Army&You has been exploring the ace amenities on offer at some of the UK’s top independent schools. Here, marketing and communications manager Rhion Johnston takes us for a closer look at Christ College Brecon (christcollegebrecon.com)…
Tell us about your school’s current facilities.
Christ College Brecon was founded by Royal Charter in 1541 by Henry VIII. The beautiful site alongside the River Usk had been occupied from around 1250 by members of the Dominican Order. Due to its history Christ College has a mixture of ancient and modern buildings making the most of the inspirational campus in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons National Park. With a state of the art Science Centre and Performing Arts Centre built over the last few years, as well as a new Junior Section, St Nicholas House, Christ College continues to thrive and expand its offering.
Do you have any plans for future investment?
The next project sees the school’s outdoor, heated swimming pool receiving a refurbishment including a cover and new changing facilities which will ensure the pool can be used all year round. Christ College is also working in partnership with Malaysian investors to open a sister school, King Henry VIII College, in Kuala Lumpur. Due to open in September 2018, the school will mirror the ethos and academic offering of Christ College Brecon.
What’s the jewel in your crown?
The Medieval chapel of St Nicholas is really the heart of the school. Children and staff of all faiths or none are welcome. As a caring community, it is a place for reflection, celebration and passion as the hymn singing sends shivers down one’s spine. Boys and girls, teaching and non teaching staff all play a part in the services and talk about issues which mean a great deal to them. That said, meal times in the medieval dining hall are also rather special. As is the beautiful environment in the shadow of Pen-y-fan and just a five-minute walk from Brecon Town centre with its historic buildings, quaint streets and boutique shops.
What does having access to top-notch facilities mean to a child’s education?
Great facilities and excellent teaching work hand in hand. Pupils at Christ College really value the school’s ancient history and find the beautiful campus and sense of openness gives them space to “breathe” and enhances the learning experience. They draw inspiration from the surroundings whilst appreciating the excellent teaching, living and recreation facilities.
Why should parents pick your school based on your facilities?
Facilities are important but it is not the only factor parents should have at the top of their list. Our advice would be to visit a good number of schools and find the best fit for your child. All children are different and the one thing that visitors and parents always comment on is the special sense of community and friendliness that permeates from Christ College. Being a small school of 400 boys and girls, everyone counts, and the relationships between staff and pupils is something the Good Schools Guide found exceptionally strong during their recent visit.
What are your top three most used facilities?
Our new performing arts centre – Y Neuadd Goffa – The Memorial Hall
Our Medieval Chapel and Dining Hall
Our Hubert Jones Science Centre