Secondary school is all about opportunities. These formative years are when young people discover interests that will last a lifetime, and learn skills that prepare them for the future. So as parents, we’re looking for schools that offer as much as possible by way of subjects and facilities to give our youngsters a wide spectrum of inspiration and engagement. Teenagers can all too easily become uninterested and alienated, yet stimulating teaching and a broad range of activities can counteract apathy and spark enthusiasm. So a school’s facilities are key. Good facilities can enable a broader curriculum and thus engage children more fully.

Developing talent

Facilities that enable children to thrive are the ones that create opportunities for developing talent. Sports pitches enable children to access a wide range of sports, which contribute to mental well-being and better achievement, while team sports benefit everybody who takes part, developing their life skills. Budding artists will be better placed to develop their skills when provided with a spacious art room. Kilns, darkrooms and printmaking studios can enable children to discover new passions, while a design technology department could offer sewing machines, woodworking tools and a textiles room. Dedicated dance studios and soundproofed music practice rooms are also likely to encourage pupils to try new activities. Similarly, a well-stocked school library can be a place of refuge and calm as well as a place to discover literature and conduct research.

Life skills

Outdoor classrooms and access to outdoor space can enrich a curriculum, while appealing social spaces are conducive to relaxation and improved peer relationships. Life skills have their roots in early behaviour and exposure to a variety of opportunities encourages an open attitude and growth mindset. The benefits of drama for young people’s confidence and self-esteem are well-documented, and a spacious theatre space, professionally fitted with lighting and acoustics, will enhance pupils’ experience and increase the appeal of joining in. Maida Vale School, opening for the first time in September 2020, bases its appeal on impressive facilities that underline its academic and co-curricular offerings. There are multiple science laboratories, music suites, a computing laboratory, theatre, dance studio, fitness studio, onsite gym, food technology room, design technology room and CAD design area, art department, restaurant, library and a sixth-form independent learning area.

Future opportunities

Our children’s future is digital and technology is key. Any well-equipped ICT suite will include a high ratio of iPads to pupils and large numbers of up-to-date computers. One of the most commonly cited benefits of using ICT in the classroom is that it helps to better prepare pupils for the workplace. Technology literacy & the ability to use computers effectively and efficiently helps students gain a competitive edge in an increasingly globalising job market.  At Maida Vale School, the use of technology in the curriculum is enhanced by the school’s own bespoke Virtual Learning Environment which enables pupils to access materials and online guidance remotely, meaning they learn how to interact with technology on a daily basis.

Maida Vale School has reconfigured its Victorian school building to cater to the demands of a 21st century education – and while a school is defined by much more than its building, the facilities it has are crucial to its character and to its pupils’ experience and future achievements.

To find out more about the facilities of Maida Vale School or to attend one of their open days, click here.

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