Westlands School is a secondary school in the Devon town of Torquay, England. Established in 1973, the school has since become a co-educational bilateral school, for children aged between 11 and 18. The school is located in the Plainmoor district of Torquay, with most students living in the catchment area of Plainmoor, St Marychurch, Babbacombe and Ellacombe areas of the town. However some students do live further away from the school catchment area, yet still attend the school due to a selective grammar stream and special support for deaf children.
The school became a Technology College in 2001, specialising in ICT and technology subjects, and receiving additional government funding.
The school was established in 1973 and was named Westhill School. It was split over two separate sites, about half a mile from each other. One site, named Lower School, was used for students ages 11-13 in years 7 and 8, while the other site, named Upper School was for students in year 9 and higher.
During the Second World War, the lower school buildings were originally built to be an army hospital (Torquay being a major town for war hospitals). Each classroom still features 'walls' consisting of multiple double doors where beds would have be brought in and out.
The school started becoming run down, with funding mainly being spent on the upper school to improve the facilities, the lower school was largely left to itself. Both sites also relied heavily on outside cabins to provide extra teaching facilities, which come the late 1990s were old and starting to become increasingly damaged.
In the late 1990s the decision was made to rebuild the school onto one site, namely the Upper School site. In 1999 work started under a private finance scheme, with Torbay Council owning the land, and Jarvis plc building, and then owning the building itself.
The plan was to rebuild the entire school on the Upper School site, which along with Homelands Primary School was next to it, was a much larger site. In the summer of 1999 Homelands relocated to part of the Lower School of Westlands to allow building work to commence. The old Homelands School buildings were demolished, and beuilding of the new school began. The new school was built in sections, allowing students to start occupying part of the new building, while other areas of the site were demolished and rebuilt while the school remained open.
In Autumn 2001 the building was completed, and students from the Lower School joined the rest of the students to form the school onto one site. Homelands school, which up until now still were using part of the Lower Site then had a new school rebuilt at the Lower School Site which was completed in Summer 2002.
Jarvis who built and now own and run the building supply all maintenance, rather than the council itself.
The new school building is unusual, in that it is built in a long plot of land surrounded by buildings. The offices and administration are at one end, and classes at the other. The school is built with 'pods', shaped like triangles, which each hold a subject department. The science and art departments both remain in older sections of the school which were not rebuilt, but joined onto the new building.
Since the rebuild however some design flaws have been discovered. For a modern building the school has a lack of parking facilities for staff, visitors and students. Nearby roads and a private car park for a local swimming pool often get busy and full through every school day.
The school also has a limited sized dining area, which did not have the capacity to hold enough students at lunch times, and so for a period of time, years were split into having timed lunch breaks in a very confusing system. In 2004 an extension was built, and since there has been one lunch time again. Also due to the design of the building being long, each 'pod' all link into one main hallway on each floor, which can become very crowded at busy periods.
The school has a gymnasium on site, however due to the school being built in a built-up area of Torquay there are no nearby sports fields. However the school does own a large sports field, named Quinta, about half a mile away for outside sport lessons. The school provides coach transport every day to and from the sports fields.
The Life of Riley as TV Star Teaches Pupils Some Vowel Play ; COUNTDOWN QUEEN'S VISIT: Essex Girl Rachel Runs Aversion of Hit Channel 4 Show at Westlands School
Apr 04, 2013; THE clock, the conundrum and the famous letters board were all there when maths wizard Rachel Riley brought Countdown to a...
Maria Has Latest Ops in Tough Battle to Walk Again ; SMILING THROUGH: Time at Home before More Treatment for Brave Girl, 4
Nov 28, 2013; CUDDLING her dad, playing on her new iPad and giggling sporadically, four-year-old Maria Turkowska had returned home five weeks...