Roehampton Sky filled with Balloons as School Celebrates Official Opening
Mosaic Jewish Primary School, has celebrated the official opening of its new school building in Roehampton in a special ceremony including a balloon race. South London’s only Jewish primary school held its formal opening ceremony in the company of newly elected Mayor of Wandsworth Cllr Richard Field, Zac Goldsmith MP, Wandsworth councilors – Cathy Tracey MBE, Steffi Sutters and Sue McKinney, representatives of the DfE, members of the local and wider communities, school governors and staff, parents and children.
The free school, which opened in temporary accommodation in September 2013 with just one class of 4 year olds has already achieved Outstanding ratings from Ofsted and the Jewish community’s school inspectorate (November 2015) It has now grown to four classes and is housed in a state-of-the-art new school building. The newly constructed 14-classroom school also includes a dedicated dance studio, design, technology and art room, an ecology garden, a kosher kitchen, a community room with a coffee shop and the very latest in a wide range of IT and other teaching resources.
The opening ceremony marks the culmination of many years of work undertaken by a unique group of local residents, representing a wide range of social and religious backgrounds. In her opening address Head Teacher Kate Baum likened the efforts of her colleagues to the biblical Exodus. “We have reached the summit of Mount Sinai after many years in the wilderness,” she enthused. “We have taken on a significant responsibility to deliver an outstanding education with an ethos and environment that will enable the children of Mosaic Jewish Primary School to be inspired in their learning, excel in everything they do and grow to understand and respect the practices and beliefs of anyone they meet.”
Chair of Governors, Shirley Lee commented, “The achievements of a dedicated group from across the spectrum of South London life has culminated in the opening of an outstanding faith school for our times. Our commitment to a truly cross communal school for all members of the Roehampton community and the South London Jewish community is reflected clearly by the children, families and supporters of our school gathered here today.”
Guests at the ceremony were treated to a selection of dancing and singing acts from the children as well as a film made especially for the occasion giving visitors a child-lead guided tour of the new school. The final highlight was the presentation of a two metre high mosaic of the school’s logo, funded by a charitable donation, which has been erected on the wall of the School’s new hall. Representatives from the student body, staff, governors and local community released colourful balloons labeled with dreams and wishes for the future of this unique and groundbreaking school. The children are hoping that their balloons will be found and returned with exciting messages from across the UK.
April 2016 update
We have now had a full half term in our wonderful new school buildings. It’s very exciting to see how the children have settled down in their new surroundings and able to get on with enjoying their learning. It’s a brilliant opportunity for everyone and we are making the most of it.
There is still work to do on the school. We did not have enough funding through the government’s Education Funding Agency to complete everything as we would want. We have been very fortunate to receive generous donations to our funds from charities and people in the community who wish the school well. We are now planning how we can make good some of the outstanding issues from the school’s own resources.
We always planned to extend shelter for the area outside the reception classes. There is a limited area under the hall access balcony. We have accepted a quote to install a new transparent (polycarbonate) canopy extended out for a further two metres across the whole width of both classrooms. We can create outdoor learning space under cover for the two reception classes. We are hoping that Canopies UK, our supplier, will be able to complete the works before the end of the summer term.
The next project will be for a proper security office alongside the entrance to the school. Our two security guards already keep a constant watch on the school entrance. We are planning a proper security cabin uphill from the minibus lay-by. The guards will have proper shelter and the opportunity to use their time better while still keeping up the school’s security.
We know that the lower entrance to the school from Roehampton estate is not ideal. The wooden ramp is temporary, steep in parts and treacherous when wet. The Council did not include any rights to build a proper ramp here when we bought Hartfield House from them. We need rights to use the space and construct a proper permanent entry slope. On our behalf, the Education Funding Agency is exploring possible solutions with the Council. We will keep you posted as we progress.
The Friends of Mosaic have raised concerns about the state of the wooden window frames and other woodwork in the old building. We couldn’t afford to get the windows done as part of the overall building contract for the school. We will be using school funds over the next couple of years to catch up with the repairs/replacements and decorations needed. We will also set up maintenance contracts for the school equipment to make sure everything is kept up to scratch in the future and not allowed to deteriorate again.
Everyone is so proud of the new school. We are determined to see it stays that way and gets even better as the years pass.
