Year 6 children at St Lawrence College Junior School, in Ramsgate, were over the moon to receive a personalised letter from Sir David Attenborough after they invited him to visit for the grand opening of the newly revamped Junior School on Friday, November 17th. This refurbishment, Phase 1 of a comprehensive three-phase initiative, signifies the College’s commitment to providing a cutting-edge learning environment for all Junior School children.
With a substantial investment exceeding £1 million, Phase 1 has introduced five state-of-the-art classrooms and an innovative Learning Resource Centre. This dynamic space, repurposed from the former Junior School dormitories, reflects the College’s dedication to enriching educational facilities and fostering an engaging learning experience.
A key highlight of the refurbishment is the addition of a new stairwell, enhancing access throughout the building from the basement to the second floor. Furthermore, the inclusion of a disabled access ramp and lift ensures full compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), making the Junior School Main Building accessible to all.
Inspired by the esteemed naturalist Sir David Attenborough, the Junior School children chose to name the Learning Resource Centre ‘Attenborough Attic’ in his honour. While Sir David was unable to attend the grand opening in person, his gracious response to the children’s letters is framed and displayed as a source of inspiration in the Attenborough Attic.
In his letter, Sir David Attenborough, expressed his delight at the children’s awareness of the challenges facing the natural world. He conveyed his regret at being unable to individually respond to each letter due to the volume of letters he receives daily. Quoting from Sir David’s letter, “Giving my name to your new library room is a very great honour, and I would have much enjoyed being present at its opening. But it is an invitation that I cannot accept.” He explained that he was working on a new program about a recently discovered colossal sea-going reptile called a pliosaur, a fearsome sea monster that coexisted with T-rex. He expressed hope that the program would be finished in time for Christmas.
The Junior School celebrated the grand re-opening with a non-school uniform day, with many choosing children to wear costumes representing our natural world, and the ribbon-cutting ceremony was expertly performed by Jonathan, a Year 6 pupil, under the watchful gaze of a cardboard cut-out of Sir David Attenborough.
The Attenborough Attic was further adorned with a beautifully crafted wooden oak sign, featuring intricate animal designs. This sign, a product of the skill and dedication of DT teacher Mr Jeremy Claustres and the Design Technology Department, adds a unique touch to the newly refurbished space.
Mrs Ellen Rowe, Headteacher at St Lawrence College Junior School, commented: “I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to everyone involved in realising this refurbishment project. The school remains committed to providing an exceptional learning environment as it progresses through Phases 2 and 3 of the upgrade project. If you are a family considering our Junior School for your child’s education, please do book to attend one of our open mornings or book a personal tour to experience firsthand the outstanding facilities and nurturing learning environment St Lawrence College Junior School has to offer.”