Britain’s first bilingual school in English and German has capped its major refurbishment programme to increase capacity with bespoke entrance gates spelling out the school’s name – and sporting a cat.
Judith Kerr Primary School in Herne Hill appointed Morgan Sindall to provide two reception classrooms, additional teaching space, a new assembly hall, cafeteria, and catering facilities and to improve pedestrian and vehicular access.
The school occupies the former James Black Institute, which was previously the King’s College London plant science department. It converted part of the building to open three years ago and is now up to a capacity of 350 children following the latest work.
Rochester contractor MGS Kent asked steel fencing and gate manufacturer Zaun to create bespoke 2m-high double leaf ‘cat gates’ with lettering to installing within the existing fence line.
Zaun’s in-house research and development department produced the cat gates and other bespoke designs and used the company’s innovative laser cutter to produce the letters and cat outline.
The school is named after its patron; a German turned Brit, renowned children’s author Judith Kerr OBE, who penned The Tiger Who Came to Tea, her first picture book, and the Mog series about the Thomas’ family cat and the strange things she gets up to.
Kerr was born in Berlin but came to England with her family when she was 12 after escaping the Nazis and travelling through Switzerland and France as a young girl. She wrote about her early life in her autobiographical trilogy Out of the Hitler Time.
She is 93, has sold over nine million books and lives in Barnes, South London, with her latest cat, Katinka – hence the bespoke ‘cat gate’ tribute.