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The New Holland Park School

The new Holland Park School has both the X Factor and the Wow Factor, of that there is absolutely no doubt.  The design and internal layout has been very carefully thought out.  In vision it reminded me of the airport at Singapore.  All I can think is those very very lucky children who are going to spend their formative years in such inspirational surroundings.  Every detail, from iMacs to specially designed furniture in maple, to mixed gender loos, to a competitive 25 metre swimming pool, to mesh and copper frontages, to a 1950s style American diner canteen.  They will have it all.

Colin Hall, the Headmaster, absolutely brimming with enthusiasm (and quite rightly, pride), cannot wait for the 19th November when the pupils transfer formally from the ‘old school’ to the new.

The building of the school has not been without controversy, but with time, and once residents get to see the building for themselves I hope they will forget the inconvenience and the wrangle it caused.  The result of such a beautiful building, will surely inspire everyone, but particularly  those who do not come from wealthy backgrounds, that they can achieve anything.

The building is mostly glass, giving a huge sense of light and space despite its housing some 1350 pupils.  To my mind the beautiful bespoke new tables and chairs just waited for some graffiti in traditional school style, particularly on such a momentous occasion ‘i woz ere 19.11.12’ but Colin is quite confident and spoke with pride that his pupils appreciate nice things and that the furniture, well made and very strong, will last for years and years.  The external of the building to the East and West are clad in copper and mesh creating a fluid feeling and one reflecting the nearby trees from either the park or gardens.

The sports grounds available to pupils are larger and better than was previously available  and the sports hall dug deep into the basement is huge – Colin anticipates the standard of games, as well as enthusiasm for sport in general going up dramatically.  And good news for local residents, there are plans in the future to allow local community groups to use the swimming pool and sports hall.

I can only imagine that the school with its classrooms, so light and airy will inspire future generations of pupils to aim higher than they could have ever dreamed.  This is inclusive society at its very best.

Images and copyright:  Lucy Elliott, www.lucyelliottphotography.com

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