Solemn Blessing and Dedication
(Description of School)


The school has been built on a site of eleven acres at Sharston Mount, five miles south of the centre of Manchester, overlooking the road which goes from Altrincham to Stockport, between Wythenshawe and Gatley. The front of the school buildings overlooks the playing fields.

Provision has been made for a three-form entry grammar school for boys. The main teaching accommodation is contained in the three-storey block, which comprises five science laboratories, eight classrooms, six division rooms, the library, mathematics, geography and history rooms and a lecture theatre.

Solemn Blessing and Dedication

Two single-storey wings, on either side of the court, connect the main teaching block with the Assembly Hall block. On the south side of the court are the art room, the music room and the workshops. On the north side are the Masters Common Room, the Headmaster’s Study and the Registrar's Office, with direct from the main entrance hall.

Solemn Blessing and Dedication

The Assembly Hall block comprises the Gymnasium, the Assembly Hall, the Chapel, the Dining Hall and the Kitchen. The Chapel and Dining Hall are designed as annexes to the Assembly Hall and are connected to it by folding partitions.

Solemn Blessing and Dedication

The high lantern roof over the Chapel dominates the single-storey section of the school; it constitutes a feature linking the various roof levels and shapes and emphasises the central importance of the Mass in Catholic life and education.

The stained glass depicts symbols representing St. Augustine of Canterbury and King Ethelbert.

Mass is celebrated every day during school hours, and each boy's timetable includes attendance at Mass with his form about once a week

The basic structure of the school building is a reinforced concrete frame with infilling panels of brickwork and glazing. The columns and beams of the frame are left exposed externally to form a pattern of contrasting colour and texture.

Internally the walls are plastered and painted. Plastic floor tiles are used generally, but hardwood blocks have been laid in the laboratories, work-shops, Assembly Hall and Dining Hall. In the Gymnasium there is a suspended hardwood strip floor. The ceiling over the Assembly Hall is of cedarwood lathing.

The building is heated by a low pressure hot water system from a central boiler house with oil-fired boilers. The system is automatically controlled by room thermostats and time switch.

Work on the site was started in March, 1964. Sufficient teaching accommodation was available for the commencement of the academic year in September, 1965; the building was completed in December, 1965. The playing fields were ready for the start of the football season in September, 1967.

 The architects were Messrs. Reynolds & Scott, F/A.R.I.B.A., of Manchester. The general contractor was Messrs. G. & W. Smith of Manchester. The electrical and mechanical services consultants were Messrs. S. I. Sealy & Associates, and the quantity surveyors were Messrs. T. Sumner Smith & Partners.

Solemn Blessing and Dedication