'Create the Future' updates
Making Your Mark with Poppy Brook
In her Creative Circle, Making Your Mark, Poppy Brook brought together parents from Prep and Senior School, and friends of the School for a print-making workshop exploring the creative potential of lino cuts. Working from creative sources and inspirations provided by Poppy, our Artist In Residence, the group produced a range of beautiful prints.
Keep an eye out for future Creative Circles when we will be exploring textiles, ceramics, painting and much more! You can find out more about how you can become a member of a Creative Circle click here.
The arrival of not one but two new kilns!
The arrival of two new kilns, selected for their larger capacity, improved efficiency and flexibility of use, has been greeted with huge excitement in The Art & MakerSpace.
Mr Perry-Adlam is delighted that he and his teaching colleagues will be able to extend the creative repertoire of girls, and encourage them to take on even more imaginative projects. He's also pleased that he will be able to control the kiln temperature remotely, avoiding the need to interrupt his teaching!
Our thanks to a generous donor who made the refresh and re-equip of the Ceramics Studio possible. If you would like to find out more about how you can support the Creative Arts at St Catherine's, or join one of our Creative Circles, you can do so here.
Small Plates with Philip Friend
Now established in his new culinary domain, Mr Friend was delighted to invite a group of parents from Prep and Senior to join him for a Creative Circle in the teaching kitchen. Together they cooked up a storm, making a beautiful veggie galette and aromatic sticky, sesame chicken.
Keep an eye out for future Creative Circles when we will be exploring print making, ceramics and much more! You can find out more about how you can become a member of a Creative Circle click here.
With additional space to create installations, sculptures and 'monumental' works, artists in The Sixth Form can let their imaginations run wild!
Floating shelves throughout The Art & MakerSpace mean that girls of all ages are inspired by the work of others.
Combining technology and technique to master textiles design.
One of two new textiles studios, welcoming those teaching and studying textiles into this vibrant new Creative Arts hub.
Room to develop ideas and learn techniques in a bright, spacious environment.
Developing sketching and drawing skills with
Mrs Hopkins in the newly remodelled Art Room
Exploring maths with mixing and measuring - not just a place to learn about food!
Prep School girls enjoy their first lesson with Mrs Gunther in the Culinary Arts teaching kitchen.
The new home of Culinary Arts at St Catherine's
Welcome to The Art & MakerSpace @ The John Palmer Centre!
We were delighted to welcome parents, alumnae, girls and friends of St Catherine's to a celebration of all things creative on Foundation Day, the Schools birthday. In a witty and engaging lecture Alex Perry-Adlam spoke about the importance of creative thinking and challenged us to reconsider our preconceptions about what it is to be creative.
We then gathered in the Art & MakerSpace for guided tours and were thrilled to hear voices of all ages expressing their delight at this fabulous extension to a much loved building.
Thank you to all of you have supported the campaign for
The Art & MakerSpace and made our vision for the future of creativity and creative thinking at St Catherine's a reality. Do get in touch if you too would like to visit and see for yourself what a wonderful addition this space is to our School.
The big push - school's out for summer!
The School is eerily empty but the Art & MakerSpace is a hive of activity. The final electrics are going in, lighting is being placed, carpentry are tidying up and doors are being fitted. In the photography studio a revolving door is being installed connecting the Photography Studio to the Dark Room - a portal to the world of imagination and creation. Much like the whole of the Art & MakerSpace.
A date for your diary - the Opening of the Art & MakerSpace will be on the School's Birthday - Sunday 25th September 2022 our Foundation Day. Join us with the family to tour inside the Art & MakerSpace. You'll be able to see our 'MasterChef' style Culinary Arts studio, enter into the Dark Room and more. There will will be activities for younger children and a birthday tea - complete of course with cake, courtesy of Mr Phillip Friend!
More news and photos to follow in September ....
Things are progressing in the Teaching Kitchen with the arrival of cabinets and storage. Finished in practical but stylish grey, a colour used throughout the space, we are excited to watch the final steps in creating this wonderful new Culinary Arts facility.
Room with a view
With the scaffolding down, there is a good view of the windows which run along the front of The Art & MakerSpace. Food and Nutrition classes in this new space will be a real change from the much-loved but rather outdated room which we know today. "Bake Off" style benches and brightly coloured utensils will make the teaching kitchen a vibrant environment in which girls of all ages will develop a passion for culinary experimentation.
Ready, Steady, Cook!
While there is still a little way to go, the Culinary Arts teaching kitchen is taking shape. Practical yet stylish floor coverings have been put down and it's easy to see where the benches, equipped with sinks, ovens and storage will be located.
Although currently obscured by scaffolding, the full length window at the front of the classroom will ensure that the room is bright and airy - as well as offering a wonderful view across the car park to the Anniversary Halls beyond.
Express the inexpressible ... make sense of the world.
Mrs Hopkins, Art and Photography teacher, studied at Angela Ruskin, Kingston and Roehampton Universities and continues to make her own work alongside her career in Art education.
"In my work I and drawn to materials and play, inspired by a broad range of everyday objects and activities. Sculptors that inspire my practice include Phyllida Barlow, Karla Black and Mona Hatoum."
Why are the Creative Arts important?
The Creative Arts are essential in helping students to express the inexpressible and make sense of the world. I believe that a good Arts education should teach students to be critical of the world around them with an expressive outlet to open this discussion.
If you would like to learn more about our plans to unite the Creative Arts in The Art & MakerSpace do get in touch.
Creative Circles at St Catherine's
This week we were delighted to host an Introduction to Creative Circles with Mr Perry-Adlam. A group of parents, and one grandmother, came together to chat about creativity over a glass of wine and a pottery workshop.
