Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Something Interesting

Here's something Nick found on the internet the other night. I don't know why he was doing this in his spare time, but it's an interesting find. Quite how they crammed that number of students on to the site I don't know, but I guess there were at least 30 in every class, where we now have lower numbers (20ish) in practical subjects.

Clissold Park School

Re-typing of a newspaper article, (date and provenance unknown) in the files of the Planning Dept. It is yellowed and incomplete. Probably about 1960

Full details of the new Clissold Park School, which is being built in Clissold Road, Stoke Newington, were released at a press conference held in the old school in Palatine Road last Friday. Boys and girls from the present upper and lower schools will move into the new building in September.

The £1 million pound school will accommodate 1723 pupils as opposed to the present 1000 crammed into the present buildings, where some classes have to be taken in a converted cloakroom. The sixth form will be expanded from 90 to about 225, and the range of facilities is exceptionally wide.


The new school will offer its senior pupils many alternatives to sports and games, and the emphasis is very much on the arts. To this end a large multi-purpose theatre with room for up to 200 is being built, as well as the games hall at the other end of the building which covers 6,500 square feet.
Clissold Park School will be one of the first schools to dispense with the traditional assembly hall. Instead, there are various smaller halls, and the sixth form will have two common rooms and a coffee bar. The central feature of the groups of three-storey buildings is an 18 foot wide concourse running right through where the old Church Walk used to be.
At last Friday's conference, the headmaster, Mr. T. C. Willcocks, spoke of the wide range of subjects available to his pupils, and he said that 61 % of them were immigrants – of 26 nationalities and speaking 21 languages. They were encouraged to take “A” levels in their own languages.


Mr. Willcocks felt that the school's curriculum would improve in its new premises, and he also expected that the present ”work preparation” scheme – whereby pupils on go to work at local firms for short periods in order to see how they are suited for the jobs they want – will be expanded. As far as social services are concerned, he said that an old people's home was just nearby, and there was room for further activity in that direction.
Mr. G. Stillman, of Stillman and Eastwick Field, the architects, said that the new school was “like a university college, with different forms of buildings all about three storeys high”.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

A bit of a cheat

The push to get us to financial close continues to be a bit all consuming, but I'm determined to keep on bloggin'. One of the things I've been charged with doing is keeping staff abreast of developments. We have started a fortnightly BSF staff group, and the minutes of this are circulated, but on alternate weeks I've agreed to send out a building update. I thought I'd post this week's update to give you a small flavour of life on half a building site. I promise I won't make a habit of this.

"Firstly just to let you know that the builders will be using this Thursday pm and Friday to make a whole heap of noise, so please be aware and arrange to keep away from the site borders for interviews etc.

Over half term some major, major works will take place (e.g. staircase removal) which will literally make the whole building shake, the effects of which can be described by people who were around over the summer. Please do not arrange any activities in the school main building for that week. It should be OK to go in the temporary classrooms, but please notify Dionne or the Schoolkeepers if that is what you plan to do. There will be excavation around the L block, so this will be completely out of bounds. The sixth form loos will be inaccessible to students during lesson time from half-term onwards as the D stairs will be coming out.

The second generator will be arriving Thursday pm and installed on Friday & Saturday. There may be a need to take electricity down on Friday, but we really hope this won’t be necessary.

Electricity will need to come off in the main block this Friday from 4pm. This will mean that the network will also come down and not be available again until Saturday.

The frame for the new block will be delivered during w/c 20th October and will be installed over the following 2 weeks. The concrete will be poured for the ground floor slabs on Friday.

The area on the boundary of the building works has suffered particularly from noise, although there is an agreement that there should only be low-level noise during lesson time. One of the main causes is the need to punch through floors/ceilings to create spaces for the risers that will contain the new services. Apparently there is a large amount of structural intervention needed in this area.

Over the next few days there will be localised drilling around the 6th form study area, which is necessary in order to prepare for the new block being attached to it. This should be outside of lesson time only. The wooden partition will soon be replaced with a wall, which will considerably improve acoustic separation.

Further works to improve the whiteboard installation in the temporary classrooms will take place on Thursday & Friday.

I will be trying to get to see Heads of Department/Faculty about room layouts over the next few days. For phase 2 departments I need agreement about the teaching wall only. The rest of the room layout follows from that."