Head of Science at Turves Green Girls’ School shares his excitement for new school building

Staff and pupils at King Edward VI Northfield School for Girls returned on Monday 8th March to a new school building, complete with their new name in large illuminated letters. Mike Jackson, Head of Science at the school, speaks of his favourite additions to the new building and the huge benefits they have had on his day to day activities:

Mike Jackson, Head of Science at Turves Green Girls’ School

“I have worked at the school for 13 years, so the return came with a lot of excitement but also some anxiety. Gone were the little hidden offices and cupboards (especially in Science, my own subject), a very familiar staff room full of memories (including the first day nerves years ago) and a building adapted to its job over decades.

“Two weeks later in our new home and my doubts and anxieties have now been banished. The new school is already starting to feel familiar and I’m enjoying speaking to passing members of the wider community in the mornings, while on duty, who are excited to say hello and remark on how lovely the school now looks! Teaching in purpose-built rooms at a consistent temperature, with acoustics controlled perfectly for a lesson and new interactive touch screens has been an immediate improvement and has come at just the right time for supporting the pupils after the  various lockdowns. The additional focus and progress are clear in my lessons already. The practical rooms look stunning and spacious too – Food Science has immediately started producing lovely smells past the staff room as pupils have returned to their practical work.

“Pupils can now enjoy their own canteen (we previously shared with the adjacent Primary School) and paved external area with covered patio furniture, meaning a noticeably more comfortable and relaxed break time, with the option of eating in the fresh air. I am looking forward to warmer summer days now and being out on break and lunch duty has been much more enjoyable too, even with the continued colder weather!

“My favourite additions to the building are the new sports facilities. Dance lessons can now take place in a studio with a bar and dance floor while the sports lessons are housed in a full-sized sports hall, complete with an electronic score board! A few years ago I was amazed by the sports facilities in some American schools that I had visited, but I now think we’re competing and I can’t wait to see the impact on the development of pupils’ already considerable talents.

“The smallest of things are also making a big difference; one key and a fob has replaced a bunch of huge keys in my suit pocket!”

King Edward VI Northfield School for Girls will officially join the King Edward VI Academy Trust in September 2021.