New Bow School opens
Students at Bow School have praised their new surroundings after moving into their £30million new building.
Tower Hamlets Council partnered with developer Bouygues UK to deliver the state-of-the-art new school at Bow Lock on time and on budget.
The completion of the new Bow School means that over the past few years, the council has refurbished or rebuilt all 18 secondary schools in the borough at a total cost of more than £300million.
Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman said: “The new Bow School is a wonderful achievement and a shining beacon of the investment we have made in our young people.
“Last year, Bow students produced some fantastic results in their GCSEs and I know that with the kind of improvements their new school offers, they will be able to reach even greater heights.”
The previous Bow School was cramped and outdated and spread across two sites in Paton Close. Students had to be taken by bus to sports facilities elsewhere and the lack of space meant the school couldn’t offer certain subjects, such as drama and catering.
By contrast, the new school site has been purpose-built within a stunning architectural setting. The building is much larger and will allow the school to offer new courses, including a full range of A Level subjects and GCSEs in food technology, textiles, graphic design, drama, dance, theatre studies, music technology and the BTEC National in sport.
The environmentally friendly buildings also include rooftop sports spaces and separate dining pavilion and assembly hall blocks, whereas in the old building a single room served both functions. The assembly hall doubles as a 350-seater theatre fitted with lighting and audio facilities to enable top quality performance.
Cabinet member for children’s services Cllr Gulam Robbani said: “I’m delighted that we have now completed the physical transformation of all our secondary schools.
“This will help us meet the rising population but also the council knows that a great school environment leads to improved academic performance – the superb GCSE results our students have been getting in the past couple of years show what an impact it can have.”
The new Bow School site will provide 725 extra places for 11 to 16-year-olds, which will help to address the growing school population.
All the boys, except those sitting their GCSEs, have now moved across to the new site. In September they will be joined by a new intake of Year 7 pupils as well as, for the first time, girls.
Turning Bow into a mixed school increases the amount of choice for girls in the local area.
In September the school will also create a sixth form for the first time.
Students are delighted with their new surroundings.
Jabbir Ahmed, 14, said: “It’s a very nice school. We can play football on the roof, the theatre is like a cinema: it’s like having a VIP seat.
“It’s much better, the other one was cramped and the corridors were quite small. It’s really safe as well.”
Fane Roberts-Clarke, 14, said: “It’s a great place, much better than the other one because we have brand new facilities. It will be easier for us to continue our studies because we will have a sixth-form.”
Hassan Ahmed, 15, said: “The facilities are much better. The classrooms are huge and there’s more space to learn. Everyone loves it.”
Headteacher Cath Smith said: “The wonderful new building provides a fantastic and stimulating learning environment for our Tower Hamlets children. We are all thrilled that Bow School has had this unique opportunity to expand the provision for Tower Hamlets and we are busy developing new learning experiences that make full use of the superb facilities that we now have. There is great excitement in the school as we prepare for the larger group of Year 7 students in September, the introduction of girls and the launch of our sixth form.
“Although we have only been in the new school for a few weeks, we are already seeing very positive attitudes to learning from all of our students as they recognise the really impressive opportunities that they now have.”