10th November 2021 — A whole day of celebration was held for pupils and their parents, many of whom hadn’t seen the facilities since they were completed in November 2020 due to lockdown restrictions.
A brand new assembly and dining hall, a three storey classroom block and reception area, and three interconnecting Foundation (Nursery) rooms, which overlook a bespoke and innovative play space, now grace the impressive campus of the 129-year-old Preparatory School on Shenfield Road, and pupils have benefited hugely from the expansion.
Intrigued parents were proudly shown round the new facilities by their sons and daughters and particularly remarked on the modern Science, Art and Design Technology studios, the fully kitted out Food Technology suite, and the blank canvas ‘Futures Room’, where pupils were engaged with virtual reality headsets. There were cries of ‘Wow!’ ‘Amazing!’ and “Phenomenal!” throughout the day.
One parent, Elizabeth Eastaugh, whose daughter is in Reception, remarked: “To see their smiling and happy faces has made my husband and I so happy that [my daughter] has this opportunity to be at Brentwood School.”
Another, Syreeta Sandhu, who has children in two year groups, said: “It was so wonderful being given a tour of the school by the girls. The new building is simply amazing - and worth the wait to see!”
Tours concluded in the new assembly hall, large enough to seat 500 people, where pupils normally have lunch, indoor sport, and also perform concerts and drama performances on the stage. There were representatives from the award-winning architects, Cottrell and Vermeulen, Blake Contractors Ltd, and construction company Rooff Ltd, to chat to parents about the design and build of the massive 3-year project. The school catering company, Holroyd Howe, provided an impressive display of cakes, smoothies and healthy snacks, and parents could also chat to School staff about the vast co-curricular opportunities, including Forest School, and our partnership with the Junior Guildhall School of Music.
The day concluded with a ribbon cutting ceremony involving the Chair of Governors, Sir Michael Snyder, the Headmaster of the Preparatory School, Jason Whiskerd, and members of the School council representing their year groups. In a moving and celebratory speech, in the presence of pupils, parents, staff and former staff, governors, local councillors and business representatives, and the Mayor of Brentwood, (herself a former pupil), Sir Michael spoke of his belief that “the Prep development has enabled the school to continue to deliver truly world class education, now with world class facilities.” He paid tribute to the many people involved in delivering the project through very challenging times, and the school staff, who are, he added, “keen to make a real difference to the education and development of your children and future generations”.