Our thanks to Mr Perry-Adlam for creating an environment in which we spoke about our own creative experiences and those of our daughters - not to mention creating a beautiful and useful bowl!
Appropriately the Art & MakerSpace is looking pretty colourful already! This is the roof space of the Photography Studio - we rather liked the colour contrast, angles and evidence of pretty complex wiring on show.
Textiles x 2!
We know, it isn't a fabulous photo but it is the start of the two huge textiles studios in the Art & MakerSpace! One is for 'dry' work - felting, needlework etc and one for 'wet' work - fabric dyeing etc. Our alumnae Amelia Gibbs (2009) who works at Alexander McQueen in Embroidery Design is just a little jealous of the space the girls will have in which to learn textiles!
Folding doors will separate the two Studios so that they can be used for various lesson formations.
Thank you P&P Glass!
Today saw the installation of the lower windows in the Culinary Arts Studio. P&P Glass will tackled the isosceles triangle windows next!
The view from the Culinary Arts Studio
The girls will be in a wonderfully light airy teaching space as their create their Afternoon Tea, Asian Fusion Dinner and refine their skills on the Sixth Form Culinary Arts course.
This is the view looking out of the Art & MakerSpace towards the Anniversary Halls.
The Culinary Arts Studio
The interior of the Culinary Arts Studio at the Art & MakerSpace in its early stages. The cement flooring is laid and in this perspective you are facing the teacher! Workstations will fill the centre of the room and the kitchen cupboards will line the walls. Imagine Mr Friend at the front at his demonstration desk!
A contemporary art installation?
No, just the installation of the electric and gas cables ready to welcome the Culinary Arts studio workstations!
The Foundation Office team were able to set foot in The Art & MakerSpace @ The John Palmer Centre for the first time last week. We were all impressed by the scale of the new spaces. Each room has natural light and high ceilings - with the obvious exception of the spacious new Dark Room!
In this photo Mrs Pilkington, Association Director, takes in one of the new rooms.
The creative journey can take many directions, all of which are personal to the individual.
As well as teaching at St Catherine's Mrs Maunder has her own Textiles studio where she runs a series of courses for those who are keen to explore their creative side. We asked her ...
"Why are the Creative Arts important?"
"The Creative Arts teach you how to problem solve and to find answers. We are surrounded by a visual environment which has been created by artists, crafts people and designers. It is important for girls to understand the benefits of good design, quality workmanship and to have a set of skills which allow them to express themselves creatively. "
"Who are your creative influences?"
"'Committed to Cloth', a website which helps people to develop their ideas and provides practical teaching and facilities, has been a major influence on my present practice. They have introduced me to new techniques for getting imagery on to cloth. The V & A is my favourite museum in London and a constant source of inspiration "
If you would like to learn more about our plans to unite the Creative Arts in The Art & MakerSpace do get in touch.
News from the site
While diggers and rollers prepare the ground surrounding The Art & MakerSpace, the interior of the build is a hive of activity! The windows will be going in next week along with a mist coating of the walls prior to painting of the walls and steels next week. First fix mechanical and electrical works are also well on their way to be completed in the next week or two, and we hope to knock through from the existing John Palmer Centre next week.
A Place in the Heart of School
Looking across from the Anniversary Halls towards the new Art & MakerSpace and Chinthurst Hill beyond, we are reminded how lucky we are to be located in such a beautiful part of the world. Girls are sure to find lots of creative inspiration from their surroundings both outdoors and within the newly united Creative Arts space.
Uniting Old and New
Those of us who park in the car park at the back of School will have seen huge developments in the Art & MakerSpace build over the past weeks. This image shows the point at which old and new roofs meet, prior to the new roof being finished in matching tile.
We asked our contractors, Ash, about the construction of the building and they told us that the design of the steel frame was analysed using a 3D model created using Masterseries analysis software. We couldn't help but think of girls beginning to learn about Computer Aided Design and how they would love to explore something similar - taking into account the needs of the building, the materials required and how to manage the requirement to bear the weight of the roof on the steel structure. St Cat's architects, engineers and designers of the future - watch this space!
The Sky's The Limit!
The roof has arrived, been put in place and there has been a real shift from seeing the Art & MakerSpace as a building site towards seeing it as "proper" building! Every day brings us a step closer to realising our vision to unite the Creative Arts at St Catherine's.
To find out more about how you can support our vision to Create The Future do get in touch.
Pippa Carte, Development Director - firstname.lastname@example.org
Jane Pink, Capital Campaign Officer - email@example.com
Design Technology and Creativity in Action
Despite the best effort of Storms Eunice and Franklin to delay the build, this week has seen the arrival of lifting equipment on The Art & MakerSpace site. Throughout the week roofing components have been steadily and skilfully lowered into place. We are looking forward to the roof being completed by the end of next Monday, February 28th.
Creativity is for everyone. Creativity should be shared.
Mr Perry-Adlam describes himself as a picture maker. The narrative of imagery has always held an interest for him, as well as the process of looking at a subject over a period of time to understand its form and colour. Having spent the last 20 years as an Arts Educator he is passionate about supporting the development of artistic skills as well as the conceptual thought behind creativity.
We asked him ...
"Why are the Creative Arts important?"
"Creativity is for everyone and is vital for a rounded and balanced education. It's about trying something new and discovering a way to express yourself through experimentation and making. And we must remember that there is a mindful aspect to creativity, a time when students get to be "in the moment" as they are making"
"If you could take the credit for any artwork, what would it be?"
"'If I could take the credit for any art AND songs it would be 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' by The Beatles. Not only are The Beatles still my favourite band (I studied at the same art college as John Lennon) for their sheer creativity, but the album cover by the artist Peter Blake is an iconic work that typifies the British Pop Art movement."
If you would like to learn more about our plans to unite the Creative Arts in The Art & MakerSpace do get in touch.
