Front Our Own Correspondent
In the yetas immediately preceding the war, and in some cases actually during the war, Leeds diocese has been enriched by half a dozen schools ranging from junior and infants to senior and secondary.
Indeed, had the war not intervened the diocese would now be rejoicing in the possession of a dozen or so new senior schools as its contribution to the march of educational progress.
The distinction of building the first senior school in the diocese belongs to St. Patrick's parish, Leeds. St. Brigid's senior school for girls, incorporating all the Hadow principles of equipment and construction, was opened in 1935 for 260 girls. It has spacious playing fields and ample accommodation for a boys' wing, the erection of which was internipted by the war.
The year 1940 saw the opening of St. Bede's Grammar School, Bradford, the wonder school of the North or England—one that educationists sing peens about. In park-like setting on a woodland slope overlooking the city it has everything that a modern school could possess for culture of mind and body—plus one of the loveliest chapels in the land. With magnificent stone frontage and innumerable class rooms, designed to secure the maximum of light, fresh air and sunshine, it has accommodation for 600 boys. The cost was £50,000, of which the Bradford City Council advanced £20,000 on loan. Most of the students are Bradford scholarship owners.
In a survey generally of all the recent schools in the diocese, in whichever category they belong, one cannot resist the impression that planners of Catholic schools are not only abreast of the times but ahead of them.
Each school has its own individuality and characteristics, and is not, like the average State school, set and built to a pattern.
St. Philip's infant and junior school.
Leeds, situated on the breezy heights of Middleton, three miles from the city, is the only school in which an air-raid Shelter is incorporated in the plans. The school was in course of erection during the war. Quick thinking by the architect (Mr. Charles Hatfield) solved the problem. The shelter is constructed under the main corridor ; is over 100 yards in length; has access from each of the scven class rooms; and all the 350 children can be accommodated within a few minutes ot an alert. The school was opened ia September, 1940: a single storey building of brick, costing £13,000.
The area of school and grounds covers two acres, and there are three separate playing fields. '
The opening of the school for infants and juniors of Christ the King, Dramley, Leeds, in October, 1936, was Bishop Poskitt's first public engagement after his consecration. A single storey building of brick, it cost £7,000, and has accommodation for 240. A large assembly hall serves as a parish hall for meetings and socials.
The whole is a good example of straightforward planning, Situated on the fringe of a new housing estate, its green fields are an oasis in what is rapidly becoming a built-up area.
CUDWORTH COST £11,200 Another type of school is that at Cudworth, near Barnsley. It was opened in January, 1937, to replace the old school chapel which had been destroyed by fire. Built of reinforced concrete at a cost of £11,200 it was designed to meet all the requirements of a senior school. A large hall with chancel is admirably adapted for use as a chapel.
The senior school par excellence is at Rernsley. The new Holyrood schools, opened in May, 1939, cost £25,000. Every modern need is catered for. Hilly site influenced the planning: hence two storeys in front ,and one behind. Amenities include gymnasium with separate dressing cubicles and showers, domestic science room and canteen, assembly hall with stage and dressing rooms, six class Morns, art and science room, teachers' rooms and store rooms. The building is of rustic brick.
There are also some striking features at St. Mary's Infant and Junior School, Rotherham, which has accommodation for 250. The floors are of maple and the corridors have tiled dadoes and wood block floore. There, too, the assembly hall has a stage and dressing rooms. The school is a rustic brick structure with stone dressings.
Built as a school chapel in 1940, St. Oswald's, Wybum, Sheffield, is of rustic brick with walls of plaster. The assembly hall is used as a chapel (altar screened when not in use) and also as a social centre. There are four class rooms with a play room and a handicraft room.
At Doncaster the Sister% of Mercy Collegiate School for Girls (1938) has accommodation for 250 and cost eft,000. Knowing what the Sisters of Mercy stand for in the educational world the school is all that a modern school should be—a model of its kind.