Thomas Tallis School

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Thomas Tallis School
The new Thomas Tallis School entrance.jpg
Kidbrooke Park Road

, ,

Type Community school
Local authority Greenwich
Department for Education URN 100190 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Head teacherCarolyn Roberts
Age11to 18

Thomas Tallis School is a large mixed comprehensive school for pupils aged 11–19, located in Kidbrooke in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, London, England. It opened in 1971, and was named after the composer Thomas Tallis, who lived in Greenwich. [1] The school was completely rebuilt 40 years later as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme. It now has 1657 students.

A comprehensive school is a school type, principally in the United Kingdom; it is a school for secondary aged children, that does not select its intake on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude, in contrast to the selective school system, where admission is restricted on the basis of selection criteria. The term is commonly used in relation to England and Wales, where comprehensive schools were introduced as state schools on an experimental basis in the 1940s and became more widespread from 1965. With the Blair educational reforms from 2003, they may be part of a local education authority or be a self governing academy or part of a multi-academy trust.

Kidbrooke district in south-east London

Kidbrooke is a district of south east London, England, within the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It is northwest of Eltham and 7 12 miles (12 km) east-south-east of Charing Cross.

Royal Borough of Greenwich Royal borough in United Kingdom

The Royal Borough of Greenwich is a London borough in south-east London, England. Taking its name from the historic town of Greenwich, the London Borough of Greenwich was formed in 1965 by the amalgamation of the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich with part of the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich to the east. The local council is Greenwich London Borough Council which meets in Woolwich Town Hall. The council's offices are also based in Woolwich, the main urban centre in the borough.


The former Thomas Tallis School concourse. The former Thomas Tallis School school concourse.jpg
The former Thomas Tallis School concourse.

History (1971–2011)

The school was originally built in 1971 on land used for training facilities in a former RAF storage, maintenance and training facility, RAF Kidbrooke. [2] A blue plaque recognising the school's RAF connections, in particular to the RAF Linguists' Association, was unveiled in 2008 [3] and re-dedicated in July 2014. [4]

RAF Kidbrooke

RAF Kidbrooke was a Royal Air Force base, situated in Kidbrooke in south-east London, in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. The site was operational from 1917 to 1965 and was mainly used as a stores, maintenance and training facility.

Blue plaque marker commemorating a link between a location and a person or event

A blue plaque is a permanent sign installed in a public place in the United Kingdom and elsewhere to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person, event, or former building on the site, serving as a historical marker. The term is used in the United Kingdom in two different senses. It may be used narrowly and specifically to refer to the "official" scheme administered by English Heritage, and currently restricted to sites within Greater London; or it may be used less formally to encompass a number of similar schemes administered by organisations throughout the UK.

In 1998, the school was awarded 'Specialist Arts College' status and was successfully re-designated twice. In 2005 it was awarded Leading Edge status. The school was part of the Creative Partnerships network of schools from its inception in 2002, through to 2011 (in May 2008, the school was one of only 30 schools in England to achieve the status of School of Creativity). [5]

The Leading Edge Partnership programme was established in 2003 by the Department for Children, Schools and Families in the United Kingdom. The programme's intention was to encourage Secondary schools in England to work in partnership to solve some problems in education. In 2005 the programme expanded.

In December 2009, Director of Tate galleries, Sir Nicholas Serota was invited to become the school's head teacher for the day. [6]

Kidbrooke School in the media

The former Thomas Tallis School concourse. The former Thomas Tallis School building.jpg
The former Thomas Tallis School concourse.

In 2005, along with nearby Kidbrooke School, the school featured in Jamie Oliver's TV series Jamie's School Dinners in which Oliver sought to improve school dinners in Britain. [7] In 2007, the school featured in the Channel 4 documentary Make Me a Tory , directed by former pupil Daniel Cormack. [8]

The Halley Academy

The Halley Academy is a secondary school and sixth form with academy status located on Corelli Road and near the Kidbrooke area of the Royal Borough of Greenwich in southeast London. It originally opened as Kidbrooke School in 1954 as an all-girls school and was one of Britain's first purpose-built comprehensive schools. It started admitting boys in 1982. It changed its name to Corelli College in September 2011 when it became an Academy. It adopted its current name in March 2018, when it joined the Leigh Academies Trust.

