New Site Building Project - Dame Alice's Blog
Welcome to my blog. This is the place to come to find out the very latest on progress with the new site building project - the permanent site for Ealing Fields High School.
18th May 2020
At the end of last week we received that very encouraging news that a number of major milestones have been reached and Bowmer + Kirkland are as confident as they can be that the two main teaching blocks will be ready for occupation in September.
The major external works are now complete and it is possible to see how the brickwork details will complement the listed building.
There will now be a major focus on the fitting out of classrooms and offices, particularly in the main teaching block.
Agreement has been reached to complete courtyard, outdoor play space and MUGA but to leave the handover of the Sports Hall to the final phase of the project which may complete during the Autumn term. The school is very fortunate in having reached agreement with the Gunnersbury Park sports hub to have priority use and looks forward to making the most of this while the Sports Hall is being completed.
Work is also continuing on the meticulous refurbishment of Senior House, in line with English Heritage guidelines.
This has given us our first sight of the former library which will become our most elegant art room.
We will finish term as planned on 10th July for students in order to involve all staff in the decant of equipment and IT from Wyke Gardens (w/b 13th July) ready for the set up of classrooms at the new site.
9th April 2020
From 30th March there has been a two week delay on the construction site as appropriate measure were put in place to ensure the safety of construction workers in line with government guidance relating to COVID-19. The site will re-open on Tuesday 14th April and the project is still expected to complete in time for the school to move in for the autumn term.
Work has continued behind the scenes with our creative design consultants to ensure the unique identity of Ealing Fields is reflected in its décor and glazing manifestations as the building reaches the later stages of its completion – including decoration and fit-out.
Senior House is the most advanced at this stage and we have imagined displays which capture the sites history and intellectual inheritance.
The window manifestations which we have chosen are stylised versions of botanical sketches from Louisa Senior’s own collections – as well as capturing the Ealing Fields flame.
The main classroom block, which we are calling the Lawrence Wing, has a number of big windows where this manifestation can be used to unify the old and new parts of the building. These sketches also show how the school’s motto and colours will be used to capture the school's ethos and energy.
2nd March 2020
We would like to reassure all those who received offers for Ealing Fields High School that our new school building is on track to be completed ready for the pupils to begin the new academic year on the permanent site in September 2020.
The main teaching block is already being fitted out with its specialist teaching spaces as well as the large performance centre and music rooms. The on-site sports centre has also taken shape. We are particularly delighted with the progress with the listed building at the heart of the site, which is also looking beautiful having been extensively restored to its former glory. This building houses both art and computer-aided design so is a perfect blend of old and new!
The historic building has been re-named ‘Senior House’ after Louisa Senior, a pioneering and prize-winning horticulturalist whose research work as a woman in science was ahead of its time. She created a renowned garden at what was then known as Ealing Park, visited by many including Queen Victoria. We look forward to putting some of her horticultural sketches which we found in the archives at Kew in the elegant Art room which was once her library.
The adjacent classroom block will be named after her husband
William Lawrence, a renowned surgeon and therefore at the cutting edge of
science in a different way!
This power couple and their family owned the site from 1838 to 1881 and by naming the buildings after them we are really pleased to be
celebrating the spirit of intellectual
curiosity and enlightenment which they represent. Already this is very much the
spirit of the school as Ofsted commented the ‘school leaders and governors have
high aspirations for the pupils academically, socially, emotionally and
spiritually. They are proud of the
inclusive nature of this diverse school aligned to the trust’s Christian ethos.’
We are definitely looking forward to engaging in vigorous
exchange of ideas within our most eccentric building, a former folly to be
refurbished as a miniature debating chamber and re-named ‘The Oratory’.
18th October 2019
We returned to school to exciting news that the superstructure works on the new building were complete and that precast flooring units were being installed. September saw the installation of an attenuation tank below the playground area, pouring of the ground floor concrete slabs and work to the roof and rendering on Place House. Internal refurbishment is also ongoing and we anticipate the scaffolding will be removed soon.
We were able to celebrate the highest point of the structure being reached with a Topping Out ceremony on Tuesday 8th October led by the vicar of Brentford. This service was attended by local councillors and planning officers, residents’ association representatives, governors, staff and students.
16th July 2019
We welcomed a special visitor to Ealing Fields High School earlier this month. The Right Rev’d Peter Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden led a service of blessing the foundations of the new school buildings.
