In September 2003 Summerhill School moved into a new building, which was constructed under a Public Finance Initiative (PFI). Our private partners are Newmount. Within the partnership the management of the site facilities are now the responsibility of MITIE PFI Ltd.
During 2005-2006, with the support of the PTA, the school started its development of the external areas. We have installed a variety of outdoor seating enabling students to eat in this area during break and lunchtimes. During next year we aim to further develop other external areas to create innovative social spaces.
Accommodation was designed so that subject areas are clustered together. This enables collaborative work to take place with subject teams and maximises the use of equipment and resources. On the ground floor there are 4 Science labs, the Learning Centre containing 50 computers, Drama area, 6 Language classrooms, Design & Technology rooms offering specialist areas for computer aided design and computer aided manufacture (CAD CAM), wood, metal and graphics and a pottery area. There are a number of offices, the main hall, school shop and Café Summerhill.
The school has excellent PE facilities. A large sports hall offers badminton courts and indoor cricket facilities, a full range of court markings for tennis, basketball, netball and football as well as modern gymnastic equipment and multigym. We are also very proud of our 25m x 4 lane pool which provides excellent opportunities for Summerhill students. It also enables us to offer swimming opportunities for seven local primary schools together with a highly successful Summerhill Swim Scheme offering swimming opportunities for the community. Extensive playing fields offer the opportunity for a wide range of outdoor sporting activities.
First floor accommodation offers a further 4 Science Labs, 2 Music rooms, 4 Music practice rooms and ensemble room, 2 ICT rooms, 2 Art rooms, Design & Technology rooms supporting Food Technology, Textiles and Electronics, first floor Learning Centre and classrooms for Additional Educational Needs (AEN), General Teaching and Business Studies. On the second floor there are 7 English classrooms, 6 Humanities classrooms and 1 further ICT classroom.
Prior to our move into the new building Mr Bennett and a group of Year 11 students worked with a professional design team -'Graphic Thought Facility' which were sponsored through the Sorrell Foundation, to look at designing signs in the new building. Their designs were realised and you will see evidence of this project throughout the building.
Since our move into the school we have invested a great deal of our own school resources to ensure that the technologies in the new building are extensive and up to date. Every classroom has an interactive whiteboard and this technology is used throughout the curriculum to support the delivery of lessons. Our 4 computer suites each house between 30-50 computers and we have small clusters in Languages, Music, and D&T. We also have computers in the 'streets' in Humanities, Maths and Languages and we are planning an additional cluster in Science. We have also invested in 'Apple Mac' technology to support Art and Media Studies. In September 2006 students will have the opportunity to join a 'School Production Team', supporting our technical staff in producing school publications and media resources. A state of the art video-conferencing system is available to support the curriculum.
At Summerhill we continue to strive to maximise the use of our building to enhance learning for all and to provide an exciting environment for everyone to work in.