The remodelling of a typical London Board School has provided an accessible environment, improved the security of the school and strengthened it’s presence in the local community.
Chisenhale is a 1.5 form entry primary school in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is a typical London Board School dating from the 1890s, spread over three floors with classrooms accessed from a central hall on each floor. The school is located in an inner city area comprised mainly of characterful Victorian terraced housing, which is now a Conservation Area.
The school has a mixed intake, approximately half being white British and a quarter being of Bangladeshi origin. The percentage of free school meals is very high and 40% of children speak English as a second language. In the early 2000’s the school was in’ special measures’ and had a series of acting head teachers. The local authority decided to upgrade the building to improve facilities for teaching and learning. The brief was to create a fully accessible environment, to raise the profile of the school and strengthen its presence in the local community. There was also a requirement for providing good facilities for reception, the leadership team, administrative and child support.
The project was initially led by the school’s governors, who provided the architects with a ‘wish list’ at the start of the design process. The current headteacher was appointed in 2005, just at the time construction started on site. The project was completed in August 2007 (some 18 months late) and has had a significant impact on the effectiveness of the school. The school was described as a ‘good’ by Ofsted following their most recent visit in September 2008.
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