Jamie Oliver English chef and media personality

James Trevor Oliver is a British chef and restaurateur. He is known for his approachable cuisine, which has led him to front numerous television shows and open many restaurants. Born and raised in Clavering, Essex, he was educated in London before joining Antonio Carluccio's Neal Street restaurant as a pastry chef. While serving as a sous-chef at the River Café, he was noticed by Patricia Llewellyn of Optomen; and in 1999 the BBC aired his television show, The Naked Chef. This was followed by a first cook book, which became a No. 1 UK bestseller. His television work included a documentary, Jamie's Kitchen, which gained him an invitation from Prime Minister Tony Blair to visit 10 Downing Street. In June 2003 Oliver was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire. In 2005 he opened a campaign, Feed Me Better, to introduce schoolchildren to healthier foods, which was later backed by the government. He was the owner of a restaurant chain, Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, which opened its first restaurant, Jamie's Italian, in Oxford in 2008. The chain went into administration in May 2019. His TED Talk won him the 2010 TED Prize.

<i>Jamies School Dinners</i> television series

Jamie's School Dinners is a four-episode documentary series broadcast on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom from 23 February to 16 March 2005. The series was recorded between Spring to Winter 2004, in which it featured TV chef Jamie Oliver attempting to improve the quality and nutritional value of school dinners at a typical British school, Kidbrooke School in the Royal Borough of Greenwich — a goal which ultimately led to a broader campaign to improve school dinners throughout Britain.

A textbook designed by German publisher Ernst Klett Verlag uses pictures of the school.

History (2011–present)

In 2011, the school underwent a £50 million pound renovation as part of the Greenwich Building Schools for the Future programme. Occupancy of the new school took place on 7 November 2011. The school was officially opened by David Miliband in May 2012. [9]

School facilities

Working closely with architects, John McAslan + Partners, some of the design features of the old school that were felt to be crucial in having helped shape its ethos were retained - for example, the central concourse which functions as a social hub and outdoor performance space. [10]

The building interiors are colour-coded and signs exist to ease navigation. Most classrooms are contained in three blocks to the west of the site. Sports facilities, a canteen, performing arts spaces, specialist broadcast and music studios and other specialist classrooms make up the other blocks. [10] The school has also paid close attention to the dining area and toilets, areas which deserve to be of the highest standards. Access to community facilities has been made easier and circulation around the building is enhanced by multi-level walkways. There is a close connection between indoor and outdoor learning facilities. [10]

Prior to occupation of the new building, designers Gilles and Cecilie Studio were commissioned to create new furniture, wall graphics and decorations for the school. [11] The aim of this project was to express the ethos and ambitions of the old school on the walls of the new one. [11] The work was featured in Creative Review magazine (and received a diploma in environmental design at the Visuelt awards in Norway). [12]

A number of places at the school are reserved for students with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). [13] Since 1997, the school has retained a Deaf Support Centre, integrating deaf pupils alongside their hearing peers, with specialist staff supporting teaching staff to ensure deaf students' needs are met. Deaf Awareness forms part of the pastoral programme for all students. [14]

Notable former pupils

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  1. "Who was Thomas Tallis?". Thomas Tallis School. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  2. "History". Kidbrooke Park Allotment Association. Archived from the original on 18 October 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  3. "History". RAF Linguists' Association. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  4. Little, Mandy (14 July 2014). "Children's thanks to RAF in 14 languages at plaque ceremony". South London Press and Mercury. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  5. "School of Creativity status".
  6. "Arts bosses go back to school".
  7. Please sir, can I have some more? Daily Telegraph 18 February 2005
  8. "Daniel's Story". Tallis 16+.
  9. "Thomas Tallis new buildings officially opened by David Miliband -".
  10. 1 2 3 "Thomas Tallis School". John McAslan + Partners. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  11. 1 2 "Tallis Spaces". Gilles & Cecilie. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  12. Sinclair, Mark (17 November 2015). "Two new schools projects from Gilles & Cecilie". Creative Review. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  13. "Directory: Secondary schools: Corelli College". Royal Borough of Greenwich. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  14. "Deaf Support Centre (DSC)". Thomas Tallis School. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  15. Craig, Olga (30 December 2001). "From tearaway to terrorist - The story of Richard Reid" via
  16. "THE HIDDEN SIDE OF Simon Day. - Free Online Library". Retrieved 2019-07-30.

Coordinates: 51°27′53″N0°01′36″E / 51.4647°N 0.0266°E / 51.4647; 0.0266