3rd July 2019

The St Laurence School Science Block fund

In November 2018 St Laurence School launched an appeal to raise funds for their new science block. The building itself is being funded from capital funding made available as a result of ‘section 106’ funds levied from the building developments in the town.

However, a science block needs equipment, which is why the school is reaching out to local businesses, organisations and individuals for any help that can be provided.

At their launch event, Carole Mundell, Professor of Extragalactic Astronomy and Head of the Department of Physics at the University of Bath and Chief Scientific Adviser at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office spoke as well as ex-alumni Hugh Alabaster, Graduate Programme Coordinator, Programme Support Group, Science and Technology Facilities Council, Swindon about the importance of students having access to high quality science lessons.

In attendance were Councillors from the Town Council who took the plight back to Full Council, and agreed to fund £10k towards the project, which will benefit generations of children to come.

Leader of the Council, Dom Newton said upon the Town Council’s decision to fund the project:

“Science is hugely important – in economic and employment terms, as well as in meeting the challenge of climate change. As a Town Council, we do not normally have the opportunity or ability to support education in our town; however, this campaign clearly supports the future of the town and its young people. In helping to inspire the next generations of scientists, the investment now will be well worth it.”

The current science block consists of a modest pre-fab building and the change will see a much larger dedicated block adjoined to the main school building. Work to prepare the ground has already commenced after a turf turning ceremony in March 2019 attended by the then Mayor Cllr Alex Kay (pictured below).

The building itself has been designed by E-TEN Architects and promises to be a vast improvement consisting of 3 x science laboratories, 1 x classroom, 1 prep room and a light and airy atrium and is due to be completed by January 2020.

Fergus Stewart, the Headteacher of St Laurence said:

“Once completed, this state-of-the-art science facility will have a significant impact on students and staff at St Laurence School. It will create an optimal environment for teaching and learning and generate enthusiasm in our students for STEM-related subjects.”

With a target of £60k, there’s quite a way to go, but even small donations can make a difference.  Amongst larger donations has been one from Steve Vick International who having given in excess of £10k will get to name a classroom.  If an even larger donation comes in,  a donator could be invited to name the building.

With this in mind, having made the required donation to name a classroom, the Town Council is launching a community competition to suggest a name with the theme of ‘Ecology’ in recognition of the Climate Emergency we have declared.

If you would like to make a suggestion, fill out the form at the bottom of this page.  The winning name will be selected by Full Council later this year.

If you would like to find out more about donating as an organisation, contact Lorna Lumb HERE, or smaller and individual donations can be made HERE which will help the school to fund items such as those pictured below.