Wednesday 4th November 2015 marked the culmination of 15 remarkable weeks. When the last school year finished on 17th July, we knew Swansea Campus had been selected as an early adopter for SDL, but we didn’t know what to expect in the way of physical changes to the school facilities.
We received Unispace’s initial plans for a new Learning Centre on Monday 20th July. On Monday 5th October the school was able to start using the amazing new facilities. A huge amount happened between those two dates and no words are sufficient to thank all who helped to make the vision a reality. The real thanks is in seeing the students using it.
Students, staff and parents alike know how privileged we are to be one of only five campuses in the UK with a Learning Centre in line with the global OneSchool pattern. But that privilege was gladly shared when we welcomed representation from Focus and from other campuses in our region for the official opening ceremony on November 4th.
International education consultant Mrs Susan Jackson cut the ribbon to formally open the facility. Mr Max Lishmund, the Unispace architect responsible for the design, then explained to us the thinking behind the layout; it is a lot more than just good-looking, it is highly functional too.
This was followed by speeches from head teacher Dr England, Mrs Jackson and two of our Year 13 students. Here are some quotes from the speeches and from other visitors on the day:
“It’s success is founded on one key facet, and that is teamwork” Dr Adam England
“The Learning Centre represents the transformity of change in the style of teaching and learning” Mrs Susan Jackson
“It’s a special area; it is an area where learning by students is the main activity rather than teaching by teachers” Mrs Susan Jackson
“What is happening in Focus schools all over the UK is a radical change in culture, and there is no doubt that Swansea is leading the way in this” Mrs Susan Jackson
“SDL is not a new way to do something amazing, it is an amazing way to do something new!” Keelan Evans, Y13
“Not only does it change your outlook, but you become responsible for the amount of work you get done… it enforces elements of leadership and responsibility and accountability” Bonita Nunn, Y13
“Very inspiring to see one of the UK’s smallest campuses making progress ahead of the others. Great to meet with others who are interested and inspired by the OneSchool vision. Fantastic to hear the student speeches. Food was second to none, well done the team!” Mr Caleb Simpson, Hornby Campus
“Thank you for your hospitality. The learning centre is impressive and everybody’s enthusiasm was palpable.” Mrs Jane Mayon-White, Berkeley Campus
“The whole presentation was highly organised and concise, and the teamwork effort into making the day a complete success was outstanding. It was a thrilling and invigorating experience to see the future potential ability of our students unfold before our eyes. Thank you very much for all the sacrificial work put into this campus.” Mr Richard Groombridge, OneSchool