Beech Court – opening September 2018

Excitement is growing as the school - and sixth formers and artists in particular - look forward to the unveiling of Beech Court. Situated in the centre of the school campus, between Greening Court and the café and Jekyll garden, the three-storey development will house a new Sixth Form Centre, the Art department and library. Beech Court is an ambitious project promising to be a modern, spacious environment designed to inspire creativity and assist learning.

Placed at the heart of the school, the Sixth Form Centre occupies the ground floor of Beech Court with open plan social learning spaces, relaxed seating, social and private study areas, a collaborative working area, meeting room, outside seating and an “innovation room” to encourage ‘free-thinking’.

The space is dynamic and can be adapted to students’ needs. The School is looking to see what works well and what suits the boys best. The new Centre is designed to mark the transition from Middle School to Sixth Form where students have more independence, take on more responsibility for their own learning and enjoy a relationship with the school and staff that more closely resembles university education. The careers office, UCAS facilities and sixth form staff will all be based in Beech Court and the building’s design and layout provides easy access to these and the library. The Centre is also in close proximity to the café, sports centre, science block and art and drama facilities.

The new library will be quite a contrast to our existing library which is housed in the original Victorian school room. The bright, open plan first floor of Beech Court will be an exciting space to explore with areas for reading for pleasure, quiet group work and silent study all acoustically designed and with sound baffling, modern, ergonomic furniture. WiFi will be fully integrated throughout the building so there’s no need for specific ICT spaces and we hope the light, airy surroundings will create a calm atmosphere which will be conducive to learning.

The library team will be easily accessible as will the careers office and the design is aimed to maximise student-friendly space and to encourage independent learning in a university style facility.

Artists will welcome a range of fantastic new facilities in a huge expansion of the School’s art space. The top floor of Beech Court will be home to a new kiln room, dark room, ceramics studio, sixth form studio, exhibition space, external balcony for outside study and purpose built art rooms. The facilities will be an inspiration for artists and we are really looking forward to seeing creativity flourish.

The opening of Beech Court and rehousing of the library, Sixth Form and Art department makes way for improved facilities for Modern Foreign Languages, English, Music, Drama, DT, Maths, Religious Studies and Economics and Business. Lower School will also benefit from increased and refurbished space including new, light and airy social and games rooms. The Headmaster’s office will be relocated into Big School from Mercers’ Court.