Members of the school council, local governing body and staff joined representatives of the Department for Education, contractor Bowmer + Kirkland and Ealing Fields Residents’ Association.
Students symbolically cast items including a scroll of foundation verses, school houses and the names of the founding year group into the base of the final part of the concrete pad on which the main teaching block will stand.
We are delighted that the demolition phase is now finished and as work to erect the steel framework for the new buildings has commenced this week, we are pleased to report the project is on schedule for a summer 2020 handover.
9th May 2019
The demolition phase on the Place House site is drawing to a close with Phases 1-6 complete and Phase 7 and 8 almost finalised (see diagram on previous post). The materials from the demolished buildings are being sorted and timber and metal products are then removed from site by skip. All masonry and concrete will be crushed on site with the crushing unit expected on site week commencing 13th May.
Assuming unforeseen ground conditions aren’t encountered, the contractor expects all demolition works to be complete and the site cleared by 14th June. This will mark the end of the first phase of creating a new school building for Ealing Fields on the site.
11th March 2019
Pre-commencement works on the Place House site have now been finalised. Ealing Council have also discharged the last pre-commencement planning condition which means that the demolition of the buildings and refurbishment of the Grade 2 listed Place House and Folly can start in earnest.
Bowmer + Kirkland are hoping to have plant and labour mobilised to start demolition work on Monday 18th March.
The areas for demolition and the phasing of the works can be seen on the diagram below (green designates the buildings which are being retained):
Queries regarding the site can contact Keith McGinness, Senior Project Manager for Bowmer + Kirkland ([email protected]) to receive regular bulletins on progress. His emergency contact number is 07827 987 501
15th February 2019
Student representatives of Years 7-9 at Ealing Fields High School got their first view of Place House yesterday when a service was held to bless the site ahead of the upcoming demolition and construction phase of the project.
Led by the Assistant Area Dean Revd Carolyn Dunk and the Trust Chaplain Revd David Brammer, the service was attended by staff and governor representatives of Ealing Fields and members of the project teams at the DfE, Bowmer + Kirkland and the Twyford CofE Academies Trust.
Associate Headteacher Mr Mark Bedford even tried his hand in the driving seat of a digger.
Bowmer + Kirkland, the contractors for Place House building project, took formal possession of the Place House site on 21st January. Since then they have been carrying out pre-commencement work, such as setting up the site offices and services, a soft strip out of the existing buildings and clearing the landscape as well as engaging specialists for wood rot and damp.
Archaeological trenches were also dug and duly inspected by English Heritage. Members of the local history society also came to view the work carried out by the archaeological team from University College London.
Local residents wanting to keep up to date on works on the site can contact Keith McGinness, Senior Project Manager for Bowmer + Kirkland ([email protected]) to receive regular bulletins on progress. His emergency contact number is 07827 987 501
18th October 2018
Last night the Planning Committee of Ealing Council, who exercise the council's functions as a local planning authority, met to determine the planning application for the permanent site for Ealing Fields High School.
We are delighted to announce that members voted unanimously to approve the planning application for the new building and renovation of Place House and we look forward to receiving the formal notification from the council very soon.
Three students representing Ealing Fields welcomed councillors and members of the public to the meeting at Ealing Town Hall with one staying in the public gallery to the very end in order to see the vote.
Our planning consultant summed up his presentation to the committee with this heartfelt plea from a Year 9 student. “We are really proud to be at Ealing Fields and have made the very best we can of the temporary site where we have lived for the past three years – but we are longing to have a real school building which will enable us to really excel.”
We are all thrilled this major milestone has been reached and the future is secure for our current students, as well as those who are applying to join us next September.
We anticipate that work will be able to start on the new site after Christmas and thank all members of the Ealing Fields community for their support during the planning application process.