New building – January 2016 update
The new 12 classroom block is now nearing the completion stage! Our tour of the building this week was exciting! The classrooms are just waiting for the ceiling tiles, and in some cases a coat of paint. As you walk along the corridor on the first floor it is light and airy and as you will see the clever use of glass creates flow between the classrooms on each side of the corridor.
The flat roof outdoor space is a real bonus and will give lots of learning and growing opportunities! Access is from the corridor where the Years 5 and 6 classrooms will be. There are also two sizeable break out areas on this floor which will be equipped for research, group work and independent study in the future.
The cabling is all in place for the IT and a date has been set for the equipment to be fitted.
The external paths and grassy areas , the rest of the tarmac and fencing should all be installed in the next few weeks so keep your fingers crossed for reasonable weather and before we know it the children will be installed in their new classrooms. Next week the hoarding to the front path will be replaced by fencing and the cycle racks will also be installed by the front entrance!
Our new school – November construction update:
You will have all seen how splendid our new building is looking from Roehampton Lane since the scaffolding has been removed.
The builders were concerned about the rain a couple of weeks ago but it stayed dry when it was most needed and although there are always challenges until the buildings are completed we are getting quite excited at the progress so far.
Just a reminder: Phase 2 has 12 good sized classrooms as well as an outdoor learning area on the upper level. There will be cutting edge technology and a research and learning area where children can work together or independently using reference books and IT to research and compile their findings. Even though we are a primary school this will be possible because of the way MJPS has been designed.
After the new building has been completed the dedicated art, design and technology room will be released as Year 2 who are in this space right now, will move to their new classroom.
In the New Year you will also see further landscaping of the play and garden areas. A step at a time we are getting there!
New school update – October
The last month has been a real challenge. It was a big decision to go ahead with the move on the 21st September when we knew the site was safe but not as far advanced as we had expected.. We realised we just needed to move in.
Thank you all for bring so understanding. Now we have telephones, broadband, hot meals and increasing space on which to play it has become a pleasure to welcome you all and our visitors. There”s a great deal still to do but the children”s classrooms with their stimulating environments look as if they have been settled there for much more than 16 school days!!
The Community Room is being used and plans are being put in place for a number of events which will give parents more opportunities to meet up.
As Phase 2 moves towards its conclusion there will also be more outdoor space for parents to congregate and chat first thing in the morning. We had a meeting with the construction company this week and felt very encouraged by the progress they are making with Phase 2-the 12 additional classrooms. The children should be able to move to their new Year 1 and Year 2 classrooms early in the New Year. Because they have good temporary classrooms we can make that move when we feel it is completely the right time to do it.
The outdoor space will be revealed gradually as will the rest of our purpose built site.
It’s a complex building project but the most challenging construction has now been completed.
You will see more progress when you return after half term.
Believe it or not we are nearly there!!
If you stop outside what will be the main school gates on Roehampton Lane, please be reassured that what you can see is mainly Phase 2 of this complex construction project. The scaffolding is for the 12 further classrooms that are now being built and due to be completed by January. Next week though you will see a tarmac driveway outside the main building!
Phase 1 beyond all this construction work is being finished off now.
Hartfield House has been refurbished. Walls have been knocked down to make bigger offices, a great Art, Design and Technology room, a brand new kitchen, store rooms, toilets galore, a staff room, a staff preparation room, a Headteacher’s office with an 18th century listed fireplace, a main admin office with a hatch. There are new pipes, plumbing, electricity, IT, a plant room, store rooms, meeting rooms, offices and much more besides. The flooring is all down, the rooms are painted, the furniture is going in and the classrooms are being set up by our enthusiastic teachers and their assistants. The staff Inset day last week was held in the smart new staff rooms.
The 2 new Reception classrooms have sinks and storage units, doors straight out to the outdoor learning area and play area. The hall has a smart ceiling and flooring and will, in due course be the location for concerts and events as well as lunch, dance and many other activities. The studio has almost been set up as the Year 1 classroom for this term with the colour scheme chosen by the children.
The art, design and technology room is also almost complete in its setup as the Year 2 classroom, also with furniture chosen by the children.
Yes we really are nearly there! There have been many challenges and there will continue to be – but that’s just how it is when a project requires the co-ordination and co-operation of literally dozens of suppliers, and outside agencies.
