St Dunstan’s College celebrates the official opening of new Junior School, STEM Block and Sixth Form Centre


St Dunstan’s College, Catford, south-London was delighted to officially open its new Junior School, STEM Block and Sixth Form Centre on Friday 17 September.
The new facilities, which were built over the last 18 months, were opened by special guests Nobel Prize winner Sir Martin Evans, and Chairman of Barclays, Nigel Higgins – both former pupils of the school.
Speaking about the opening ceremony, St Dunstan’s Headmaster, Mr Nicholas Hewlett said: ‘It was a delight to host the formal opening of our new buildings; the culmination of years of planning. It represents the most fundamental redevelopment of our College site since 1888, and to have achieved this within the context of the pandemic is testament to the creative zeal and tenacity of so many, not least our Bursar, Mrs Clair Wilkins.
‘I am most grateful to Sir Martin Evans OD, and Nobel Prize winner, for unveiling the plaque, and to Nigel Higgins OD, Chairman of Barclays, for his reflections on the school and its exciting trajectory. At such a milestone event, I am mindful of our foundation and the wish of the governors at the time that the school be ‘ahead of the current time’. A forward-thinking approach to education is in the DNA of St Dunstan’s, and these buildings do nothing but further promote our school in that regard.’
The College’s Bursar Mrs Clair Wilkins added: ‘It was a real pleasure to reunite with our main contractors on Friday and enjoy the official opening of our gorgeous Junior, STEM and Sixth Form buildings, together with staff, students, parents and local partners.
‘Whilst these buildings were a sight to behold, and Sir Martin Evans a true inspiration, it was the student jazz band that stole the show for me! They performed like professional musicians and were a joy to watch and listen to. I look forward to seeing our remarkable students continue to impress us in these new facilities and the many exciting, vibrant events we have planned for the future.’
Following the plaque unveiling, guests were treated to a tour of the new £25million facilities with pupil demonstrations in the STEM classrooms and musical entertainment from the Big Band. For many guests, including the College’s parents and carers, this was the first time exploring the new facilities due to the pandemic. Alongside state-of-the-art classrooms, the new building also includes a Junior School library, Sixth Form Café and College shop.
Developments across the College continue with a new outdoor space, named The Plaza, nearing completion, and a large theatre due to open in December 2021.
St Dunstan’s College, which was last year named Independent Co-educational School of the Year, was most recently praised for its liberal thinking by the Good Schools Guide. ‘Diverse in every way – academically, socially, and intellectually,’ the review explained: ‘The St Dunstan’s ethos could come across as a bit ‘woke’ on paper, but in real life we found the school to be inspiring, both liberating and liberal thanks to interesting leadership, committed teaching and a very engaged student body. A great school for unstuffy polymaths.’