Reaction to new Bexhill High
Photos by Edward Taylor
After months of expectation the doors of Bexhill High’s stunning £37 million building on Turkey Road opened to students this week.
There has been much said in the run-up to this major event, - which principal Mike Conn sees as the beginning of a new era in local education - with questions raised on every aspect of the unfolding project from access along the road, and delay caused by extreme weather, to the longer school day.
It’s now the turn of the students, having finally moved in, to react to their pristine surroundings and give their verdict.
On Monday they celebrated by holding a number of ribbon-cutting ceremonies as they began to settle in to their new home.
A group of Year 11 students, all aged 15, gave their first reaction to the Observer:
Jake Wendle-Coombes said: “I think it is quite good – there is going to be loads of people we know around school. The breaks are going to be a bit weird, because we are not going to be with all our friends, only the people in our pod.
“The long school day is a bit weird too, but I suppose it will be alright because you don’t have to take your homework home.
“It looks really nice though...it is massive, pretty good.”
Ridley Adams commented; “It is an alright school, to be honest – it is really nice, and a bit more friendly.”
Tom Curteis said: “I think the school certainly looks a lot nicer and a better environment to work in. The amount of people in each pod is bad though because there’s so many. I am worried about the effect of that because there will be too much noise.”
Robert Degg added: “It is a big improvement from the old school. I don’t really like the extra time we have to stay, but it is a bit like a hospital because it is so clean and bright, a very secure location with the TV cameras here, and no chance of breaking anything. But you won’t get a seat at lunch time because there will be so many people here.”
Reaction from younger pupils was also interesting – 12 year old Shelby Gray, from Year 8, was uncertain about the longer school day because she didn’t think much work would be done in that extra time, but added: “There is better stuff here, equipment. I think it will be better for everyone’s learning. I like the building.”
James Waterton added: “I think it is nice, and big, and spacious. It is like an airport. It is nice and big. I like the new technology in the rooms and stuff. I like the way you can have lockers so you don’t have to carry your books around the whole time. I also like the astroturf.”
Tracy Daka, also 12 and from Year 8, said: “It is exciting. It’s big – a great place to be.”
Year 7 pupil Katie Jedrek, 11, said: “It’s brilliant,” while Jas Morgan said: “I think it’s modern and very different to anything else I have ever been in.”
Clearly enjoying the first day was vice-principal Di Hawksby who thought the opening had gone “really smoothly”.
“The most exciting thing for me today was to see the students’ faces when they walked in the building and hear the comments that came from them...It’s unbelieveable. When we get the parents in this week I know we will get the same response from them.”
Director of IT and New Learning Steve Blake said: “I think this is all about potential, isn’t it? I think the first impression when you come in is quite incredible.
“For many pupils it’s all about the contrast between where we have come from and where we are now, and that makes such a big impression.”
Part-time teacher Edward Taylor, also on the board of governors, described the new school as “absolutely superb” and said it was “beyond the wildest dreams”.
“It is a place that learning can actually go on – the environment is superb,” he said.