The process of planning, installing and checking all the utilities has been an eye opener, certainly to me. There have been delays in this which have had a knock on effect.
The school’s priority is to have everyone on site very soon. This will be as soon as the building controller signs off phase 1 and everyone is happy that the site is ready and safe for children. The planned moving in date is 21st September 2015, still and barring any last minute issues that’s when we will move in.
Thank you for being so encouraging and supportive. It will be worth it!
Shabat Shalom and Shana Tova
Kate Baum and the MJPS team
If you would like to visit the school, please contact our school office where an appointment will be made for you. Telephone: 020 8944 8731
It’s a bit frustrating that there hasn’t been a lot to see from Roehampton Lane since the demolition of the extension to Hartfield House.
We can assure you that a huge amount of work has been done at the construction site for our new school. Our site visit on 13th May was really exciting! The frame for the reception classrooms is up and we were able to walk into the actual classrooms.
The second floor frame – the hall and studio – will be erected in the next week.
The piling for the foundations of the 12-classroom block is reaching completion, which represents good progress for Phase Two of the project.
The Hartfield House’s refurbishment moving on a pace on all floors of the building and very soon we will have our first completed room so we can finally see what the finished rooms will look like.
The details that have to be agreed are endless and include everything from the positioning of electrical sockets to the colours of the chairs in each classroom. The children have been consulted on colours and they have been asked to make suggestions on wide variety of items, details of which can be found in the weekly newsletters.
The plans for the school kitchen has been finalised and the equipment ordered. Once complete we look forward to welcoming people from across the community to book for special family and community events.
The classroom interior designs and the furniture arrangements have been agreed. We have also taken future proofing into consideration for the hall so that when we can afford to add facilities for staging productions and concerts the cabling, fixtures and electrics will all be in place.
Detailed security plans have been made and the IT infrastructure has all been agreed and hardware ordered. The costs for the specially commissioned designs for the community room are being investigated.
There have of course been meetings galore! The most effective of these are when the different contractors, the builders, the architect and school representatives are all round the table hearing the same questions and answers and agreeing actions and deadlines.
At a recent event welcoming our new parents we were asked if the building will be ready for us to move in by September. The short answer is yes and the move from Queensmere Road to Roehampton Lane has been scheduled for August 2015, just a few short months away. Phase One will be completed in time for the start of the autumn term. There have been challenges and delays, but each hurdle has been confronted and solutions found. The block of 12 classrooms, which is Phase Two will be occupied by the beginning of 2016.
March 2015 – Demolition Complete and Building Begins
All the demolition is finished, piling has been completed for the Hall, Studio and two Reception classes. Foundations are being laid. This is happening at the far side of Hartfield House and later the block of 12 new classrooms will be built on the near side. The beautiful and historic Hartfield House (which will form the administrative core of the school) is already being restored on the inside so we are on schedule.
170 Roehampton Lane – Steve Bower – Governor with technical lead on the new site
Building is now under way at full speed at our new school at Roehampton. Contractors Galliford Try are stripping out Hartfield House, ready to decorate and equip classrooms for our current children who will become Year 2 and Year 1 in September.
In the garden area, Galliford Try’s crane is due on-site to start the retaining wall for our two new reception classrooms and the school hall and studio above them. The kitchen and facilities are also part of this phase of construction. We will have all the space we need to open the school for the planned classes in September.
The main new classroom block, now visible from the main road as a hole in the ground, will follow on. New works for this block will start when demolition and painstaking removal of services in the ground is complete.
Kate Baum, Shirley Lee, Chair of Governors, and Steve Bower, the governor leading on premises, continue the fortnightly meetings with the builders. We are making sure they stick to the programme and deliver a superb school. The details will be exactly right for children and teachers to have the best possible learning and teaching spaces.
Planning Update – Demolition Imminent! 14th November 2014
There has been a great deal going on behind the scenes to prepare for the start of the construction programme on our permanent site on Roehampton Lane. We are excited to report that we are progressing to start demolition in December and the ground works for our purpose-built school will begin in January. So hard hats at the ready and we look forward to keeping you regularly up to date with progress.
STOP PRESS – PLANNING CONSENT!! 27th August 2014
Mosaic Jewish Primary School (MJPS) has been granted planning permission for a permanent home. Work is expected to begin soon on a brand new purpose-built modern school building on Roehampton Lane. MJPS, which admitted its first Reception class in September 2013 is expecting to move from its existing temporary home on Queensmere Road by September 2015.
