After many years in the planning, I am thrilled to say that the Junior School Redevelopment Project has commenced! The hoardings have gone up across the playground, the construction firm, Neilcott, are establishing their compound and the first digger has rolled in. There is a palpable sense of excitement around the School with the realisation that this utterly transformative project is now underway and that in less than a year the Junior School will look completely different inside and out.
While the rhythms, fun and learning of Junior School life will continue unabated on our side of the hoarding we know that on the other side the ground is being cleared to start construction of a new hall and surrounding building and then in the autumn, while we are housed in temporary accommodation near the Dining Hall, our existing Junior School building will be remodelled inside with the outside areas re-landscaped.
This time next year, as we approach the Junior School’s 30th anniversary, we will be sitting comfortably in what will essentially be a new school that is designed to accommodate our needs for the next chapter of the School’s life.
As Head of the Junior School at this pivotal time I am most definitely excited and occasionally daunted and a little nervous. So much planning from across the wider school has got us to this point and so many are supporting us as we prepare to decant the whole school over the summer as we move into the temporary accommodation. Despite a change of location, I know that Junior School life will continue determinedly and then we will have the thrill of re-establishing ourselves in our new home in bigger and better-connected spaces where the needs of a forward looking 21st century junior school education can flourish.
Alongside providing improved specialist teaching facilities in the heart of the remodelled school, enhancing curriculum and co-curriculum delivery, the refurbished building will house all of the Juniors on one top floor with an expanded, two form entry, Infant department together on the ground floor. I really believe that the well-being of all the children will be enhanced with larger form rooms and transition spaces and I’m sure that the children will undoubtedly be excited to have their very own outdoor spaces.
Our Hall, so often at the heart of school events, co-curricular life and performances will stand proudly facing out across the playfields to one side and near Hillsboro Road to the other, ready to play its part in supporting partnerships and being an integral part of the School campus and local community. I’m really looking forward to seeing it in use by the wider community for conferences, professional development, partnership work and ongoing learning.
Do have a look at our webpage to find out more about the exciting plans that are very much on the horizon. I cannot wait to see the project unfold and have the chance to show our pupils and their parents and the wider Alleyn’s community the new home for our children and staff.