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Girls's school lessons move to pub

PUBLISHED: 14:07 07 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:35 07 September 2010

The Gloucester Arms

The Gloucester Arms

WHILE most schools are battling to keep pupils out of the pub, staff from a girls school in Marylebone are poised to teach lessons from their local. Francis Holland School, in Ivor Place, has called time on traditional teaching methods and will this week

WHILE most schools are battling to keep pupils out of the pub, staff from a girls' school in Marylebone are poised to teach lessons from their local.

Francis Holland School, in Ivor Place, has called time on traditional teaching methods and will this week extend into its new wing - formerly the Gloucester Arms.

The former pub, which dates back to around 1880, was purchased by the school in 2005 to create a much-needed extension to their already cramped building.

It will now provide an extra 5,000 square feet of space, which will be used for additional classrooms, a fourth art studio and a performance area for music and drama.

As a listed building, the internal layout of the pub has been kept. And even the original sign still hangs over the school's own coat of arms to celebrate the unlikely union.

"I am delighted that the governors have enabled the school to ac-quire this beautiful, historic building which will provide outstanding, new facilities for the school," said headteacher Vivienne Durham.

"There is no planned increase in pupil numbers so we will all be able to enjoy the benefits of our greatly expanded school."

The school was founded in 1878 by the Rev Canon Francis Holland, and set up to promote learning and the Christian faith. Its motto reads "that our daughters may be as the polished corners of the temple."

The Gloucester Arms dates back to 1880, but it is thought the building has been there since 1820. Great care has been taken by the school's architect, Robert Johnson, to retain the historical pub's original signage, glass and features.

The £12,900-a-year private school said the reason for the unusual move comes down to class sizes, disabled access and the subject range.

Daniella Krepska, 17, from Hampstead, who is in the sixth form at the school, said: "Our new art studio is amazingly light and airy, it's difficult to imagine it used to be an old pub."

Fellow sixth former Aty Reando, 17, from St John's Wood, said: "It's fantastic the way the original features of the pub, like the old beams, mix so well with the huge modern windows."

The new building is due to have an official opening by the Duke of Gloucester in the spring.


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