From the Ground Up
We are excited to see rapid progress on the Art & MakerSpace site! The external walls are on schedule for completion by the end of the month; the roof supports are in; and the roofing panels will arrive and be put in place over Half Term. We are well on our way to creating a vibrant new home for the Creative Arts, in which girls of all ages will benefit from the study and exploration of Design Technology, Art, Ceramics, Textiles, Photography and History of Art.
Red and Blue
This photo by Mr Perry-Adlam, contrasting the red of the steels with the brilliant blue of a cold January morning, shows the scale of the new extension to the John Palmer Centre.
By the Summer the Art & MakerSpace will be nearing completion, with fitting out and refreshing of the existing spaces to follow. We look forward to September 2022 when all the Creative Arts will occupy this wonderful space.
Meet the Team!
With every steel, brick and pipe that gets put in place on The Art & MakerSpace site we are a step closer to being able to unite the Creative Arts in a single space. Our talented team of teaching professionals, all "creatives" in their own right, are looking forward to welcoming girls into the new space in Summer 2022. Each of them is not only passionate about their own subject but also the ability of creativity to inform and enhance learning across the curriculum.
"Studying Creative Arts helps develop our motor skills, language skills, social skills, decision making, risk taking and inventiveness and provides challenges for learners at all levels." - Mrs Morris, Textiles
Get in touch to find out more about The Art & MakerSpace or to share your experiences of how creative thinking informs your own work or life experiences.
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org Tel - 01483 899787
An exciting start to the New Year
With boarders heading back to School from home and abroad, Staff now back for a new term, and daygirls getting ready to return on Tuesday , we have been excited to see the "skeleton" of the new Art & MakerSpace extension, rising from the concrete plinth that was poured at the end of last year.
Our contractors, Ash, and Mr Perry-Adlam, Head of Art, will be keeping us updated with photos. Keep an eye out for build updates here.
Happy Christmas from the Development Team at St Catherines
While we will continue to post build updates over the holidays, may we take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas.
This painting of St Catherine was made by Emily Ward, History of Art teacher. Miss Ward trained at the University of Western Australia and the University of Vermont. Her creative influences include Mannerist portraiture and her drawings and paintings are influenced by this school, exaggerating features and capturing a real sense of escapism and beauty.
Thank you to all of you who have supported our campaign and who have expressed an interest in learning more about the way in which creativity informs all areas of life at St Catherine's. We are truly grateful for the continued support of our philanthropic community.
The steels arrive on site
Having seen girls safely off to celebrate with their families across the world, Christmas has come early for those of us anticipating the next stage of The Art & MakerSpace build with the arrival of two truckloads of steels! They are currently being lifted by crane on to the building site adjacent to the John Palmer Centre. There's a real sense of anticipation in the air as the scale of the new extension is revealed.
Things are beginning to take shape
As you can see in this wonderful panoramic photo taken by Mr Perry-Adlam, December 9th was a day of much activity on the Art & Makerspace site! The size and scope of the extension to the John Palmer Centre is suddenly easier to visualise. We can imagine girls in the two new textiles studios, designing and creating fabulous textiles, fashioning them into pieces of exquisite clothing or decorative items; or exploring their passion for the Culinary Arts in the new dedicated teaching kitchen as they devise imaginative menus, delve in to the science of cookery and grow confident in their ability to surprise and delight their family and friends with their own culinary inventions!
Preparing to pour concrete.
Over the past week, preparations have been in place for the next phase of the build. The retaining structure has been built and pouring will begin next week. On December 17th, as the girls leave for the Christmas holidays, the steels will arrive on site. This is always an exciting moment as the scale of the new extension is revealed.
A new home for creative thinking at St Cat's
We are delighted to be uniting the Creative Arts in the Art & MakerSpace and look forward to the way in which bright ideas will be sparked, developed and shared. We believe that there is a place for creative thinking across the whole curriculum. But what do we mean by creative thinking?
It's the process by which we generate fresh ideas. It requires specific knowledge, skills and attitudes. It involves making connections across topics, concepts, disciplines and methodologies and it leads in turn to new understanding and impact.
Bill Lucas, Fellow of The Royal Society for Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce (RSA), which has been at the forefront of significant social impact for over 260 years has devised a model for creative thinking, which illustrates this truly multi-dimensional concept.
He explains that …
“Being inquisitive brings curious questions and necessary challenges to other people’s assumptions, which in turn requires a certain kind of persistence to dare to be different, along with a sense of discipline constantly to improve and reflect on progress made. And creative thinking is almost always a collaborative activity working across and between disciplines requiring high levels of cooperation.
Creative thinkers develop by being part of a school and community culture in which all of the five aspects of our model are actively encouraged. Within the classroom these five dimensions are most amenable to pedagogies, which encourage idea generation and critical thinking. These include challenging problem-based learning, design thinking approaches, playful experimentation and an explicit attempt to see classrooms as learning communities.”
Find enjoyment and inspiration from your own creative explorations.
The passion that Mr White, Head of Design Technology, has for design is evident in all that he does and enthuses the youngest St Cat's girls as much as it does those going on to study Design Technology at GCSE and A Level. We asked him ...
"Why are the Creative Arts important?"
"The Creative Arts open up a diverse range of opportunities to girls. Everything we use in daily life has been designed to enhance our lives. As designers, we have the opportunity to change the way in which we use and consume products to better our lives in a sustainable way. The impact of design reaches beyond the utilitarian and helps us navigate significant global challenges. "
"What’s your favourite art work or design classic?"
"So many possibilities! Gerrit Rietveld’s ‘Red Blue Chair’ (circa 1918-23); Ferrari 246 Dino (circa 1967-1974); The Chryslar Building in New York."
