2012 was a busy year. We held the official opening of “City View”. We celebrated the second birthday of InspirUS. The much-needed extension of the cricket pavilion was completed in time for the cricket season. The Lune Scholarship Fund provided help to an increasing number of families. Behind the scenes, work continued on our plans to bring Old School House back to its rightful place at the centre of the School.
None of this would be possible without the generosity of very many people – our parents, governors, staff, old boys and other friends of the School. Thank you so much for your overwhelming support.
City View Opening
Our new food technology building, City View, was commended at the 2012 Lancaster District Design Awards, held at Lancaster University.
The Chair of Governors, Gill Manklow, received the commendation from the judges, along with Bursar, Richard Gittins, and representatives from the construction and design companies involved: Arup Associates, Damson Design and Askam Construction.
The facility has also proved to be very popular with boys and staff alike.
The boys have been introduced to the world of cooking by our Head of Food Technology, Cath Mossop, and Food Technician Debbie Molyneux. They have been busy producing some fantastic, healthy, colourful and creative dishes to take home and impress their families. The Bad Boyz Bakin’ Club and Duke of Edinburgh classes have been so popular that there is a waiting list.
Pupils are also crowding into the “Grab and Go” café. The new eating venue is very popular with the boys and its speedy cashless system is reducing the lengthy queues at break and lunch times.
Upstairs, members of staff are enjoying their staff room and the Head and other colleagues are established in a suite of offices, with stunning views of the city of Lancaster and across Morecambe Bay to the Lakeland fells.
City View continues to be an extremely popular addition to the school providing an industrious hub for staff and boys.
Early last year, we celebrated the second birthday of InspirUS with an open evening for children, parents, primary school heads and teachers. It gave us an opportunity to show what the programme is all about and to say a huge thank you to the key people who have made it possible, particularly to OLs Kevin Roberts and Stan Hilling who set up the initiative. A great time was had by all and, as always, the children (and parents) left keen for more.
All but three of our local primary schools have now taken part in the programme and, by the end of the year, over 400 children had attended sessions. We have also had three successful open mornings crammed full of children and their families having a taste of InspirUS and joining in the fun.
Anecdotal feedback for InspirUS has been incredibly positive from the children and parents, as well as Heads and teachers. We are also working with the University of Cumbria to help us monitor and evaluate the success of the programme which will allow us to measure what difference InspirUS has made to the children who have attended the sessions.
We are overwhelmed by the support for the programme which is entirely funded by donations. Thank you for making it possible.
Thanks to the generosity of an Old Lancastrian, plans for the extension of the Cricket Pavilion very quickly surged ahead. Other former pupils, staff and parents generously followed his lead raising nearly £110,000 towards the first phase of the project. The Endowment Trustees also loaned £20,000. This allowed the contractors to complete the work over the Easter holidays so that the pavilion was ready for the start of the new season.
Our boys, as well as those from opposing teams, can now enjoy using the new changing rooms and showers. With the extra space provided there is plenty of room for storage. The new reception area offers grandstand views where cricket teas can be served in the comfort of the pavilion.
Even more families have taken advantage of the help that the Lune Scholarship provides. The Trustees continue to give assistance to families who are finding it difficult to fund additional activities at School. Boys have received help towards uniform costs, sports equipment and representing the school at various events. An increasing number of families are finding the cost of travel to school more expensive and help is available to them as well.
Like the InspirUS programme, this scheme is funded entirely by donations. Our grateful thanks to Martin Higginson, the Founder of the Fund, and to all the other Old Lancastrians and supporters who are generously contributing to this worthwhile initiative.
The recent Black Tie and Diamond Ball, organised by Martin’s PA, Emma Stanyon, raised just under £7,000 for the Fund. A fantastic achievement!
Old School House
A considerable amount of work by a small team of governors, staff and consultants has produced imaginative plans to bring Old School House back to life.
Informed by Arups’ Masterplan and in consultation with staff and boys, our priorities include:
• Providing much needed additional teaching space
• Refurbishing the library
• Constructing a sixth form centre and study areas
• Creating a large format space with raked seating for drama
• Providing a new refectory for sixth form use
This is an ambitious programme of work which will be phased to make it feasible and affordable.
We are delighted that the first phase has begun. The school was successful in gaining a grant of £290,000 from the Education Funding Agency Academies Capital Maintenance Fund to replace the roof. The roofing work is well under way and is scheduled to be completed before March. In addition, we have just learned that we have been successful in our appeal for an award of £156,000 to go towards new windows in the building. This means that we can start to look at our plans and funding streams for creating new teaching areas in the old building and start to bring it back to life.
New Parents Campaign
We welcome all new families who have joined us. Our new parents’ evenings continue to be popular and provide the opportunity to find out more about school life, to make friendships and to become involved with the variety of activities on offer. We also hope that, like previous generations of parents, our new mums and dads will support the School and contribute to our Plan for Renewal.