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A day in the life of Shenfield high school, Brentwood, Essex

Snaps by Jacky Chapman. EastEnders star Ross Kemp returned to his old school in Essex to open its new Millennium Library in January. Most of the money for the pound;150,000 reconstruction project had been raised by parents and local companies. Pupils also helped and collected the third highest number of Walkers crisp tokens in the country (a scheme supported by The TES), which provided 97 books. As well as yards of new shelves housing 9,000 books, the library has 20 computers and a CD-Rom jukebox with 100 CDs. Ross, who plays Grant Mitchell in the TV soap, was a pupil from 1975 to 1981 and acted in school plays. In March 1999 he won the popular student vote at Glasgow university where he was elected the rector. Shenfield, a 1,300 pupil comprehensive, is unusual for teaching boys and girls separately in the first threeyears and continuing this in later years for maths, English and science. This single-sex teaching method is said to give pupils "the best of both worlds"and was introduced five years ago. The school has many after-hours activities, including a sixth-form annual rock concert which this year takes place next week.

* Work out: Year 7 boys' PE lesson. * This is where I started: Ross Kemp with a poster for the play in which his talent first came to attention in the sixth form. * Hot stuff: James Aish (left) and Sam Stevens do a science practical. * Take the strain: PE class. * I got rhythm: Michael Tarbard with head of music Mrs Pat Barber. * Tea for two: Luke Jarvis (left) and Ryan McCann in the refectory. If you would like your school to feature in Snapshots please write to TES Friday, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX or e-mail

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