In the summer of 2012, work will begin on the next new development at King Edward’s School after the completion of the Sir Paul and Lady Ruddock Performing Arts Centre. The £5m project comprises a new Modern Language Department, extension and renewal of the science laboratories and a new Sixth Form Centre.
A former pupil of KES has made a £2.5m anonymous donation towards the new development. The donor, said: “I am delighted to be able to make this gift to my old school to ensure that the school stays amongst the very best in the teaching of languages. Languages were important to me when I studied at the school and have remained important to me throughout my career.”
The Chief Master, John Claughton, said, “This is a gift of great scale and significance. It will enable us to create a state-of-the-art Modern Language Department. The teaching of Modern Languages is very important to this school, at a time when there are concerns about language teaching in this country. The school has been consistently successful in getting boys into the best universities to read languages and I can’t see that changing.”
Every boy at King Edward’s takes at least one modern language to IGCSE and, since the introduction of the International Baccalaureate in September 2010, every boy in the Sixth Form also studies at least one language. Languages studied at King Edward’s include French, Spanish, German and Italian – as well as Latin and Ancient Greek.
This project forms part of a £25m building programme to improve the facilities for teaching, music, drama and sport within the school. The first phase of the programme was completed in April 2012 with the opening of the £11m Paul and Jill Ruddock Performing Arts Centre, a shared facility with King Edward VI High School for Girls. This summer the school will also lay down a new hockey astro pitch to respond to the growing popularity and success of the game. In addition, there are well-developed plans for the final phase, which will involve the building of a new sports hall and swimming pool.
This gift also means that the school has now raised over £12m from former pupils of the school and other donors in recent years. Of that total, over £3m has been contributed by alumni for the provision of Assisted Places, more than doubling the number of places the school has been able to offer in the last three years.