24th September 2018
Following feedback from local residents and stakeholders, some further amendments were made to the planning application for Place House and these have been submitted to Ealing Council. The updated application details can be viewed here but key changes are as follows:
- The inclusion of extensive areas of green walls to the elevations
- The inclusion of obscure glazing in the south facing elevation at the first and second floor of the western end of the South Teaching Block, and the removal of the first floor staff workroom window
- The introduction of a lighter coloured render at the second floor level of the west facing elevation of the South Teaching Block
- Reduction in the height of the sports hall by approximately 0.8 m
- Reduction in the parapets on the South Teaching Block by approximately 0.5 m
- Redesign of the vehicle and pedestrian gates to Little Ealing Lane and Convent Gardens in a more authentic Georgian character
- Recess of the Little Ealing Lane vehicle gates to ensure vehicles can wait at the gate without overhanging the road
- Widening of the pedestrian gate and internal pedestrian paths
- Relocation and reconfiguration of cycle parking
- Provision of an acoustic fence to the eastern boundary
- Provision of an upgraded refuse enclosure in line with the council’s waste management guidelines
- Extensive additional planting, including an additional 18 trees on the site, particularly in boundary screening locations
- Green roofs have been added to the student cycle parking shelters, refuse store, and adjacent to the second floor library
These changes represent considerable additional investment in the site from the education budget to help address the concerns of residents without affecting the operational activity of the school.
The amended landscape master plan is shown below together with updated 3D images:
Ealing Council will reconsult on these amendments so local residents are fully aware of the latest revisions ahead of the October planning committee meeting. Further comments on the updated proposal can be submitted on Ealing Council’s planning portal here.
Despite the unforeseen difficulties that emerged during the project, we are grateful to SCAPE, Ealing Council, ESFA, Mace and our own site teams for working very hard indeed over the summer and pulling the project round so that we were able to welcome our new Year 7 students on Thursday 6th September.
We apologise sincerely to our neighbours for the prolonged disruption, which was necessary to ensure the new block was finished as quickly as possible.
Despite the unsightly external scaffolding, the specialist facilities inside are of high quality and have been in use from the start of term.
18th July 2018
The planning application for Ealing Fields permanent site was submitted on 2nd July and has now been uploaded to Ealing Council’s planning portal.
Comments regarding this application can be submitted to Ealing Council here
The formal consultation period will run for a period of 21 days, commencing with the publication of a press notice, which is scheduled for Friday 20 July.
The photo of Place House above has been updated to reflect the planning application and additional views of the site are below.
12th June 2018
Scape Construction gave a presentation to local residents regarding the temporary block removal from Elthorne Park and installation at Ealing Fields. This information can be viewed here.
25th May 2018
We were invited to attend the Ealing Fields Residents Association AGM on Wednesday 23rd May at the Log Cabin. Please find here a copy of the presentation showing the design revision process and the current proposals. If you would like to make comments, please submit them by email to [email protected]
24th May 2018
Following the approval of the Ealing Council Planning Committee, the ESFA have recently appointed Scape Construction as contractors and are now moving ahead with plans for the removal of the temporary block from Elthorne Park High School and its installation at Ealing Fields High School in time for the start of the new academic year in September 2018.
We currently anticipate the main construction works to take place from June 2018 to late August 2018. The overall project timeline is estimated to be 12 weeks.
Scape Construction is an open and considerate contractor who will focus on how best to minimise frustration and disruption to the surrounding community. A complaints and improvements box will be located on the allotment gate for the community to input anonymously if so required. Contact Details for the Scape Project Manager are:
Dan Hickman // Project Manager
First Floor 21 Ironmonger Lane
London EC2V 8EY
T // +44 (0) 7881386037
19th April 2018
We are delighted to inform you that last night's planning committee at Ealing Council approved the planning permission for our new classroom block. Thank you to everyone who wrote in and supported this. We are also very conscious of the objections of our neighbours, especially of those living in Wyke Garden, who have continued to voice concerns particularly in relation to increased traffic.
Parents are therefore firmly reminded they MUST NOT drive into Wyke Gardens at the beginning or end of the school day.
If there is any reason why you have to give your child a lift to or from school by car please arrange an alternative drop off/collection point, as cars in this narrow street are causing a hazard to children, as well as annoyance to our neighbours.
4th April 2018
We had over 135 people attend the public consultation for Place House last week. For those who were unable to join us, the information boards can be accessed here. There is also a feedback form to submit any comments by email to [email protected]
16th March 2018
A public consultation is being held on Wednesday 28th March from 3-8pm at Our Lady of Hungary Roman Catholic Church to see the plans for Place House, meet the team and have your say. Full details here.
19th February 2018
The deadline for comments on the planning application for the temporary site extension as detailed below is Wednesday 21st February 2018. Please follow this link to Ealing Council planning portal.
