The Westgate School Expansion
Following the success of The Westgate School in Slough, there has been a demand for places from parents and children of the local community. Unfortunately, the school in its present size was unable to accommodate the increasing demand so the decision was made by the governing body in 2016 to expand the school so that children from the Cippenham area could be afforded the opportunity to attend the school if they so wished.
Working in partnership with architects Re-Format and Slough Borough Council, plans were drawn up for a building to house a large multi-purpose hall and brand new sixth form centre. A second building consists of purpose built accommodation for the Art and Media department and seven multi-purpose classrooms. In addition, refurbishment to existing buildings to improve the accommodation in the Science and Mathematics departments has also been undertaken. The new extensions to the school have created an internal space amount of 2,138sq.m with the total internal area of the school increasing to 10,403sq.m.
The driving force behind the layout of the buildings has been a desire to provide an excellent array of diverse teaching environments. The design is adaptable to suit different needs and will aid learning styles both for large groups and individuals. Spaces are of different scales with good daylighting and animated interior finishes creating distinct zones that relate to the pupils and stimulate their minds. The teaching blocks have flat roofs are no higher than the extension and are accompanied by a modern design, finished in dark brick and white render to match the materiality of the campus’ most modern existing buildings.
Students, staff and governors have put their mark on the construction work by adding their signatures onto a steel frame which forms the skeleton of the expansion works. The expansion project has also included adding car and cycle parking spaces, a new footpath and landscaping work.
After a successful planning application and subsequent tender process, Feltham Construction was selected as the projects main contractors. They began construction on site in July 2017 and completed all works in July 2018.
The Westgate School opened in 1958 and is a vibrant educational community, serving a relatively prosperous area to the West of Slough. It delivers a high quality comprehensive education for approximately 1,000 young people, providing a viable alternative to the selective system which prevails in the town. The school prides itself on the enriching curriculum and enterprising events that it offers to all students. The work in class includes a wide range of engaging lessons with students not always working in a classroom. The school offers excellent off site opportunities for students to enrich their learning and the school are proud of the links that they have with major employers and organisations that support the curriculum. In the schools last Ofsted inspection, they were deemed outstanding in all categories.
September 2018 will see the first increased cohort for 240 Year 7 students beginning their academic career at The Westgate School. Ultimately, the school will become an eight form entry secondary school providing 1,200 school places for 11-16 years old and an additional 150 places for post 1-6 education.
The expansion work at Westgate School is part of Slough Borough Council’s plans to expand the school provision in the borough.