Tankerville Interior Through New (and Old) Eyes, Part 3: First Floor, Post 2, 5th January 2016

Room 5, my classroom on the main corridor in 2003.
My  sunny classroom on the main corridor, Room 5, in 2003.

I already knew from the site plans that one of the biggest physical changes to the main corridor would involve my teaching classroom, Room 5 (English 3).  I had mixed feelings about this fact.  In one way, it was nice to think that I would be the last person to actually teach a lesson in that particular room; however, at the same time it was also a shame that a room with such a lovely aspect would cease to exist.

Church High Open Day in Room 5, 2008.
A Church High Open Day in Room 5, (English 3), 2008.

When NHSG moves back into Tankerville, the rooms off the main corridor, other than Room 5, will all be designated to the Sixth Form.  This classroom is to be be divided up into three sections to create offices for the Deputy Head Academic and the Examinations Officer in addition to an open plan Group Room or Meeting Area.  Taken through the Hall doorway, Alan Younger’s photograph of November 25th 2015 shows the new partition walls are now in place.

Old Room 5 is now divided up into three.
Old Room 5 on the main corridor is now divided into three.

In direct contrast to this situation, the two Church High Geography rooms, situated off the main corridor on the way to the Art rooms, have been knocked into one big space at the moment, as Alan’s photograph below makes clear.  This huge space will be familiar to some, as, initially, this room housed the School’s first Science Laboratory.  When I joined, it was known as the Large Geography Room and because of its size was used as the changing area for the School Play.  At present on the plans, it will house two Graphic Design rooms.

At present, the two Geography rooms have been knocked into one.
The two Geography rooms have been knocked into one.

The modern 1998 Art Wing provided light and airy, state-of-the art, purpose-built Art rooms with glass panels in both ceilings and dramatic red beams on which artwork and sculptures could be hung.  One imagined that these rooms would need very little tweaking for the new school and Alan Younger’s photos show this to be the case.  The surrounding fixtures and fittings have all been stripped out, but both Art Studios are clearly recognisable still as Grant Wells’ spaces.

The Key Stage 3 (right-hand) Art Studio now.
The larger Key Stage 3 &4 (right-hand) Art Room at present ..
Grant Wells teaching in the Art Studio.
Grant Wells teaching in the same Studio
.... and the (left-hand) Sixth Form Art Studio now.
… and the (left-hand) Sixth Form Art Studio as it looks now.

Before he left the building, Alan also visited the 1984 Science Block which can be entered at first floor level from the south end of the main corridor.  This floor of the block housed Church High’s two Physics Labs & Preparation Room and the flight of internal stairs leading up to the two Biology Labs up on the second floor.  Although the red brickwork exposed by the removal of plaster gives the corridors a much warmer feel than when they were painted steel grey, as with the Art Rooms, this stairway area has also changed very little.

Science stairway as it now appears ...
Science Block stairway as it now appears …
... cooler in hue when all painted grey as Church High.
… & cooler in hue when grey as Church High.

The final shot Alan took looking back onto the main corridor again not only highlights the beauty of the newly exposed brickwork but also yet another distinctive Church High semi-circular door arch .

Looking back again onto the main corridor.
Looking back again onto the main corridor.

When I joined Church High in the mid 1980s, the School Caretaker was Mr Volpe, who I always seem to visualise wearing a woolly hat.  In the late 1980s and 1990s, the job of looking after the Church High buildings fell to Dave Stout.  When Dave Stout moved on, the role of Caretaker, later expanded to Site Manager, was carried out with great loyalty and passion by Gentian Qeku until the School eventually left the premises in August 2014.  When Alan Younger has the keys handed to him in August 2016, as I said at the start of this very long post, he will be the 4th Site Manager I have known.

Gentian Qeko, the last Church High Site Manager.
Gentian Qeku, the last Church High Site Manager, 2014.
Church High Site Management Team 2011
And once again with the Newcastle Church High Site Management Team in 2011: Chris Melrose and Paul Wilson.
Alan Younger will hopefully receive the keys to the building in August 2016.
Alan Younger, NHSG Facilities Manager, will hopefully be taking possession of the ‘keys to the building’ in August 2016.


2 thoughts on “Tankerville Interior Through New (and Old) Eyes, Part 3: First Floor, Post 2, 5th January 2016”

  1. About two weeks ago I decided to avoid the traffic through Great North Road and drive towards Tankerville Terrace past my beloved Church High. When I saw the school and was driving past in a brand new car, it was a fantastic feeling.
    Dear Christine, keep up the good work. You are an amazing person with great determination.
    Regards, Gentian

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