First designs published

27/06/2009

The architect has submitted the first draft of what the proposed new school could look like.

  • The total classroom space will be larger than on the current two school sites.
  • The building will be three stories at the front, not four, so that it does not block sunlight from those opposite.

Below is a 2 minute 16 second video of a 3d view through the proposed new school.


£2m Fordham park revamp consultation

27/06/2009

There will a be public consultation about the £2m redesign of Fordham Park on 20 July between 4pm and 8pm in the lower school, next to Fordham Park.

It is vital as many parents, neighbours and students attend and see what has been proposed.

The school and parents are concerned that not enough land  is being used for sporting activities.

This could be a massive missed opportunity and waste of £2m of your money unles we act to change the plans.


School launches blog on new build work

20/05/2009

Deputy head Seamus Murphy is now blogging updates on the new school work he is leading on the school’s website (link opens new window).

You can also feedback direct to Mr Murphy from there.


New school start time decision delayed

18/05/2009

The proposal to start the lower school at a different time to the upper school has been postponed as the proposed decant of children from the lower to the upper school has been put back and may need to happen.

Parents expressed concern at a proposed 8 am start from yrs 7&8. Any new proposal may offer the early start and an alternative staring  Yrs 9,10,&11 later.

But the proposed decant has been delayed until the summer holiday next year, ready for the new term in September 2010.

Also, a legal challenge to the redevelopment of Lewisham Bridge primary school may mean that the building those children were using near to Deptford Green could be free, avoiding the need to squeeze students into one site.

Parents did suggest that Deptford Green should make clear the proposed new start time well in advance – particularly as it might put off prospective parents choosing schools this year for current year 5s.

But a number of factors prevent that happening:

  • Various interested stake holding groups need to be consulted, not just parents and students
  • Research into different start times and evidence from schools running ‘continental days’ will be examined
  • The school’s own decant arrangements will not be known by September/October when secondary choices are made
  • To change the times of the school day the school must consult with parents for three months in advance

Do you want to wake your child at 6am?

12/05/2009

UPDATE: This is not currently going to happen. See delay.

The school is consulting on a new start time of 8am for years 7&8.There is a meeting this Wednesday evening in the main hall at 6.30pm.

The proposed start times will mean parents having to get their children up, washed and breakfasted in time for rush-hour journeys to school.

Some have said they will need to get their children up before 6am.

Recent research from Professor Russell Foster of Oxford University suggests the school should have moved to a later start for older children as this better suits their brains.

Evening standard story – opens new window
Times Education Supplement story – opens new window

One head teacher, Dr Paul Kelley, head of Monkseaton Community High School in North Tyneside, has asked for permission to start his school at 11am (Guardian – opens new window)

Parents have also pointed out that they will have to get back from work much earlier to be at home when their young children finish school, potentially harming employment prospects.

The school has failed to provide its reasons for the early start.


Visit Forest Hill on 25th

23/04/2009

We have arranged a visit to Forest Hill school at 10am on Saturday 25 April, meet at the Dacres Road entrance.

All welcome


Making a small school feel big

01/04/2009

A detailed accommodation plan for the new Deptford Green school has laid down that classrooms should be nearly 30% bigger than the government recommended size (BB98) – a move welcomed by parents forum reps.

The DG plans demand classrooms that are 72 m sq compared with 56m sq under the BB98 rules. To put that in context, the biggest classroom in the current school is H1 and that is 69m sq.

The classrooms will mean students are not squashed together and may be taught in traditional rows, in a large horseshoe or be broken in small groups.

Overall the plans put the total school size at 11,245m sq. This is larger than the 10,560m sq under government rules (BB98). It will also mean the new school is only 6% smaller than the current school (though there will still be 130 extra pupils).

Other proposals
There will also be small, medium and large rooms where groups can work together. Some of these will also double as quiet space for children during breaks.

The school will keep the current learning areas of Endeavour, Discovery, Endurance and Challenger and have all the admin in an area called Enterprise. This will maintain the year 7&8 separation from the rest of the school – something many parents feel is important.

Each learning area will have its own small library of subject-related books, but the rooms will not just be used as libraries.

There will be no permanent staff offices, with rooms bookable whenever staff need meeting rooms or quiet space.

The school hall – actually a huge conference centre – will be 450m sq, large enough to hold virtually all the school examinations without having to use of the sports hall and prevent PE lessons taking place there. It will also be available for large shows and lectures and be used for conferences and restorative justice.

The dinning area will have a central kitchen with hatches serving:

  • hot main meals,
  • fast food such as jacket potatoes,
  • sandwiches

Fordham Park
A big issue remains the use of Fordham Park and how much of the park the school will be able to use as sports facilities. On a site less than half the size of the current school and with more pupils fitting into a smaller school using Fordham park will be essential.

Changing the school day consultation
To enable the lower school to decant – and for the new school to function on a single site – Deptford Green will need to change the start time of different parts of the school so it can stagger breaks and lunchtimes. It must consult with parents first so this will begin soon after half-term