Wednesday, 12 March 2014

St. Michael's Catholic Secondary School, Cornwall has a new building. Free School Academies. George Eustice MP. Neil Anderson. Joyce Sanderson. Fr Chris Findlay-Wilson.

Conservative MP for Camborne and Redruth George Eustice 
with school governor and former headmistress Joyce Sanderson

School Principal Neil Anderson with pupils in the new hall

The new building at  St Michael's 

MP George Eustice officially opened a new state-of-the-art building at St Michael’s Catholic Secondary School, Camborne on Friday 7 March.  The £3.15 million block was partly funded by central government with £2.3 million. 

The building design and construction were done by BAM Construction working with Turner Townsend, including  Cornish style stained glass windows in the hall, yellow floors, light and airy physics, biology and chemistry classrooms, computer suites, a music room,  canteen and delightful cloakrooms. There are currently 120 pupils and the new building will enable the school to take 300 pupils.

St John the Baptist Catholic church, Trevu Road, Camborne

Mass to celebrate the opening was said by Fr Chris Findlay-Wilson in St John the Baptist Catholic church practically opposite, with a party afterwards in the new building. 

Delightful cloakroom in the new block

 Art Room with suspended kites

 Science Classroom

St Michael's Catholic Secondary School was originally St Michael's Small School in Truro and moved to the former Camborne Girls Grammar School in September 2012 with 65 pupils.  The Free School initiative launched by the new Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition in May 2010 gave the school the opportunity it needed to expand, apply for funding and Free School status, at a cost to the Department for Education of £700,000.  It is the only Catholic free school academy in England and Wales, fully funded by the state. 

Nancy du Merle, one of the 'Angels'

The school is also supported by the PTA, Friends of St Michael’s, Religious Daughters of the Cross, the Diocese of Plymouth and over 300 “Angels” who contribute £5 per month or more towards the costs of transporting pupils from as far away as Penzance and Wadebridge, in some cases a round trip of 70 miles.  The school is convenient for pupils coming by train, as it is opposite the railway station.  Unlike other schools in Cornwall, St. Michael's Catholic Secondary School is funded by the taxpayer but independent of Cornwall Council.  It has complete freedom over teaching hours and pay, curriculum and budget.  

St Michael's Catholic Secondary School

The school is Catholic but is open to everyone.  Boys wear ties in a Cornish tartan and the girls a matching kilt. The curriculum for Years 10-11 Key stage 4 follows the English Baccalaureate with English Language and Literature, Maths, Science, RE, History, Geography, French, Art and Music and Drama, DT Product design and PE GCSE.  A daily breakfast club from 8 am and homework as well as a wide choice of extra-curricular activities is available, including the Duke of Edinburgh awards, filming, table tennis, Spanish and Latin until 5pm. Pupils are also able to climb, sail and follow other water sports at weekends. School trips have been to Paris and Rome, with more planned.

Principal Neil Anderson has been pioneering the 'Explorative Quest' project in St Michael's,  funded by AstraZeneca, the leading pharmaceutical company,  to encourage children in data logging using the latest high-tech instruments.

Principal Neil Anderson
Trevu Road
TR14 7AD
Tel: 01209 718997