If you would like to learn more about our plans to unite the Creative Arts in The Art & MakerSpace do get in touch.
Earthworks and beyond
Looking across to the netball courts and beyond, there is a real sense of the scale of the extension to The John Palmer Centre that will become The Art & MakerSpace. Steady progress on the groundworks ensures that the site will be ready for the arrival of the structural steels later this month.
Exploring Photographic Techniques
A new group of girls has been welcomed into the John Palmer Centre to begin their A Level Photography studies. Working with Mrs Hopkins and Mr Perry-Adlam they are already creating beautiful images which explore form and texture through the medium of cyanotypes, a 170 year old photographic printing process.
With your support, we will create a new Photographic Studio and Dark Room, not only increasing the space that photography students will have but also allowing them to take on bigger projects and work co-operatively with girls studying the other Creative Arts - Design Technology, Computer Aided Design, Fine Art, Ceramics, Textiles, and Culinary Arts.
If you would like to find out how you can join our campaign to create the Art & MakerSpace do get in touch.
Laying foundations for her future career
We were delighted to receive this photo from Azeezah, who left St Catherine's last year to head to the United States to study Engineering at Cornell University. Before she left, Azeezah was lucky enough to be offered work experience with a construction company and, while much of her experience took place remotely, she was able to visit one of their local sites.
Having watched the construction of The 6 during her time at St Catherine's, it's tempting to wonder if Azeezah's decision to study engineering was influenced by watching the process. As the construction of The Art & MakerSpace gets underway, we wonder how many more girls will be inspired by both the build and her example?
Groundworks are under way
Trenches are being dug and the way is being prepared for groundworks to begin in earnest. The scale of the extension to the John Palmer Centre is now evident and it's exciting to imagine how the redesign of the current space, and the addition of new Textiles, Culinary Arts and History of Art studios, will bring the Creative Arts together.
From the Summer of 2022, and for generations to come, girls at St Cat's will see the Art & MakerSpace as the creative heart of School, where ideas can cross-pollinate and they can learn from each other as well as from our inspirational Creative Arts teachers.
Blue skies over the building site
As the new Upper 3 cohort arrive for the New Girls' Tea Party, work is progressing on the Art & Makerspace build.
Why we love the Creative Arts!
Our Development Prefects - Jessica, Amy and Emily - were challenged to produce a short film talking to girls of all ages about why they love the Creative Arts. We loved the enthusiasm and joy that they captured and hope that you will too.
Building the Art & MakerSpace
With thanks to our colleagues in the IT Department, we have a good view of the Art & MakerSpace site in readiness for capturing timelapse footage of the build. It is always wonderful, at the end of a project, to look back on the progress that has been made and to recognise the transformation that has taken place.
You can view the timelapse film of The 6 build here.
A Blank Canvas
A week later and a gallery is emerging! Once the plaster dries, the walls will be painted white in readiness for our first exhibitions of 2021-22.
Work has started on the gallery in the John Palmer Centre. Freshly plastered, white walls will create an elegant, neutral space in which to show the work of girls of all ages. The gallery will also allow us the opportunity to share work from visiting artists as well as creating the perfect venue for small meetings, focus groups and other social gatherings.
True to form, the Creative Arts team have ensured that the colour of the construction containers on site for the Art & MakerSpace build resonates with the bluest of skies. Long may it continue!
A Corner of the Studio
This lovely photo from the 1930s, given to us by the daughter of Joie Smith (1937) shows the Art Studio. Joie, who is seated nearest the window, went on to become an artist herself. It is wonderful to imagine that girls who spend time in the Art & Makerspace may go on to careers as creatives themselves.
Remodelling the John Palmer Centre
This 3D image gives a real sense of the layout of studios in the Art &MakerSpace. It also illustrates perfectly how bringing the Creative Arts together in a single space will allow girls to share ideas and creative inspiration across disciplines.
Virtual Studio - The Art of Textiles
This evening we were delighted to send a link to Mrs Maunder's fascinating and engaging Wool Felting Workshop. If you are feeling creative and fancy having a go, do please get in touch to receive a link and a list of equipment.
This fabulous hat was made by Amy, one of our A level students, who also appears in the film.
Contact email@example.com for more information.
Virtual Studio - The Art of Textiles
Reimagining the John Palmer Centre
Not only are our Creative Arts team experts in their own fields but are able to turn their hands to creating architectural models to help us share with you the layout of the new Art & MakerSpace.
A Virtual World Tour
Join us on a virtual world tour with Miss Ward, History of Art teacher, as she explores eight paintings from the Wallace Collection. Watch out for an invitation to register to receive a link to her films.
You can view the other films in our series of Virtual Studios here.
Virtual Studio Live with Mr Friend
It was "Lights, cameras, action!" for Mr Friend in The 6 last Friday as Development, Teaching and Technical teams, together with Sixth Form girls, came together to present our second Virtual Studio "The Art of Hospitality." Mr Friend, ably assisted by Emily, whipped up a batch of delicious potato blinis topped with a beetroot, horseradish and and mackerel. You will soon be able to see a recording of the studio in the Get Creative! section of the Art & Makerspace page.
Keep an eye out for our next Virtual Studio in which Miss Ward, History of Art, will invite you to join her on a virtual world tour through the medium of eight paintings from the Wallace Collection.
Clearing the Site
As more of the site is cleared the scale of the Art & Makerspace becomes more evident. Extending to the line of the existing hedge, there will be plenty of space to bring Textiles and Culinary Arts into the Creative Arts "fold." We are excited to see the results of the creative cross pollination that follows!
Preparing the way
While work will start in earnest in the Summer, things are already getting under way next to the John Palmer Centre. Sheds have been taken down and relocated and an area has been fenced off to securely store plant to be used when work begins.
