Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
St John’s School
2:53pm Monday 7th February 2011 in Marlborough & Pewsey Town Guide
STUDENTS at the new St John’s School in Marlborough can say hands on heart that they look down on their peers at the town’s famous public school because their fabulous new almost space-age building has extensive views across the countryside including the Marlborough College campus.
St John’s School and Community College has just celebrated its first birthday in the £26.5 million building that stands out high above the town on the site of the old 1950’s Grammar School that was demolished to make way for the new building.
But it is hoist by its own petard, a victim of its own success, because at just one year old the school is bursting at the seams thanks to the huge response from families over a wide area that want their children to be educated at St John’s.
There is a standing joke in the town that ex students from St John’s or its predecessor grammar and secondary modern schools were accepted for officer training in the armed forces after saying, quite honestly of course, that were educated at Marlborough...with the examining boards believing they meant Marlborough College.
But now St John’s has facilities which are the equal of any school in the country, state or public although it is neither because it is a grant maintained school having opted out of local government control some years ago which left it with a rather large financial problem.
As it’s a GM school it had to raise virtually the entire cost of the new buildings itself which it achieved by selling off its lower school site where the first of 170 new homes are now occupied and part of the old grammar school site in Orchard Road as well where a further 40 homes will be built.
It has been left rather short of the recommended open space and sports fields that a school with 1,600 students should have but Marlborough College has said St John’s is welcome to share its playing fields until its own all-weather pitch is built....
Phase II of the St John’s redevelopment which will be completed when funds become available.
The new St John’s buildings are by miles the most impressive in the town with the huge lofty entrance atrium where all visitors arrive and which offers a magnificent exhibition area for students’ art work or design and technology creations.
St John’s has its own 350-seat Theatre on the Downs where not only its own productions are performed but which is used by the community for cinema and other shows.
Headteacher Dr Patrick hazlewood who had the task with Bursar Barry Worth of raising all the money for the new school said it was working better than ever expected during the design and construction which went on while students continued their lessons in the old buildings next door which have now disappeared.
The new school has the finest facilities money can buy to ensure the best possible education for generations of children to come.