THE NEW LOWER-SCHOOL BUILDING

The new building was built in time for the 1998/9 school year, and officially opened by the Duke of Kent in November 1998. As I understand it, there was initially a one-way system in operation in the corridors, and also, some sort of fungal problem.

Here are the plans of the New Building as things stood in 2017:

2017 plans

Classrooms          Toilets          Offices          Reprographics          Library

This arrangement is a modification of the original lay-out and room numbering. Here are some approximate plans I drew up of that original layout, based on a donor's sister's ICT project:

Modern Languages          Media Studies          English          Mathematics
Religion          Classics          Drama          Geography          History

Let us take a tour of the new building as it was when it first opened...

Entering through the western doors, we pass through the RE department, and then the Classics department. The staff toilets and caretaker's office are on our left as we turn right, round the stairs and past the drama studio. Here are the site manager's room and the toilets, and a little further on, the lower floor of the English department.

Then to our right is the Assistant Head's office, as we turn left into the Geography department, and finally the History department.

Up the stairs then, to the first floor...

The east wing here is devoted to Maths, while the centre continues to be dominated by English, but with a corner devoted to Media Studies. A staff room and an office for the Lower School Coordinator are here too. Finally, the west wing is taken up by Language labs.

The rooms are numbered per department such that English rooms are prefixed En, Geography Gy etc. What happens should they want to reassign rooms to new subjects I don't know. The way the rooms are numbered seems to lack any sort of consistency too. For example:

The language block runs La1, La2, La9, La8, La7 on the north side (W to E), and La3, La4, La5, La 6 on the south side (W to E). The maths block runs Ma1, Ma2, (Ma9), Ma3, Ma4 on the north side, Ma8, Ma7, Ma6, Ma5 on the south side. The RE rooms run Re4, Re3; Re2, Re1. The history rooms go His1, His2; His4, His3... Only English, Maths and History appear to exhibit any kind of consistency in taking a clockwise numbering system.

The new building is longer than its predecessor, straying into what was a car-park area to the west. It isn't quite as wide though - nearly only half as wide as the old lower school. That said, there aren't any wasted quadrangles in the new building; just some curious dead-ends for cornering the first years in and intimidating them.

The new Lower School can be partially made out in the panoramic photograph of the south side of the school.