During the summer break, although staff and students were not here, the corridors and classrooms at BMS were buzzing with energy of a different kind. Dedicated support staff worked solidly for 50 days in collaboration with 10 contractors to redecorate and refurnish 40 classrooms, offices, and common rooms, marking the beginning of an exciting programme of renovations.
The temporary marquees around campus are gone, replaced with upgraded common rooms which have been fitted out with stylish new seating and tables. An astounding 50 tonnes of waste were sent to recycling facilities, leaving the building tidy and ready for the year ahead.
The most impressive aspect of the refurbishment plan is the strides made in improving technology in teaching spaces. All classrooms in the Languages, Classics, Humanities and Mathematics faculties have been outfitted with state-of-the-art SMART Boards, desktop monitors equipped with cameras and microphones, and a tabletop visualiser which can project images of items underneath it onto the screen.
The team at BMS took the challenges of the pandemic as an opportunity to ‘future-proof’ the School using technological advancements to support remote learning. 21,000 metres of sturdy data cables were fitted throughout the ceilings and walls, and extra plug sockets have been installed.
The new wealth of resources available in these classrooms allows access to techniques for many different teaching and learning styles which complement both face-to-face and online education. Students can use their devices to interact with SMART Boards in real time, visualisers can display smaller documents on the big screen, and the School’s adoption of Microsoft Teams creates a virtual channel for classes to exist within.
Headmaster, Alex Tate, said: “We are optimistic that life here at BMS can and will return to some form of normality, but we are prepared to switch to online learning once again if we need to.”
“Although education continued online for BMS students during the periods of lockdown, investment in improving how we could deliver a better experience for both staff and students was considered to be essential. I am delighted with the results.”