Full details of the new Clissold Park School, which is being built in Clissold Road, Stoke Newington, were released at a press conference held in the old school in Palatine Road last Friday. Boys and girls from the present upper and lower schools will move into the new building in September.
The £1 million pound school will accommodate 1723 pupils as opposed to the present 1000 crammed into the present buildings, where some classes have to be taken in a converted cloakroom. The sixth form will be expanded from 90 to about 225, and the range of facilities is exceptionally wide.
The new school will offer its senior pupils many alternatives to sports and games, and the emphasis is very much on the arts. To this end a large multi-purpose theatre with room for up to 200 is being built, as well as the games hall at the other end of the building which covers 6,500 square feet.
Clissold Park School will be one of the first schools to dispense with the traditional assembly hall. Instead, there are various smaller halls, and the sixth form will have two common rooms and a coffee bar. The central feature of the groups of three-storey buildings is an 18 foot wide concourse running right through where the old Church Walk used to be.
At last Friday's conference, the headmaster, Mr. T. C. Willcocks, spoke of the wide range of subjects available to his pupils, and he said that 61 % of them were immigrants – of 26 nationalities and speaking 21 languages. They were encouraged to take “A” levels in their own languages.
Mr. Willcocks felt that the school's curriculum would improve in its new premises, and he also expected that the present ”work preparation” scheme – whereby pupils on go to work at local firms for short periods in order to see how they are suited for the jobs they want – will be expanded. As far as social services are concerned, he said that an old people's home was just nearby, and there was room for further activity in that direction.
Mr. G. Stillman, of Stillman and Eastwick Field, the architects, said that the new school was “like a university college, with different forms of buildings all about three storeys high”.