This section is from the book "Modern Buildings, Their Planning, Construction And Equipment Vol3", by G. A. T. Middleton. Also available from Amazon: Modern Buildings.
In general principle there is not much difference between the schools already considered and those which are intended for higher and more specialised instruction. The differences lie much more in detail, in fittings, and in meeting the requirements of the special instruction which is to be given. A mere Higher Grade School, for instance, for teaching general subjects to older students, such as that illustrated in Fig. 7, and designed for Aston, Birmingham, by Messrs. Crouch & Savage, may be almost identical in its general scheme with one of the hall schools considered in the last chapter. Thus there is a large assembly hall in front of the building, with classrooms opening out of it at the back, and also out of an inner hall on one side and out of a corridor on the other. The ground floor is intended to be given up to boys, who enter on the left-hand side of the Assembly Hall into a long corridor which passes through the building from front to back. The entrance is well controlled by the headmaster's room, which is situated close to a staircase serving large covered playgrounds below and another floor above, which however, is not accessible to the boys as a general rule. The boys' cloakroom is also, as usual, situated close to the entrance, but the positions of the racks may well be noticed, the gangways being each separately entered from the main corridor. The girls' entrance is on the other side of the Assembly Hall, and their cloakrooms are on the first floor, not shown on the plan ; but the hall can be used by both sexes.
Perhaps more interesting, as displaying new features, is the plan of the Deaf School and Pupil Teachers' Centre, which is arranged close to the Higher Grade School and at right angles to it. The two departments are in the same building, but they are quite distinct. The Deaf School is entered from a playground, and the corridor system is adopted, a teachers' room being placed between two classrooms, which are of considerable size, but accommodate only ten students each. The desks are arranged in a semicircle in a large bay window, the students having their backs to the light, which shines full on the face of the teacher, so that lip movements can be read by the students with ease. A partition wall separates this corridor from another "belonging to the Pupil Teachers' Centre, both being top lighted. In this the usual contrivances for perfect control are found more fully developed than in the Deaf School, there being a teachers' room near the entrance and another at the end of the main corridor overlooking the playground. The arrangements in this portion of the school are much the same as in an ordinary corridor school, with glazed partitions between the corridor and the classrooms.
Throughout all the schools hitherto illustrated the position of windows, doors, seats, and teachers' desks are nearly alike, and should be carefully studied by all who hope to succeed in school planning. A small house is attached to the Pupil Teachers' Centre, but it has little that is peculiar in it. It would, however, make a comfortable dwelling for the principal, provided he was content with one sitting-room and a good sized kitchen.
The new Technical School at St. Austell, Cornwall, has been planned by Mr. B. C. Andrew, M.S.A., as a corridor school in two storeys, as shown in Fig. 8, the corridor being well lighted, although it occurs in the middle of the building, by a large staircase window. There are separate entrances for boys and girls at either end of the building, with somewhat similar arrangements for access to cloakrooms, very much as they are found in ordinary schools, with the additional provision, on the boys' side, of a separate head-master's room, where parents can be interviewed, close to the entrance. These end portions are not carried up above the ground floor. The main building faces south-east, and three classrooms on each floor have windows opening on this side. On the northwest side, on the ground floor, are placed the physical lecture-room and the chemical laboratory, and between them is the balance-room, the windows occupying almost all the wall space so as to admit diffused light without direct sunshine. The balance-room is accessible in this way both from lecture-room and laboratory, while the physical laboratory can be entered either directly from the lecture-room or independently. These are all fitted up with considerable care. There is a demonstration table in each of the laboratories with the necessary appliances, besides benches at which the student can work, and the necessary fume closets, even the lecture-room being similarly fitted, the lighting in every case being carefully studied. Every room, it will be noticed, contains a cupboard for apparatus, this being generally contrived in the thickness of the internal walls, which in that district would be built of stone.
The upper floor is entirely devoted to classrooms, except for the art studio, which is placed at the north corner, with a small model's dressing-room opening out of it.
The selection of the positions of the rooms is in accordance with usual practice. For instance, the two laboratories, particularly the chemical laboratory, must be on the ground floor on account of the drainage, as water is largely used in them. The physical laboratory and balance-room must also be on the ground floor, in order that the delicate instruments may be placed on benches solidly built up on a solid foundation. While the physical laboratory may have windows exposed to direct sunlight, and in fact is the better for them for certain experiments relating to light, this is not the case with the chemical laboratory or the balance-room. Similarly, the art studio does not require direct sunlight, but wants a large amount of window space, and some roof lighting which can be screened when necessary. The room is consequently obliged to be placed so as to face the north or north-east, and to be on the top floor. Classrooms for ordinary instruction, however, follow the rules already laid down for the admission of as much sunshine as possible, and it will be seen that the desks are arranged exactly as they would be in elementary schools.