In 2017, Mr Lee, a member of our Senior Leadership Team (SLT), approached Mrs West as Headteacher regarding the possibility of having a decommissioned double decker bus on site as a new resource for the school. The possibilities were discussed at an SLT meeting and Mrs West was very pleased to hear about this new venture and welcomed the opportunity, whilst also requesting that the bus had suitable lighting/heating and air conditioning installed so that it could be used throughout the year. Mr Lee then contacted RATP (the transport company that runs the buses in South London).
The aim for this project was to create a quiet reading area during supervised lunchtimes and as a tool for promoting reading within the school community.
After a bus was donated, we then worked with RATP to establish where the bus could be located and how we could get it safely onto the site – a challenge in itself! In the meantime, our bus was kindly stored by one of our families on their farm, whilst the hardstanding for our bus was being prepared. The photos on this page illustrate the last journey that our bus made from a retired London bus to our Big Red Reading Bus.
Window Wize (www.windowwize.co.uk) – a local double glazing and home improvement company provided us with lots of help and:
- Funded all the foundation materials and structures.
- Worked with a parent to lay foundations.
- Completed tunnelling works to allow for electrics to be connected.
- Deep cleaned the inside of the bus ready for the next stage.
- Provided their team to help with the planning and to advise on the project.
We worked closely with L&G Housing (www.landghomes.com) – the housing construction firm building at Buckler Park on the former TRL site – and secured their help and funding for:
- Connecting the bus to the electric supply.
- Lighting & plugs inside the bus.
- New flooring.
- Making bookshelves & benches for the inside of the bus.
- Laying paving.
Mrs Griffiths, one of our Teaching Assistants, was involved in making soft seating / covers for the benches and in addition, our parents also kindly donated books and bean bags for use on the bus.
Once the bus had been refurbished, we had an opening launch, inviting the children from our Infant School, parents and local press – see below for an article about this:
Window Wize, a family run, local home improvement company based in Wokingham, Berkshire. Specialising in Windows, Doors, Conservatories and Orangeries they bring creative living spaces to homes of all sizes.