Virtual Studio with Mr Perry-Adlam
We are delighted to have launched the Art & Makerspace campaign with the first of a series of five Virtual Studios showcasing our hugely talented Creative Arts team. In it Mr Perry-Adlam teaches you the basics of creating a portrait sketch. Working from a photo, and filmed in a series of chapters which allow you to work flexibly alongside the film, Mr P-A will guide you through techniques which will allow you to develop your skills.
We were delighted that so many of you registered to receive a link to the film. You can now see Mr Perry-Adlam's Virtual Studio in the Get Creative! section of the Art & Makerspace page.
Keep an eye out for our next Virtual Studio Live in which Mr Friend will invite you to join him in the Common Room kitchen in The 6 for a cookery demonstration and Q&A session.
Coming Soon ... The Art & Makerspace!
We are delighted to be launching the next phase of our vision to Create the Future with the Art & Makerpace campaign. Work on the reimagining of our Creative Arts hub will start in Summer 2021.
Look out for our series of Virtual Studios and Virtual Studios Live, showcasing the talents of our specialist teachers and giving you the opportunity to explore your own creativity.
Mrs Hawtin, Head of Sixth Form reflects on life in The 6
I am so proud of our Sixth Form provision here at St Cat’s, including our stunning, bespoke facilities such as the 'SHLIB' - the Speech Hall Library and The 6 itself, but I am even prouder of our Sixth Form girls. I can honestly say that I feel so lucky to have a job which enables me to spend time with sixth form students, such talented and warm individuals. It is a real pleasure to be part of the final and, hopefully, most exciting two years of their school experience.
It is my firm belief that, in the Sixth Form at St Catherine’s, we provide an environment that encourages girls to work hard and play hard, that gives them the confidence to aim for, and achieve, high standards, but that also allows them to have a lot of fun! In The 6 you will find an inclusive and happy atmosphere in which each girl is encouraged to develop her individual talents and interests.
By studying their favourite subjects in depth, in intentionally smaller classes, the girls develop new skills and build on existing ones. There is the chance to become involved in a huge range of activities from fundraising to film-making. Friendships are strengthened and new ones are made. There is greater independence in The 6, which also means greater responsibility for effective time management. As girls move into U6, they contribute increasingly to the running of the School, affording them valuable leadership experience whilst acting as role models for the younger girls.
Life in The 6 prepares girls for A Levels, of course, but also equips them with the ability to handle whatever lies ahead, be it university, a gap year, or another of the many opportunities possible for intelligent and capable young women! The Sixth Form tutor team supports girls in subject specialist form groups, helping them to plan their university applications and their future beyond St Catherine’s.
Whether it is the team-building camping trip at the start of L6, the L6 musical that is always a highlight at the end of the school year, the leadership of House events, or a whole range of activities and trips, The 6 is characterised by new challenges, enthusiasm, hard work and a genuine feeling of excitement. When girls leave us at the end of U6, we hope it is with a sense of achievement, purpose, and a strong awareness of their place in the world as young women of extraordinary potential.
Life in The 6 is, of course, about progressing academically and developing intellectually. It is about developing independence and resilience and becoming increasingly confident in your own skin, but it is also about developing firm and lifelong friendships and enjoying being part of a strong, supportive and happy sixth form community. The 6 is a place where ambitions and aspirations will be shaped and encouraged, and where girls will learn as much about themselves as they will about their subjects.
I'm looking forward to the new academic year with the Sixth Form and feel very grateful to be based with the girls in The 6. Thank you to all those parents and alumnae who contributed to our wonderful new community space.
Naming the spaces
Today saw the addition of signage to the rooms in The 6. From bedrooms to bathrooms, staircases to snugs each space is now easy to find with clear signs which also retain a sense of fun!
Boarders will soon be returning after Half Term. Each floor in The 6 has a cosy Snug where girls can spend time relaxing and chatting after school. The kitchen area means that they can share a hot chocolate while watching their favourite TV programmes together.
The 6 opens its doors!
The huge Common Room for day girls and boarders
Rest and relaxation between lessons
Welcome to boarding in The 6
45 modern study bedrooms
A comfortable home from home environment
Modern bathrooms with plenty of hot water!
Plenty of storage space
A Sense of History
While the construction of The 6 has been an exciting journey towards creating a new and vibrant space for Sixth Form girls it has also revealed a part of the School's history which had previously been largely hidden from view.
The Warren has always played an important part in School life as a boarding house, psychology classroom, and home to the Head of Sixth Form Boarding ... amongst other things! With a newly restored frontage, we are delighted to introduce this "old friend" to a new generation of St Cats girls.
The New Face of The 6
In this photo, taken by Mrs Phillips, we can see the "swoosh" at the front of The 6 in its entirety. Echoing those on the Anniversary Halls and the "Aquarium", the building resonates with the other school buildings and looks at home in this corner of the school campus . Mrs Alexander and Mrs Hawtin are preparing to move in to their new offices on either side of the entrance and we look forward to welcoming Sixth Form girls soon.
Heart of the Home
It has been said that the kitchen is the heart of the home and many of our childhood memories call to mind shared moments in a warm, family kitchen. Thanks to the generous support of the PTA the kitchen in The 6 is very nearly complete and ready to welcome its new St Catherine's Sixth Form family. We look forward to girls forging bonds for life and celebrating their friendship in this wonderful new space.
The original hoardings which kept The 6 hidden from view have now been removed and replaced with safety fencing. Inside the building fixtures and fittings are being installed and there's a real sense of seeing a "home from home" being created. The practical needs of both boarders and day girls are being taken into consideration alongside an awareness that The 6 should reflect the vibrant and lively nature of its community.