5th January 2018
When Ealing Fields High School was opened in 2016 the intention was that the school would move into the permanent site after two years and the temporary accommodation at Wyke Gardens was planned on this basis. However, due to the delay in getting the lease for the permanent site finalised (in April 2017) and despite the best efforts of the Trust, the ESFA and the contractors, the permanent building is unlikely to be ready for occupation until September 2020. In the meantime, there will be a need to admit two more year groups of 120 pupils in 2018 and 2019 to meet local demand for places.
AECOM on behalf of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) are now submitting a full planning application to Ealing Council seeking temporary planning permission for the retention of the current school buildings on the site at Wyke Gardens, Hanwell, London plus the installation of a third two storey temporary modular unit with associated hardstanding. This is for a temporary period until August 2020.
Whilst we are aware this is not an ideal situation, we are confident that we can ensure this additional accommodation provides not just additional space for the additional year groups but better facilities for specialist teaching and a more conducive learning environment for those pupils who have already been in the temporary buildings to date.
14th December 2017
We are very grateful to the lead architect, Caroline Mayes of Stride Treglown who came into school yesterday to lead students in a workshop with the aim of getting their ideas for input into the project. 12 students met with representatives of the architects, who are working with the construction company Bowmer & Kirkland on the new school.
The architects described the process which is gone through when taking on a major project of his sort as well as giving information about architecture as a career.
Student reps also played their part by reflecting on the features they wanted the school to have as well as its overall ‘vibe’. Everyone agreed that it is a great balance to have a school which has modern facilities but which retains some of its historical features. The students wanted a ‘welcoming and calm school to be proud of." Their most original suggestion was that a sculpture, perhaps in the listed turning circle, to represent Ealing Fields, would be a great addition.
8th November 2017
During this course of this half-term we have been having a series of Client Engagement Meetings with the building contractors, architects and other experts involved in the design and planning of the new school at Place House.
Most of these meetings have been held elsewhere because we simply don’t have sufficient room to fit all the team in comfortably at the moment but one was held at Ealing Fields so we took the opportunity to introduce the team to some of our pupils, namely the Year 7 and 8 class reps. The photograph shows the contractor explaining to the students how they move from flat space floor plans to scale cardboard models which help the team see the building in the context of the surrounding area.
19th October 2017
The school is delighted to announce that contractors have now been appointed and the budget agreed for the renovation of the school's permanent home, Place House on Little Ealing Lane.
The multi-million pound project will include renovation of the listed building on the site as well as building two new state of the art specialist blocks, including excellent facilities for music, demonstrating further the long-term commitment to music education and involvement across Trust schools.
Design work will start over the half-term period in the hope that plans can be finalised by Christmas for submission to Planning authorities.
To mark this major milestone, some members of the new Local Governing Body of the school undertook a site visit last week and admired some of the period features which will make the school a very distinctive learning environment. This includes the stylish drawing room which in its day hosted a visit from Queen Victoria. Mr. Woodham and Ms. Trewin can be seen making themselves very much at home!
20th September 2017
Further to a consultation period and approval from both Ealing Fields local governing body and Twyford Trust Directors, an application was made to the Department of Education to bring Ealing Fields High School into the Twyford CofE Academies Trust.
We are delighted to announce that we have now received approval and welcomed Ealing Fields as the newest school in the Twyford CofE Academies Trust family on 1st September 2017.
We will be working hard with the staff team to establish the very best opportunities for students at Ealing Fields as it moves into its second year of operation as well as pressing ahead with the exciting plans for the school’s permanent site on Little Ealing Lane.
25th April 2017
We are absolutely delighted to announce that we have secured our permanent site for the School, the former King Fahad Academy on Little Ealing Lane. This is wonderful news for our students, staff, parents and carers who I know have been anxious for updates on progress.
As many of you are aware, securing the site has been a long and demanding process but we are now in a position to move forward with developing the site. Detailed building surveys began during the later stages of the negotiations and we hope that we will soon be in a position to share greater detail about the proposed build programme.
It is an exciting site with plenty of space and listed architectural features. It should result in an impressive building for the School. Once we have moved we will continue to use our current site (Wyke Gardens) for sports and recreational activities.
I would like to thank you for your patience and tolerance with regard to the lack of information we have been able to share with you to date. We are looking forward to sharing plenty of information about the progress we are making towards creating a school building that befits our fantastic students.
Judith Mortell, Chair of the Board of Governors