New chapter for Sir John Leman High School in Beccles

10:36 07 September 2012

First view of the former Beccles Middle school that will now be the Sir John Leman Lower school.  Headteacher Jeremy Rowe.

First view of the former Beccles Middle school that will now be the Sir John Leman Lower school. Headteacher Jeremy Rowe.

Archant © 2012

Sir John Leman High School began a new chapter of its history in Beccles this week.

The high school welcomed 400 Year 7 and 8 pupils to the former Beccles Middle School site, in Castle Hill, after taking on the buildings following Suffolk County Council’s reorganisation of education.

The site will be home to the two year groups for the next two years, and for the last six weeks the staff have been working hard to bring a new feel to it as it becomes the Sir John Leman lower school.

Headteacher Jeremy Rowe said it was an exciting time for the school, and signalled the final chapter of the county council’s Suffolk Organisation Review.

“We had to make it work, and we have,” he said. “For Sir John Leman to have these years back in the school is tremendous.”

The school has taken on more than 20 teachers, installed new computer rooms, a bus turning area and a data link between the upper and lower school sites as part of the work.

Mr Rowe said: “We have only got it for two years but we wanted it to be different.We have done it properly to make it feel like the upper school - we didn’t want it to feel temporary.”

However, tributes have been paid to the site’s former lives, with signs for Beccles Area Modern School and Beccles Middle School in the reception area.

“We wanted to honour the memory of the school, but we are changing at the same time,” he said.

Mr Rowe said he was keen to ensure that the sites did not act as separate schools, with teachers and staff working at both.

On Wednesday and Thursday parents were given their first chance to look around, with Year 8 pupils starting on Thursday and Year 7s on Friday.

Pupils in Year 9, 10, 11 and the school’s sixth form started at the upper school on Wednesday, where new science labs have been installed.

Beccles Free School is due to take on the site in 2014.

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  • There hasn't been a change to the pupilteacher ratio popeye. There has been a planned reduction to the number of children in Year 9 through a change in the Leman catchment under the School Reorganisation Review.

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    Friday, September 7, 2012

  • So, new science labs in the upper school, new computer rooms with all the equipment to go with them, new state of the art data links, 20 new teachers on the payroll. This is all excellent stuff, and we should all be so grateful that the establishment of a local free school down the road didn't impact on all this investment into SJLHS, eh? :-)

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    Friday, September 7, 2012

  • ....The school has taken on more than 20 teachers....I notice the old Beccles Middle School had 30 teachers for 412 pupils. Why this apparent reduction in pupilteacher ratio? Will it damage their education?

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    Friday, September 7, 2012

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