Meanwhile, outside the building, ground work moves on apace with landscaping, resurfacing and planting all taking place. Not only will the design of The 6 echo the red brick of the original school buildings, but sympathetic planting by our wonderful team of Grounds Staff will ensure that this newly invigorated corner of School will, in time, be every bit as special as the gardens, playing fields and walkways that we know and love.
An Aerial View
For the first time since construction started we are able to show you the whole of The 6 in a single photo. Many thanks to Millie, Assistant Site Manager at Sunninghill Construction, for this fabulous photo which clearly shows the layout of this wonderful building. Work will soon start on the grounds which surround The 6, bringing us ever closer to welcoming Sixth Form boarders and day girls into their new St Cats home.
An early tour
Chair of Governors Peter Martin, Headmistress Alice Phillips and our Site Manager from Sunninghill Paul Laker take a tour around The 6 to check on progress. With the kitchen nearly complete in the Common Room which all Sixth Formers will enjoy and the boarders' bedrooms rapidly taking shape, spirits were buoyant!
Throughout the week contractors have been arriving on site to deliver furniture, fittings and floor coverings to The 6. Today it was bookshelves for the girls' rooms, which before long will be filled with school text books and well-loved novels from the library. We can imagine them taking one of their favourites books from the shelf, curling up on a comfy Common Room sofa with a cup of tea and a slice of toast!
Alex Perry-Adlam, Head of Art and Photography, and his team from the John Palmer Centre make their mark on St Catherine's Day by spray painting this exciting message on the hoarding that encloses The 6. We can't wait to see the ideas that he comes up with for the Art & Makerspace hoarding when it is the turn of the Creative Arts department!
Beautiful and Useful
Each panel of six windows is currently being finished in zinc cladding. In addition to being beautiful, the protective zinc exterior provides long lasting protection for years to come. Carefully designed zinc roofs and cladding are expected to last over 60 years, and will see several generations of St Cat's girls through their time in The 6.
While the interior of The 6 is bustling with activity, things outside are getting ever closer to completion. The scale of equipment seems to have decreased and cherry pickers are back on site to finish off the distinctive cladding. Just those last few scaffolding towers to come down before we can admire the entrance properly.
The Common Room Kitchen
It's always exciting to be kitting out a new kitchen and the Common Room kitchen in The 6 is no exception! We can already imagine how much the girls will enjoy using this space. Huge thanks to Senior School PTA for making it possible for us to realise our dreams of a communal space where Sixth Form girls can gather for tea and toast while they chat about their day.
Revealing the face of The 6
The scaffolding is very nearly down and the entrance to The 6 is almost fully revealed. The builders will use cherry-pickers to clad the remaining boxed sections in zinc. The "swoosh" at the entrance, a feature of the Anniversary Halls and Aquarium, is visible as are the windows of the offices of the Head of Sixth Form and Head of Sixth Form Boarding. It's only a matter of days now until we can see the front aspect of The 6 and imagine girls streaming in to the Common Room ... a warm cup of tea would be most welcome on a day like today!
A hush falls over the site today as contractors join School in a two minute silence ... a poignant symbol of our shared gratitude.
As more and more scaffolding comes down around the building we are eagerly anticipating the opening of The 6 in the Spring of 2021.
The spacious Common Room is set to become a vibrant meeting place for both day girls and boarders. Here they'll be able to spend time together chatting about their day, meeting friends to go off to lessons or curled up with a good book and a mug of tea ... a slice of university style life and a taste of things to come!
A home from home
The light in this bedroom is going to make it a fabulous place for girls to live and study. Imagine being one of the first to move in in the Spring!
Throughout our campaign to build The 6 we have invited you to have your support recognised in a room. Of the 44 double rooms available, 31 have now been reserved. If you would like to consider supporting The 6 do visit our Name A Room page where you can learn more.
This is Millie, Assistant Site Manager for The 6 build. What better example could there be to the young women of St Catherine's than to see her taking the lead on site? We are delighted that she is part of the team, providing an example to the girls ... and encouraging them to expand their horizons when thinking of future careers. Thank you, Millie.
Rooms with views
Mirroring the design of The Anniversary Halls and The Speech Hall Library, the windows in The 6 are now ready to be finished in zinc. The combination of red brick and silver-grey metal unites the design of this wonderful new modern building with the traditional red brick buildings which are a feature of St Catherine's. We can't wait to see it when the scaffolding comes down!
Having been lucky enough to have a tour of The 6 today, we were amazed by the complexity of the ducting and pipe work. Eventually, when it's all safely tucked away, it will provide girls with piping hot water for showers, clean air in their rooms and access to well-located power points for their study areas ... not to mention cups of tea and fresh toast in the Common Room!
The start of a swoosh!
With every day that passes we get closer to seeing the entrance to The 6 as it will appear to girls when we open in the Spring. The "swoosh" above the entrance is now taking shape, a feature of St Catherine's architecture which unites The 6 with the Anniversary Halls and the "Aquarium."
Mrs Phillips heading in to The 6 for a tour
Sunninghill builders take a team on a tour of The 6 to show progress and a first glimpse of the Common Room, twin study bedrooms and the all important bathrooms!
The shape of the bedrooms to come
Floor to ceiling windows are in place in each study bedroom for maximum natural light.
Cranes and diggers can only do so much!
Hard labour and elbow grease on site this morning.
Work planned for the first full week of September is further partitioning, plastering, carpentry and mechanical and electric fixes.
More zinc will go on the roof. Whilst zinc is UV-resistant our interest is more in its water-resistant properties - in readiness for the Autumnal weather!
Partitions, Plaster and Zinc
The team have been busy in the last week of August. Inside - the suspended floors are in place, rooms have been partitioned, plaster has been applied and even a little decoration has begun! The lift shaft steels have also been worked upon. And outside zinc has been added to the roof. The girls on return to School this week are going to take a sharp intake of breath when they see The 6.
