A day in the life of Willow Tree primary school

2nd June 2000 at 01:00
A day in the life of Willow Tree primary school.

London borough of Ealing.

Headteacher Deryn Harvey has got the school of her dreams. That's partly because she stood in the mud in a hard hat overseeing its construction. The result is a pound;6 million, state-of-the-art building. Rooflights open automatically as the temperature rises. Every classroom has a whiteboard (replacing blackboards) connected to a computer so information typed on a keyboard can be projected on to a wall. The computers are linked to the Internet. There are no long, echoing corridors. Each classroom has its own entrance from the playground and its own toilets and cloakroom. The lighting and curtains on the stages in the two halls are computer-controlled. In fact, the high technology starts at the entrance with the CCTV security cameras. Education Secretary David Blunkett officially opened the school before Easter, since when there has been a constant stream of visitors, including a coachload of more than 20 DfEE officials. The project took six years to complete, and Ms Harvey and her staff were involved from the beginning. The new, 700-pupil school replaces three primaries whse intakes have been amalgamated; part of the land occupied by the old schools was sold to developers to pay for the building. The willow tree from which the school takes it name is now in the middle of the new housing estate, but another one has been planted at the entrance to the new school.

Snaps by Joel Chant.

Natalie Kendall discusses her writing with class teacher Donna Cameron. Priyen Chavda (top left) and (front, left to right) Steven Wooster, Gowrypalan Ganethira, Kareem Joseph, Deon Hartley-DeRoche and Alex Brown Samaa El Nasser, Year 6, in a Sats booster class.

Alice Chamberlain, Year 4, presents flowers to Mr Blunkett. Another pupil made a presentation of an engraved bowl for his dog, Lucy.

Dylan Crawshaw, reception, describes his drawing to Mr Blunkett.

Headteacher Deryn Harvey said Mr Blunkett was able to create an atmosphere in which each child making a presentation felt as if they were the only person in the room with him.

Niamh Degauchia, left, and Jasmine Shaikh, both reception, listen to a story together.

Playtime: from left, James Stapleton, Michael Dawson and Steven Wooster, all Year 1.

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