Old-boy Phil is back home

PROUD pupils and staff showed off new classrooms and beautiful views after a multi-million pound school makeover. Former pupil, star comedian Phill Jupitus was a special guest as Northbury School in North Street, Barking, opened the doors to its new expan

PROUD pupils and staff showed off new classrooms and beautiful views after a multi-million pound school makeover.

Former pupil, star comedian Phill Jupitus was a special guest as Northbury School in North Street, Barking, opened the doors to its new expansion last Tuesday (March 31).

Phill, best known for television performances on BBC show Never Mind The Buzzcocks, paid homage to his old school before joining the mayor, Cllr Emmanuel Obasohan, in the opening ceremony.

Mr Jupitus, 46, said: "It's fantastic. The old school building has been a part of my life for nearly 45 years.


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"Even when I moved out to Essex, I would go past Northbury on the train - the old big Victorian building.

"The one thing that I quite like about it is that they could find a way for the old and the new building to exist side by side.

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He added: "Barking is making an effort to give itself a shake-up but I like the fact that it's still the same Barking that I recognise."

Guests were shown around the simple and stylish corridors and large classrooms by a dedicated team of young tour guides, before they sat down under a massive skylight in the new hall.

The pupils led visitors up to the green roof where panels of glass give a stunning view of the surrounding skyline.

Cllr Charles Fairbrass, leader of the council, said: "It's marvellous. Twenty-five years ago they wanted to knock the old building down.

"I said what it really needs is refurbishment.

"And the size of the class rooms - we never had classrooms this big."

Head teacher, Janet Paterson, praised parents and pupils for putting up with the disruptions while building work was going on.

She said: "It was a challenge but everybody has been absolutely fantastic."

The �5.4million expansion, which has taken 14 months to complete, provided eight new classrooms, four group rooms, a kitchen, dining hall and reception offices.

The school's pupil size has increased from around 350 to 840.

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