Friday, 11 December 2009

Gordonbrock School

A very nice man gave me a flyer for the "SaveGordonbrock" website while I was enjoying a pint in the Wickham Arms.

It's likely my boy will end up there (Gordonbrock School, not the Wickham Arms - well, perhaps not yet) so I'll claim an interest.

So, to the website I went, and I also followed the debate on the Green Ladywell blog. Those opposing the plans seem to be doing so from an almost entirely aesthetic standpoint. In fact, the campaign website makes no argument beyond that of putting some nice photos of the school up and asking for the Council to leave it alone.

I am passionate about the built and historic environment, but even I need reasons other than architectural to oppose the rebuild.

My son might go here in a couple of years. I want to know whether a new school building will improve his education and that of his peers. What the Victorian Society thinks might be a consideration, but it's a very slight one.

4 comments:

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mat said...

Just trying to find some info and came across your post. Big issue on rebuild is the reduced area of the playground. The architects stated in the planning application and told parents that it was going to be larger. It isn't. They now admit this, but are not being clear about the reduction each child will experience. The existing area falls well short of the government's recommended areas for play and outdoor learning (if you can actually separate the two).

Some don't seem to think this matters, Lewisham Education for a start, but evidence is very clear that access to nature, experience of growing plants etc is critical to our well being. Lots of research out there and it is what the government are promoting, but it doesn't feature in Lewisham.

The option would not just be to keep old but to renovate and build new blocks, with integrated play and garden on roof tops. This has been done in other schools. Victorians put playgrounds on their roof tops too, when space was tight.

Victorian Society have fantastic information on wonderful examples of renovated schools with characterful spaces and new build adjacent. There are architects who specialise in this. Just Lewisham aren't interested.

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