The facilities on our school campus are excellent. Our children have the use of a world-class and purpose-built gymnasium complex, containing a large main gymnasium, mini-gym and dance studio. The complex also includes a 1000-seater theatre, cafeteria and fitness centre. A further theatre was completed in 2003 to provide a 350-seater performing arts facility. We have two Astroturf football pitches: a full-size pitch and a 5-a-side Astroturf facility. A 10-metre four-sided rock climbing tower was constructed in 2004 and this facility has further developed the exciting range of activities we provide on campus for our pupils. Our school has three computer labs, two science labs, a design technology suite (including a Design Room linked to a CNC Milling Machine for CAD/CAM), a control centre for the integration of IT and DT projects as well as two music rooms and an art studio. We also have a fabulous library complex with over 100,000 books and reference materials in a purpose built facility supervised by a Head Librarian and eight full-time members of staff. In the summer of 2006 additional improvements to the campus were made:
Technology: Wireless internet coverage was made available over much of the campus making laptop use even more attractive to senior school students. Students are finding it easier to take and organise their notes using laptops. As a result, they are producing work of a higher standard. The ability to carry out research on the fly, to access a wide variety of source material and to integrate this information into their work quickly and efficiently is an important skill. In addition we have added Smartboard technology to our three computer suites. It is important that we use high-tech teaching aids alongside traditional teaching techniques to further improve the learning environment throughout the school.
Sand Dome: A purpose-built Common Room facility was completed in September 2006. This facility is primarily for use by Years 10 & 11 during lunch and break times. Students have equipped the Sand Dome with sofas and a table tennis table. Whilst some play games, others sit around chatting or work on their laptop computers, making use of the free Wi-Fi internet access. We hope that by providing a common room we will encourage students to forge a stronger group identity and a greater sense of responsibility.
The Sand Dome also houses the new Student Council office. The Student Council is made up of the head boys and girls from Key Stage 4 and representatives from each form in Key Stage 3. To keep students up-to-date with the Student Council's discussions, notes about their meetings and events are posted on the school website in the form of a Blog.
The Sand Dome is not just for our older students. It also serves as a multi-purpose area and Key Stage assemblies throughout much of the school are already being held in the new facility. There is a large stage area incorporated at one side and is ideal for small performances.