Former headteacher opens £1m science block at Wollaston School

Michael Browne, left, opens the science suite named in his honour with his successor, Joe Cowell, right
Michael Browne, left, opens the science suite named in his honour with his successor, Joe Cowell, right

A school has opened a £1m science suite and named it after a former headteacher.

Wollaston School’s former headteacher Michael Browne formally opened the new facility, which has been called the MB Science Suite in his honour.

The school’s governors have invested just over £1 million on the complete refurbishment of the school’s science laboratories and have dedicated the new facility to to Mr Browne in recognition of the huge commitment he made to the school during his 20-year tenure.

The virtually re-built facility houses seven multi-purpose, 31-seat teaching laboratories, two preparation laboratories for technicians, a staff room, office and new toilets.

As a bonus, due to the structure and layout of the original building, the PE students also got new changing rooms.

The current assistant head of science, Janice Lockwood, said: “While teaching practical science in temporary classrooms for six months has been a real challenge, the final outcome is outstanding – staff and students are absolutely delighted.

“It does not bear thinking about our previous labs, most of which dated back to the 1960s, we are so pleased now and we’re all looking forward to a new era in science at Wollaston.”

The original 1960s building had single glazing and wooden walls and have been replaced with a contemporary Trespa cladded, heavily insulated and double glazed envelope.

All the rooms have individually controlled heating and cooling, automatic lighting, state-of-the-art sound and vision systems, computer networking and plenty of gas, water and electrical sockets for science experiments.

The project was started by governors while Mr Browne was still the headteacher, but he was unable to see its completion as he retired in August last year.

Wollaston School has 1,385 pupils aged from 11 to 18 years old. It was rated good by Ofsted inspectors after their last visit. They also praised the school’s governors for their careful control of the school’s finances, which allowed the new science block to be built.

Mr Browne was replaced by Joe Cowell in September last year.