MJPS has an ethos of inclusiveness and diversity. 50% of places are offered to children local to the school and 50% to children from across the Jewish community. The new school site will eventually cater for 420 pupils. The site will also house a sports and community hall which will be open for use by the local community outside school hours. It will also generate some of its own electricity through the use of rooftop solar panels.
A school bus service will operate from nearby transport links such as Barnes Station and busy local bus stops to reduce the number of cars that travel to the school. Around 80 pupils are expected to use this service each day. There will also be secure racks for up to 50 bicycles and 18 scooters.
A planning application for the new school was approved by the planning committee on August 14. Hartfield House was formerly operated by the council’s adult social services department as a respite care centre but was declared surplus to requirements in June 2012 as it was no longer considered fit for purpose.
Following the planning consent Shirley Lee, Chair of Governors commented. “We are delighted to be able to move to the next stage of realising our vision of a purpose built new school in Roehampton. Even after only one year MJPS has a wonderfully diverse pupil population which is a key element of our ethos.
Wandsworth Planning Committee chairman Cllr Sarah McDermott said: “This is a well-designed and attractive school building that will sit well alongside the important architectural and historic asset that is Hartfield House.”
Write in to support Mosaic’s New School Planning application
Wandsworth Council is selling Hartfield House at Roehampton to Mosaic Jewish Primary School for our new school. We have developed really exciting designs with Miller Construction and their architect that many people will have seen. There are totally new classrooms all with access to outdoor learning space on terraces above the garden. There is a school hall for assemblies and for indoor gym and sports. The old Hartfield House will hold school offices and specialist rooms, eg Design and Technology. And we have retained a large garden area for outdoor play.
Our Planning application to Wandsworth Council was submitted in mid-April.and will be decided in July. The Council is looking for public views on the proposals. Their internet link is open until 29 May and is:
It would be great if people who support the proposals can let the Council know either on this website or by writing in. Views will be included in the report to the Council. You can also just register support for the application if you don’t have any special comments. You can either click on the link or paste it into your Internet browser.
New School Receives the Keys to Its Permanent Site Mosaic Jewish Primary School (MJPS) has this week taken a significant step forward in its move to a permanent home at 170 Roehampton Lane, SW15 with the receipt of the keys from Wandsworth Council. Subject to planning permission MJPS which opened (in temporary accommodation) in September 2013, plans to move to a new purpose build two-form entry school by September 2015.
Pictured – Tunde Ogbe – Wandsworth Borough Council, David Kelin – vice-chair of governors, Shirley Lee – chair of governors and Kate Baum – head teacher
The school which currently caters for 30 pupils a year in its temporary accommodation will expand to ultimately provide places for up to 420 children from the local area. Half of its pupils will be of the Jewish faith while half will have other faithsand beliefs or none.
The school’s permanent site is very well placed on Roehampton Lane and MJPS adds further to an established and successful group of schools. MJPS will provide families with a greater choice and help meet increased demand for school places resulting from a number of new residential developments in Roehampton, for example the Queen Mary’s Place and Emerald Square developments. The children living in these hundreds of new residencies will further contribute to Wandsworth’s expected shortage of school places.
The new site at 170 Roehampton Lane is known locally as Hartfield House. It is a large two storey brick building. It stands within well landscaped grounds ideal for the development of an innovative and creative outdoor play and learning space. The new school will incorporate this impressive building as well as developing excellent newly built facilities for a two-form entry school.
Head teacher Kate Baum comments, “We are extremely fortunate to have secured such a lovely site for a new London school. We have enjoyed such a wonderful start in our first year at MJPS and our current and prospective families are eager to see the school grow and develop into its new purpose-built home.”
Shirley Lee Chair of Governors comments, “The school has already enjoyed many enquiries from families attracted by the school’s ethos and inclusive model of inviting 50% of children of all faiths, beliefs and none to attend this school. The exciting plans for our brand new school premises and its excellent location are proving even more attractive to pupils from areas where there is a shortage of school places. Families in Putney and Barnes and further a field in Wimbledon, Richmond and areas on either side of the A3 are keen to hear more about our new site.”