Contractor City Axis has successfully completed the refurbishment of the former Lambeth Baths in Lambeth Walk in readiness for the first cohort of 60 students at King’s College London Mathematics School to arrive next Tuesday. The School is planning to reach its full complement of 120 students in September 2015.
The Lambeth Baths were opened in 1958 to provide slipper baths and a public laundry for people without these facilities at home. They replaced an earlier nearby building which was seriously damaged by a V2 rocket in the Second World War. The need for the Baths disappeared with housing improvements and they were converted in 1996 for the Lambeth Walk Group Practice, linked to King’s College London, to provide healthcare for local residents and training for medical students. The practice also works with the College to train international medical students and the London Deanery to train General Practice Registrars.
The upper floor of the former Baths building, along with an adjacent building, has been refurbished to provide a light modern learning environment for the new Mathematics School, part of the Government’s initiative to improve mathematics education in the state sector and increase the number of young people studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects at top universities. It is a state-funded school for students aged 16-19 who have a particular aptitude and enthusiasm for mathematics, but lack the facilities at their current schools.
The Lambeth Walk Group Practice remains on the site, thus creating a mini health and education campus linked to King’s College London.
The School describes its vision for the project as follows:
“We aim to increase substantially the pool of high attaining and well trained young mathematicians in this country. We will do this first by recruiting intensively among young people with mathematical curiosity who currently have limited access to high quality sixth form provision, and second by providing them with a curriculum which will offer challenge, creativity and excitement.
All students will study and take A-level exams in:
- Further mathematics
In their first year, students will also take an AS in Computing.”
In addition students will continue to study other subjects including other sciences, social science, humanities and languages and have opportunities for sport and the arts, some of which will be provided at the campuses of King’s College London, for which the Baths are conveniently well-located.
The College’s aim for the refurbishment has been to “to create a connected, spacious environment featuring well-appointed and varied learning spaces which encourage communication and creativity.
There will be five large classrooms, two modern science laboratories and a dedicated computing suite. The school will be a place where science, engineering and robotics come alive in the design laboratory where students can develop and test their ideas. Students will be able to collaborate closely in the numerous group rooms and break-out spaces which surround the core teaching and learning areas. “
An excellent initiative and a great use for this building in the heart of Lambeth. Perhaps we will we see more such specialist schools in the future?