire about a donation, after closely following Mr Phillips’ success.
Mr Curtis-Raleigh said: ‘We are very excited about how well students are already performing and how much they enjoy being in here.
‘We would like to thank Chris and Just Develop It for their generosity and fantastic support.’
The donation has been used to completely refurbish the classroom, create an interactive learning environment and fill the space with state-of-the-art technology and the very best literacy software.
Mr Phillips said he was ‘incredibly proud’ to be in a position to help, particularly with something so close to his heart.
Since the Literacy Lab was launched, Mr Curtis-Raleigh said it has proved to be a helpful and unique learning tool for the teachers, as well as becoming popular with the students.
Year 7 pupil George West said: ‘The Literacy Lab is a nice quiet environment which helps me to concentrate and learn more. It has made me feel more confident to read and write in lessons.
‘It has helped me to see the importance of being good at reading and writing.’