Rapid progress on The 6
The new Millennium Building staircase
As part of the build of The 6, a new external staircase has been added on the end of the Millennium Building. This will dramatically improve the flow of girls as they move to and from their lessons and making it speedier to get to those biscuits at break! We have also revamped our two language labs at top of the Millennium Building - an added benefit for all girls.
The Warren is revealed
Previously home to Sixth Form Housemistress Mrs Alexander, the Warren will now house both Mrs Alexander and her family and the Foundation Office. You will have seen the front of the house from the A281. Once hidden by the Unit and the Barbara Platt building, this distinctive building is now revealed and will be passed daily by the girls on the way to The 6. It will also welcome our alumnae and our girls when they visit to see the School archives.
Tea and toast!
A first view of the girls' Common Room. A vast social space where they can relax, chat, cook and just 'be'. Day girls and boarders alike will enjoy the Common Room during the week and will soon have a fabulous social space to accompany their study space in the Speech Hall Library.
The roof space!
As the build progresses and roof is increasingly watertight. Interior work as begun in the roof space.
An active build site once again
We are delighted to have the team back at work and to see activity and progress day by day. With careful social distancing measures the team are working externally and internally, as swiftly as they are able, to create The 6 for all our Sixth Formers.
The St Cat's 'red brick' mirrored in The 6
With renewed energy and vigour, our builders Sunningdale have been making great strides and the brickwork on the sides of The 6 is rapidly encasing the building. The 'red brick' reminiscent of School Block, Main School and the Chapel is purposeful - uniting all the School buildings on our campus.
The builders are back on site!
Good news, Sunningdale our builders are back and working hard to make progress on The 6. The roof is being finished and next steps are the external brickwork and the internal electrics.
March 2020 - sadly, we've had to stop work
As we all are impacted by the global health crisis presented by Coronavirus, so too is The 6. Our builders are unable to work and be safe so the site has been closed down. We'll be up and running again as soon as we are able.
Create the Future Campaign Update
If you'd like to find out more about our approach to the Campaign at the current time please go to the Development section of the website or contact Director of Marketing and Development, firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.
The 6 stands waiting
The roof struts are on, the next stage is to make the roof watertight. We hope that the builders may be able to start again at the end of May. Watch this space ....
As the girls depart, the work on The 6 keeps going
The builders are make steady progress with the brickwork on the ground floor and the new Millennium Building staircase is nearing its final stages as the scaffolding comes down.
A new team arrives on site.
Goodbye, stormy weather ... and hello bricklayers! Piles of bricks around the building are beginning to transform the look of The 6. Within only a short while of this photo being taken, two courses of bricks were in place.
'Where's the Wheel?'
The St Cat's Association badge - given to all alumna - has been buried under the concrete on the 2nd floor. Prep and Senior girls will be given a chance to place their 'X' to mark the spot they think is closest to the wheel. They'll be a prize for the closest X!
The 2nd floor concrete base is secured
Where will the Association badge be found? See our 'Where's Wally?' style competition idea for 'Where's the Wheel' below!
The concrete arrives and work begins
Let us go on .... rain doesn't stop play on The 6!
It's a big day today - the 6th of March - liquid concrete will be poured onto the top floor to set the concrete slabs in place. This pouring process will take from 11am to about 7pm. This is a job that can't stop and start!
In the spirit of the Senior School SpyRing game and Prep School delight in 'Where's Wally?', we've decided to conceal an Association badge within the concrete floor. Our builders have confirmed no stability issues will arise from our 'Where's the Wheel?' challenge! We'll provide a grid of the top floor and let the girls guess where it might be. Our Architect and alumna Helen Whateley (year of 2006) will draw the prize at the end of term!
A bird's eye view on Wednesday 26th February
Our builders kindly agreed to take a few shots from the top of the crane. Here you can see the scale of The 6, the laid concrete floors and the insulation going in on the ground floor. To the right is the A281 and on the other side of the road is the Bramley Grange.
The front entrance
The cranes are putting in the 2nd floor
The concrete slabs are going down and on Friday the liquid concrete will be poured securing the 1st and 2nd floor. Next the insulation cladding will be fitted and then the brick work begins.
A close up look at The 6
While the girls are away on half term the work continues at full pace.
The School Archive has a new home
From next week The Foundation Office and the School Archive will have a new home in The Warren. To the right of the photo you will see the new two storey bay window, temporarily clad in purple. This marks the entrance to our new home.
We are excited to be able to house our extensive archive in a place where we will be able to invite alumnae, friends of the school, teachers and girls to explore it and where our ever patient and diligent archivists, Richard and Rosemary Christophers, will be able to continue their work cataloguing the wealth of wonderful items which tell the story of St Catherine's.
As the seasons begin to change our colleagues in the Estates Department have captured this wonderful photo of the site.
By the time Spring starts on March 20th, The 6 will be well on its way to becoming the creative, collaborative hub of Sixth Form life. You can find out more about this exciting new collegiate space here.
The first floor is in!
The floor planks have been laid and the concrete screed has set on the first floor of The 6. On this floor the girls will enjoy comfortable bedrooms, bright modern bathrooms and a cosy snug for relaxing at the weekend.
Less exciting perhaps but equally necessary, the builders have been applying the grouting to the steel frame!
Next week we hope to see some second floor planks being laid and the start of some brickwork. We are making good progress and there will be no R&R for the builders over the Half Term - they'll be busy on site.
Back to school
Back to school for girls today as well as for our contractors who are in full swing on the building site.
The skeleton of The 6 is now clearly visible and we can see how the new building will relate to those surrounding it. It's already possible to imagine Sixth Form girls making their way from classes to lacrosse field, music lessons to supper and then back to The 6 Common Room to chat about their day with their housemates.
