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Secondary school’s new home unveiled

Teachers and students at a Walthamstow secondary were celebrating last week after they were given the keys to a brand new, state-of-the-art school building.

Willowfield Humanities College has officially relocated to new facility in Blackhorse Road following a Council-funded £25million project to build a bigger and better school building. It now has capacity for 900 secondary students – 300 more places than offered at its former site in nearby Clifton Avenue.

Part of the Waltham Forest Council’s secondary school expansion programme, Willowfield’s new building has enabled it to grow from a four form entry to a six form entry school.

Headteacher John Hemingway welcomed pupils into the new building on Thursday 3 September.

He said: “As we have been closely involved in the design of the building it was wonderful to see that the finished product matched the images in my head. Everything has been built to the highest quality including the outdoor play spaces and the bright, spacious and stimulating environment will provide enhanced opportunities for the education of our students. 

“School staff are excited by the potential of teaching in this building and I am certain the children will be excited to be learning here.”

Willowfield’s new state-of-the-art building boasts a full size sports hall, multi-use games area, dance and drama studios, a performance amphitheatre and a wildlife garden.

Its most unique feature is an entrance bridge at first-floor level, which will bring staff, pupils and visitors directly into the heart of the school – a three-storey atrium. 

Willowfield’s new assembly hall will double as a performance space with a full audio-visual set up connected to a control balcony.

The school’s relocation will also give staff and pupils access to nearby playing fields, creating further opportunities for pupils to get active, and stay fit and healthy.

Cllr Mark Rusling, Waltham Forest Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “This project represents a fantastic boost to education opportunities in the borough, particularly at a time when the Government has made it more difficult for us to provide sufficient school places by banning us from opening new schools.

“Not only has it created hundreds of additional and much-needed secondary school places for Waltham Forest residents, it’s also enhancing our efforts to help give our young people the best possible start in life by delivering first-rate facilities in which to teach.”

Willowfield’s new building was built by Bouygues UK, who have a track record in delivering high quality, environmentally sustainable education facilities across the capital and who are working on improvements at Leytonstone School on behalf of the Council.

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