Announcement from Mrs Nicola Mitchell, Head of Queen’s House & The Abbey:
I am delighted to write with positive news regarding the plans for Queen’s House and The Abbey.
As you are aware I was in the fortunate position of being able to review the plans when I arrived last September. We have been able to ensure that the revised plans provide optimum teaching facilities, which improve on the current provision we have at the Pre-Prep, and ensure that the upgrade of the current Abbey site is thorough and ensures key areas are developed.
Pivotal to the decision making has always been what is right for the children’s education and what will be of maximum benefit to their well-being and the experience they have at School.
The approved plans will involve:
- A purpose built classroom block for Reception and Year 1, replacing the current music practice rooms
- A new Pre-Prep play area
- New Music practice rooms
- A new Astro Turf
- Refurbished changing rooms
- A multi-purpose assembly room
- Upgraded Library
- Renovated ICT provision
- Refurbished Food Technology room
By creating new classrooms we have enabled free-flow access for the Early Years Foundation Stage pupils to the new Pre-Prep play area and appropriate sections of our wonderful outdoor areas. This will be a significant improvement on the current Queen’s House provision, which does not allow for this key requirement, and will enable us to structure the curriculum for the youngest pupils in an entirely child-centred way.
Moving the Music practice rooms means we are able to refurbish these and continue to ensure that the Music and performance opportunities are of the highest standard.
We looked carefully at provision for PE and Games and are delighted to say that we will be installing our own Astro-turf which means that lessons and skills development will be able to be continuously provided for throughout the year with space both indoors and outdoors.
It is important to monitor all areas of the School and it has been shown that the changing and toilet facilities can make a great deal of difference to a pupil’s experience. We will be upgrading and expanding these facilities to ensure they are safe spaces and easy to supervise; maximising pupil well-being.
There will be a second music, movement, Drama and assembly space incorporated within the Dewar Building to allow for House Meetings, lessons and year group work.
The Library will be modernised and upgraded as the important heart of the School and a vital point of inspiration for all the children. I.C.T. provision will be upgraded with an improved I.C.T. room. The main teaching buildings will receive a redecoration and upgrade which will also continue over the coming years.
Within the new plans there is the ability to keep specialist teaching zones for Spanish, Science, Art, Engineering, Music and Drama whilst developing and modernising the Food Technology area.
The majority of the upgrades for the existing buildings will take place during the holidays. The planned work for the Early Years classrooms will take six months and will be confined to the peripatetic music classroom block which is easy to isolate from the children on a day to day basis.
We are thrilled that we have been granted permission for the new plans and are confident that they will allow the teachers to ensure the curriculum is delivered and developed in exciting ways now and into the future.
We have carefully considered the impact of these changes on the immediate environment and are confident that they will impact in a minimal way and preserve the special outdoor space from which we are so fortunate to benefit.
With the plans approved we are now on track to ensure a successful completion of the development in time for a September 2019 start for the Pre-Prep at The Abbey.
Detailed plans will be available on 11 October at Queen’s House to coincide with Parents’ Evening. The following week there will be an information evening at The Abbey and displays set to highlight the changes.
We are very much looking forward to upgrading the Abbey site and welcoming the Pre-Prep pupils. The move will enhance the community feel that Woodbridge School has and improve the morning and afternoon routine for families. As always I am happy to answer any queries you may have and look forward to sharing the detailed plans with you.