Keep checking back for more updates as The 6 takes shape and our vision to Create the Future becomes reality.
Happy Christmas from The 6 site
We hope that you have had a peaceful Christmas and send you all good wishes for the New Year.
We look forward to sharing more photos from the building site with you as the steel frame is completed and the next exciting phase begins.
Rain will not stop play!
As rain clouds loom over The Warren the steels continue to rise. We are in awe of the construction team who have made such incredible progress this week despite the challenging weather conditions.
School is out and The 6 is taking shape.
Today, December 13th, things have begun to move very quickly! With the girls having left for the Christmas holidays, construction of the steel frame is in full swing.
As dusk begins to fall we can see old and new buildings next to each other and a new chapter in the story of St Catherine's begins to unfold.
Remember to check this page next week for a festive update from the building site!
Advent has begun and the sun is shining
The 3rd of December brought sunshine to the site as the builders create the frame for the building and lay the steel mesh that will reinforce the concrete floor which comes next!
Pop back on Friday and we'll show you a picture of the steel frame as it begins to rise.
On St Catherine's Day
It takes more than a little rain and grey clouds to dampen spirits on St Catherine's Day. Ashcombe House triumphed, Cattern cakes have been consumed and the Gala Concert tune-ups will begin shortly. The 6 build has moved on too. Look closely and you'll see the scaffolding on the Warren in readiness for the bay frontage to match the crenellated bay facing the A281.
Pipes and Cables
With the weather improved and the foundations settling, we have a clear view across the site to The Warren and Bramley Grange beyond.
Cabling has now been laid and pipework for drainage has gone in. The Millenium block staircase is taking shape and we are beginning to be able to imagine the size and shape of The 6.
Excitingly, trees will be being planted along the boundary wall this week and we look forward to sharing photos of this with you in our next update!
The foundations are laid
The rain has blurred our timelapse camera a little but in readiness for the steel frame you can now see the paths of the foundations being laid. Protruding from the ground are the steel rods in readiness for the steel frame. The large hole on the left hand side is for the lift shaft.
Diggers clear the way
All sorts of new perspectives are opening up as the build continues. We will post one a week - we hope by January to see the steels up which will transform the site.
Two Become One
The earth mounds are reducing in size in preparation for half term works.
Keep checking back - the next step is the steel frame of the building. Alumna, Helen Whateley working on the project at IID Architects tells us it is at this point that we will really begins to really see the shape and scale of The 6.
Shorts in October!
It's hot work for the building team and shorts are being modelled as the groundworks are completed. See picture to the right!
The tarmac driveway can be seen encroaching further into the site and the earth mounds and rubble will soon be cleared.
Next steps are fencing around the exterior of the site and then tree planting. We are working flat out to ensure the trees can be planted whilst the weather, whilst inclement, isn't freezing!
Thank you to all our parents and alumnae who have vision and can 'see' The 6. Gifts to the Campaign have been growing and many parents have chosen to have a room 'named' in recognition of their support. If you'd like to be a part of the project, find out more here.
Making way for the builders
The size of the plot becomes clearer from this angle as the roadway is created in readiness for the builders.
There is now a clear view through from The Street, across the building site ... to the petrol station beyond!
There's a real sense of space now and a feeling of growing excitement as the start date for the new build gets closer and closer.
Just the last bit to go!
The demolition crew are nearly there. The Warren has been exposed and inside the internal works are already underway.
The digger is poised to demolish the last bit of the Unit. Skips are filled ready to head to the recycling units and there is a little scratching of heads over an underground cable that appeared unexpectedly!
The girls now back in School have a safe path between the Anniversary Halls and Millennium Building which is patrolled by DBS checked security staff. The next step is creation of a roadway for the builders. And then The 6 begins!
In the 5.9 (a moniker coined by the girls!) temporary accommodation the new bedroom furniture is being tried and tested!
More of the Warren revealed
A Glimpse of The Warren
As buildings start to be demolished there's a glimpse of The Warren between the buildings.
Demolition is on track!
The diggers and the skilled building team are working their magic. The Barbara Platt building and the Unit have nearly disappeared and we can see glimpses of the Warren behind.
As the old rooms disappear we come one step closer to envisaging the new boarding bedrooms named after inspirational women such as J K Rowling, Dr Marie Stopes, Dame Millicent Fawcett and Malala Yousafzai rooms.
If you'd like to be part of the community of support for The 6 and consider donating to 'name' a room, you can find out more here. You really can 'Create the Future' - who knows what our young women who'll experience The 6 will become.
The garden disappears
In readiness for the demolition the pond and statue disappear. Not long now ....
The site gets clearer by the day ...
The site is being cleared
Bit by bit .... under clear blue skies ...
The diggers have arrived and been busy.
A West Block Home Economics and RE Room are no more!
Meanwhile behind the camera, IT cables and fire alarm cables are being laid to connect to the Millennium Block, the Warren and The 6.
The 6 build begins
11th July end of term .... 16th July the demolition crew move in!
The Unit and Barbara Platt buildings have served their time, the diggers arrive on the 16th July to begin the journey to realise The 6 - our exciting modern new boarding accommodation and social space for day girls and boarders alike.
Demolition will take 8 weeks, there is a big team and there will be lots of activity - keep popping back to see pictures of progress.
If you'd like to find out more about what The 6 will offer our Sixth Form girls click here.
If you'd like to support The 6 and be recognised in a room named after an influential woman, click here.
Leavers make their mark on 'Muck Up Day' 2019
Sixth Formers celebrate their last ever day of School!
Sixth Formers got the chance to 'decorate' their former home - The Unit and the Barbara Platt building. With spray cans at the ready they made their mark!