We are pleased to continue the steady programme of classroom refurbishments that started with the Dacre Building for the Arts and Humanities last year. This summer, the classrooms on the right side of the main building ground floor have been modernised to become bright, welcoming and spacious rooms with superb technical support. There is still work to do on the posters, installations, archive cabinets and displays, but we have no doubt the teachers and pupils will quickly make the rooms and public spaces their own.
“The new classrooms are sleek and stylish, with excellent acoustics.”
“I like the sense of light and space, combined with the perfectly tessellating floor tiles [in the corridors] and an expanse of immaculate whiteboard!”
Aside from the educational value in improving the pupils' learning environment, it is true to say that last winter exposed the ever increasing fragility of the classrooms' window frames, as well as gaps in the doorways and slippery floor! As with the corridors and the main entrance of the Victorian building (designed by Henry Saxon Snell in the late 1850s), it has been an important balancing act to retain the school’s welcome atmosphere and building’s heritage while implementing a contemporary, unique environment. Carmel Allen, creative director at Linley and new CEO of Tate commerce, has been incredibly kind, acting as a friend and voluntary expert adviser to the school in all of this.
The Emanuel shield has been cleaned and installed in the reception area, sitting alongside the wonderful array of Emanuel trophies, pupil art and sculpture. The corridors had been dangerous in wet weather and sadly many tiles were broken. We now have a safer and brighter walkway for the pupils each day. In the coming term there will be a school-wide art competition for pupil artwork on the walls, promoting a colourful and exciting environment, alongside the numerous displays and notices for the ever-growing list of clubs and societies. We also hope to have a hanging installation of pupil work in the new year beneath the main staircase.
The archives will be appearing in miniature form in the main corridor as Mr Jones will exhibit some different objects of historical significance each month in a glass cabinet on the way to Boat Club Square.
As ever, we have plenty of other aspects of school life to continue to support at the moment and in the future, but it is nice to know that we are able to balance the different demands and move into autumn with a warmer and ultimately brighter school, despite the weather outside. Mrs Zaratiegui and those pupils fortunate enough to be in her room will no doubt be delighted!
Outside, the new mini-astro is already making a difference to middle school play times and pupil sport. Special thanks must go to Mr Wright and his team for all of their efforts this summer.