Cecil Place
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The Cecil Place building was opened in 1976

 

!n 1968 a most exciting development took place. A large site on the other side of Castle Road, in Cecil Place, was bought for £11,000. It was several years until any building could take place, and meanwhile a local garage rented the site for storing vehicles.

The proposed new building was to be for science, art and craft, with "four modern laboratories with preparation rooms and a dark room, a studio and pottery workshop, three classrooms and two tutorial rooms." The GPDST were funding this building, estimated in 1973 to cost £125,000, later £200,000, and Miss Clarke hoped that at the same time, the school might be able to raise money to build a new hall/gymnasium. A Building Appeal was started.

After some postponement, work started in early 1975. "The great event of 1974-5 was the laying of the foundation stone of our new sciences and art block."


A science lesson in the new labs

 

The New Hall was built and opened in the same year.

 

 


Sixth Form chemistry lab equipped with computers

 

In 2002, we were given a £35,000 grant from the Wolfson Foundation, who were supporting schools in their use of IT in science. The school was able to realise its dream of integrating information technology into the science teaching. Two of the laboratories were fitted out with computers and interactive whiteboards; one lab was designated for sixth form teaching, the other, larger room, for general use. Besides the computers, their peripherals, projectors, etc., we were able to buy the equipment and software for electronic data logging, and also several other software titles.

 


Cecil Place, 1976 (mouseover to see it today)

 

In 1976 Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, opened Cecil Place and the New Hall on one of the High School's gala occasions....

 


Art was taught at Cecil Place for several years, in what is now the downstairs Physics lab.

 

Maths at Cecil Place
"The top floor of Cecil place was a maths suite. They had a screen across between the two top rooms – the idea was that we might do some team teaching, but it made it quite noisy between the two rooms. Then we were thrown out. We had to go into two huts in Cecil Place car park, we had independent heating and ventilation, which was nice."
from a maths teacher

By the end of 1979 the school was in need of another laboratory because of rising numbers. The two maths rooms were converted, and maths moved into temporary rooms in Cecil Place forecourt.