Watch: Oathall Community block opening with Sir Paul Nurse

A Lindfield school had a special visitor to open its newly refurbished teaching block.

Oathall Community College welcomed Nobel Prize winner and chief executive of the Francis Crick Institute Sir Paul Nurse, on Friday (November 9) to cut the ribbon to the newly refurbished maths and science facilities.

Sir Paul Nurse to open newly refurbished Maths and Science faculty.

Sir Paul Nurse to open newly refurbished Maths and Science faculty.

While cutting the ribbon to the new facilities, Sir Paul said: “It really is looking to the future; the future of your children but also the future of your children’s children in promoting an interest in maths and science.”

As well as formally opening the building, Sir Paul hosted a question and answer session with Oathall students in which they were able to ask Sir Paul about his career in science and put questions to him on scientific topics.

Oathall’s head teacher, Edward Rodriguez, said: “I am extremely pleased to welcome Sir Paul Nurse to Oathall to formally open our newest facility.

“From the start of this project, we have been driven to create classrooms and laboratories and provide resources that will inspire our students to further develop a passion for maths and science. “

In July 2017, the school began an ambitious project to completely refurbish the science and maths block.

The newly refurbished building has taken a year to rebuild. In that time students were relocated to other parts of the school and to temporary accommodation.

A spokesman for the school said the old building was then stripped back to leave just the concrete floors, steel frame and lower brickwork and all of the internal walls were removed.

The design team worked with the school’s leadership team to reconfigure the internal layout to create bright and modern, spacious science laboratories, maths classrooms and an IT suite as well as science prep rooms, the other rooms it needed.

Mr Rodriguez added: “We want our students to experience these subjects through the skill and enthusiasm of our teaching staff, combined with cutting-edge technology and a truly inspiring learning environment.

“This effort has been encouraged by many different individuals and organisations. Notably, WSCC, who financially backed and supported the project and the crowdfunding campaign run by the PTA which raised over £30,000 to fund additional exciting teaching resource.”

In June 2018, Oathall’s PTA began a fundraising campaign to raise £25,000 to buy resources to go into the newly refurbished building.

With the help of a parent who had extensive experience of crowdfunding, the PTA set up its campaign.

It said it wanted to allow people to simply make a donation as well as enticing people to make larger donations with rewards.