In September 2016, when I began as the Headteacher of this school, I made a cast-iron promise to our students; that I was going to improve their facilities for the better. Five years on from that, we have refurbished every single space within the school and I am proud that in September 2021, we opened a new Performing Arts centre; the Rome Building.
The journey to achieving this has been hard fought but with the students always at the very centre of our ambitions. In my first year as Headteacher, it was difficult to attract capital funding into the school, principally because the numbers of students on roll at the school had been plummeting for several years, alongside a number of other difficult challenges the school faced with regard to its reputation. The transition to All Saints Catholic College proved to be a defining epoch within the history of the school. The reputation of the school had been improving, but it was at this point that a real momentum gathered behind the school, and with the improved academic success, we started to see more and more families applying to send their children here. During this time we had won multiple bids for smaller capital projects which included completely renovating our Science laboratories, our school toilets, as well as installing a new SEN centre. This rising popularity coupled with the move from four forms of entry to five, meant we had a need to expand the facilities on the school site. Following an application to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, we were successful in our bid to expand the school; it was necessary to do so. Initially, we were granted £3.5m for our project but this grew to £4.3m by the end of the project.
In late October 2019 I began working with a team of architects from 3BM and the project management company Fusion. This was the beginning of a fantastic working relationship and resulted in many exciting meetings and discussions about how we were going to improve our current facilities as well as build a new block on the school site. By January 2020, the architectural team had completed an initial set of designs for the new build with the project management team mapping out the areas that could be tackled for refurbishment during the Summer of 2020 (making use of the first lockdown). This resulted in an entirely new RE department, the full refurbishment of the library, upgrades to three of our Maths classrooms and the installation of a Food Technology Room.
Whilst all of this was going on in the foreground, much work was still being done in the background on the preparation for the new build as well as the other refurbishments that were scheduled to occur. In January 2021, our contractors 'ACS Professionals in Construction', broke ground and began laying the foundations of what would become the Rome Building, with a state-of the-art Drama studio as well as multiple Music rooms, practice rooms, rehearsal space and recording studio. We have completely renovated our Art rooms and installed a Creative media suite as well as improving some of our English classrooms. We have installed brand new Humanities classrooms, a Speech and Language provision as well a renovating our ICT suite. As I write this in September 2021, I am really proud of what we have achieved, not only in the past two years, but in the past five years. I promised our school community that I would improve the facilities, this has been achieved at a rate that I would never have even dreamed of in September 2016. I am pleased that as students join our school community, they come to a school that has been well cared for, where inspiration adorns the classrooms and corridors. This is just the beginning of our journey, with the relentless drive and energy set to continue, all for the benefit of our students.