11th May 2001 at 01:00
(Photograph) - Chosen Hill school, Churchdown, Gloucester

Life at Chosen Hill school is anything but ordinary. This successful comprehensive of 1,350 students, mid-way between Cheltenham and Gloucester, has technology college status, which has enabled it to develop its ICT facilities to a high quality.

This has had a beneficial effect on all areas of the curriculum and the community, says headteacher Alan Winwood. For example, courses for local people include Silver Surfers, aimed at the over-60s who want to get to grips with the internet and other aspects of ICT.

And not only locals benefit from this forward thinking. Described by Ofsted as not only "very good" but also "very good value for money", Chosen Hill has flourishing links with like-minded schools abroad, with exchange trips giving pupils a chance to sample life in Romania and the United States.

Although the school is proud of its sporting achievements, including one pupil who plays for the England unde-16 rugby team, facilities are, says Mr Winwood, "quite frankly, appalling". The school has no sports hall and has to make do with using the assembly hall. MrWinwood hopes to get funding to build a sports hall, but says: "It's an uphill battle - although we stillmanage to do fairly well against other less disadvantaged schools."

Snaps by Sue Jovicic

Play it again: Year 7 boys get to grips with the intricacies of the xylophone

Easy does it: operating a lathe takes concentration in a design technology class.

Slam dunk: Year 8 girls jump to it on the netball court Follow me: Year 8 boys go through their paces during a dance class in their school hall

ICT and symphony: Year 7 pupils make the most of excellent computer facilities in a music technology class

At work:a pupil gets creative with his design technology classwork

... and at play: Year 8 boys get their kicks on the football pitch

Tibia or not tibia? Year 10 boning up on biology

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