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Wimbledon High - MASSIVE building works??

(17 Posts)
User19992018 Thu 26-Apr-18 13:47:13

Was considering Wimbledon High for DD1 in the near future but just seen online that they are potentially about to embark on a massive building project.

www.wimbledonhigh.gdst.net/about-us/project-ex-humilibus

Whilst much of what they've mocked-up on the design-boards looks amazing...

I have two concerns:

1) Won't this mean years of disruption, drilling and dust?

2) How much will the school fees have to rise to bring this project to life.

I know 'modern' facilities are of course welcome/useful etc. But in the end I just want DD to have a good education. I don't need her to attend a Richard Rogers-designed state-of-the-art building. And if she were to attend, I wouldn't want to have the fees sky-rocket to pay for all of this.

Does anyone have anymore information? I'm feeling a sense of unease around the school now and not sure if it's even worth applying.

OP’s posts: |
helloallllll Thu 26-Apr-18 15:24:30

If it's any consolation I think Putney High are about to do it as well and lots of others have recently.
At least your DD will be able to take advantage of the new buildings?!
Their sixth form centre is very old fashioned and shabby compared to most others so I see why they are doing it.
I think most schools try to minimise the disruption.
I don't think it would put me off a school if I liked other things about it.

Eastpoint Thu 26-Apr-18 15:27:33

The GDST schools in London all charge the same iirc, the fees should stay at the same level. The trust tends to do works to each individual school every 10 years or so, it will be WHS’s turn for an upgrade.

Eastpoint Thu 26-Apr-18 15:31:56

Sorry, I just checked & they don’t charge the same anymore (it’s a long time since I was a pupil).

helloallllll Thu 26-Apr-18 15:52:41

Although Wimbledon and Putney fees are very similar- I suspect because they are very much in completion with each other, geographically and academically etc.

jeanne16 Thu 26-Apr-18 17:39:18

There seems to be a competition amongst all the London Independent schools to create the best facilities. This is resulting in sky rocketing fees, years of noise and disruption for existing pupils and in some cases like a Wimbledon High, the loss of nearly all the open space.

AnotherNewt Thu 26-Apr-18 17:49:56

The funds for major projects aren't billed in the years they fall. It's an element in the bill all the time IYSWIM, to spread the costs, so everyone is paying this element all the time, even though it's only spent periodically. There should not be a hike.

GDST schools share project management expertise, and there are plenty of building contractors used to the constraints of working in schools. Yes, building works are likely to be noticeable, but they should not be terribly detrimental to school life. If you look around, you'll ser that just about every school is renewing buildings - PHS only finished its last round of construction a couple of years ago, and SCHS has been building too.

If you're going to see the school you could ask about his they are going to manage the works and what they are doing to minimise impact on school life.

User19992018 Thu 26-Apr-18 18:44:09

I understand the need to differentiate but I wouldn't mind a shabby sixth form for my DD. My sixth form was shabby - but in the end isn't it the teaching that matters? I got a good set of results. I didn't need to have a coffee shop and matching sofas and tables for this to happen. Is it realistic to have such beautiful surroundings for the girls? In real-life, they'll be hard pushed to ever find the money to afford to buy their own 2 bed flat in Wimbledon, which these days pushes around £550k to £600k for a nice newbuild two-bed flat.

There's something I feel that's incongruous here. Setting unrealistic expectations and appealing to an ever smaller elite group of parents that will be able to afford the very high school fees. Is this really what GDST is all about?

Perhaps I just can't move with the times and it's me that can't/won't accept it. Something feels wrong that's all.

OP’s posts: |
helloallllll Thu 26-Apr-18 18:54:50

i sort of agree with you but they've all got swanky sixth forms now as have some of the state schools (in fact one of the swankiest I saw was at a local comprehensive) so better to decide other things.
We have just been through the whole 11+ process and it largely came down to gut feel in the end, not the outside space, the library, swanky sixth forms, etc but mainly gut feel. In fact our 3 favourite in the end were the most cramped ones!
I think things like building works disruption comes into it when you genuinely can't decide what school to take if you are lucky enough to get a choice.

helloallllll Thu 26-Apr-18 18:55:46

Please excuse the badly written post above!

User19992018 Thu 26-Apr-18 19:27:54

Perhaps the most cramped ones are the least swanky and have somehow managed to still retain heart and soul and haven't sold out to the 'ego' of 'mines better than yours' type thinking.

It all feels a bit too much like one upmanship.

A little skit:

Headmisstress: "Oh dear, XYZ school announced yesterday they are building a bigger pool. We'd better look at making ours even bigger. Pop that into the next round of works, Minion".

Back to the topic - for us too the most cramped have looked the most interesting. They just seem more friendly. Perhaps they can't extend and are just stuck with making do. And there's really nothing wrong with making do.

OP’s posts: |
Daftquestion1 Thu 26-Apr-18 19:34:12

I am guessing this is something to do with King's now taking girls in the sixth form which has given WHS girls an alternative.

AveEldon Thu 26-Apr-18 19:47:49

Lots of London state schools have new buildings - Burntwood Girls won the RIBA Stirling Prize for their new building

The WHS plans appear to make much better use of their constrained site

People always say go on gut feel - you didn't feel the school was as friendly as others - perhaps it's not the place for you but that doesn't seem to be about their building plans

Needmoresleep Thu 26-Apr-18 19:52:18

Presumably WHS has been affected by Kings Wimbledon’s decision to admit girls in the sixth form, so may feel under pressure to up their offer in an effort to retain the brightest in the cohort.

User19992018 Thu 26-Apr-18 20:21:00

I really dislike the Burntwood building.

Personal opinion aside on that, I liked WHS a lot when we visited. DD loved it. It may feel cramped by the time all that building work is finished in which case it will fit with my supposition above. LOL.

I don't pretend to have all the answers. It's a complicated thing choosing secondary.

OP’s posts: |
helloallllll Thu 26-Apr-18 20:24:19

I suspect will feel less cramped- looking at the plans it looks like the only outside space being lost will be the small junior playground. Maybe the improvement to the other buildings will make it feel more spacious!

Artichokesallover Thu 26-Apr-18 22:10:43

The additional space in the canteen will make a huge difference to lunchtimes, as will a much larger assembly/performance hall. Most of the messy work will happen during the school holidays so it shouldn’t be too disruptive. If you are at the stage of thinking of applying then you’ll probably miss a lot of the building work anyway.

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