DeCamped: The Life Of A Deputy Headteacher

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Quintin Kynaston demolition construction building site


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Do you understand what is involved when an entire school community moves location?

Back in December 2014, I wrote De-Camp; a blog about packing up an entire school and moving into a 100% new build. The old building was built in 1956 and I wrote about Quintin Kynaston’s 150-year history here. In the blog, I shared many photographs about the logistics of moving a school to a new building and the years of planning (and the countless individuals needed) behind the scenes to make this happen. The most notable photographs I captured in that week are below. You can click to expand the images.


This is a blog about moving into a brand-new school building. We are now decamped and settled.

Regardless of what I write here, I will never really fully be able to describe – or do it justice – what all our staff have achieved in moving school buildings; and what has been a tough academic year it has been. For example, if you take a moment to think about everything stored in your classroom, without stating the obvious, imagine every single item being dismantled from that room and moved to a new location … and then unpacking everything within one week before the students arrive?

Now, times this task 100 classrooms over in scale; including offices, cupboards and common spaces …

This is what our teachers and support staff achieved 7 months ago. Think about the things that we all take for granted, the things that happen behind the scenes too, such as all the IT systems, the telephone system, CCTV and premises equipment such as keys, tools, cabinets, or displays, numbered doors, tables and chairs. The list is endless. Every single detail required some strategic thinking. There were of course some logistical planning that was missed, such as the actual practical labour of items that became more and more obvious as the rest of the school was dismantled. For example, moving staff pigeon holes from the old staff room, as well as essential well being items: fridges, kettles, plants, our fish-tank and our goats, chickens and ducks! This was the last image I took of me in the famous old building; the last day before the Christmas break 2014.

Now that we are on the other side, I would like to let more photographs do the talking. The following images are from the construction company involved in the demolition of the old building, from January – June 2015. Before I share these images, allow me to remind you of our school site which sits on a prime location spot in North London. Our closest landmarks are The Beatles pelican crossing and Regents Park. Click to expand the images.

From Old to New:

Let’s start with an image from the new building over towards the new building. This photo was taken in February/March 2015. In front of the North building (the structure in centre/background), you can see demolition of the old design technology blocks have been flattened. To the right, you can see the construction porta-cabins, on-site near the old entrance to the school. The rooftops that you can see in the foreground (bottom of the image) are the old PE gymnasiums awaiting demolition. (A bats’ nest and planning permission almost delayed this phase.)

Quintin Kynaston demolition construction building site

These photos were taken in February/March 2015. Here is an image from inside the sports hall.

Quintin Kynaston demolition construction building site

And other images from the premises. You will see photographs from inside the school hall, plus images from inside and outside the school office. Click to expand.


These photos were taken in April/May 2015 and show the construction team taking the old building to the ground.

Quintin Kynaston demolition construction building site

Quintin Kynaston demolition construction building site

Below is a short set of images, showing the demolition of the old building.

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Here is an image showing the construction team well into the landscaping stage of the process. For weeks, the machinery were seen and heard to be drilling and smashing boulders into rubble, and then from rubble into small rocks. Small mountains appeared and soon enough, the rocks were shipped off in a small army of trucks! We are expecting a patch of grass, a seating area with outdoor table-tennis tables; plus 3 small astro-turf pitches, fully floodlit and FA compliant 4th generation. They will be ideal for 7 versus 7 football or times-two, 5 versus 5. Available for lettings of course; as part of our planning rights, as well as a full size indoor basketball court, new gym (coming soon) & fully fitted dance studio.

Quintin Kynaston demolition construction building site

Below are a set of images, showing the landscaping area where the old building used to sit.

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New Photos:

Here are a number of photographs I have captured in the new building during the past 7 months. The images range from walking around on leadership duty, images from our staff training sessions, to general photographs I have taken on my walk around school with staff, students and visitors. Here is an image looking back at the old school building. Demolition of the North tower started in March 2015.

Quintin Kynaston demolition construction building site

And finally, a range of images I’ve taken since being on the premises.

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This kind of facility will only allow our students to achieve in our community and beyond. It is also a fantastic resource for our staff and it is a pleasure to work here. We have already hosted the Greatest CPD Ever, as well as a recent IRIS community event. We are keen to bring more of the education community into our building. If you are passing by Finchley Road, Lords cricket ground, visiting London Zoo, or travelling on the Jubilee (tube) line and passing St. John’s Wood or Swiss Cottage, do contact me and let me know. I would be delighted to show you around.



4 thoughts on “DeCamped: The Life Of A Deputy Headteacher

  1. Very interesting – having. Just joined a school that has moved into a new building this week, I recognise an awful lot of what you say – once in a lifetime opportunity – and perhaps unusually for a new member of staff I am no different to anyone else in not hat I don’t know where anything is!

  2. My poor old school I’m an X QK pupil. And just got the shock of my life that you have demolition my old school big Big shame. So sad now in my 50 that’s how long a go it was. That school did so much for me in my personal life as I was in Foster care and got a hard time. Now my memorys of my school as gone as well

    1. I agree with Michael. I was there in January. All that’s left is the outline of the main playground. I attended the school in the 1970s and the number of metalwork and woodwork workshops was in hindsight astonishing. That combined with all the various labs in the other wind made it quite a school.

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