About the 600 Campaign

Phase One: Discovery Centre

The Discovery Centre is an innovative £5m 12 laboratory Science & Technology facility. This spectacular building was opened on 2nd October 2015, thanks to investment by government, philanthropists, charitable trusts, businesses and the wider community.

Please read our Impact Report about the first two years of the Discovery Centre, and find out what our students, staff and visitors of all ages have to say about the building and the opportunities it has already created for everyone.

The building was created in order to replace the six cramped and outdated laboratories previously used by the science department, which had been untouched for fifty years and were located in a rapidly deteriorating building with severe structural defects, poor heating and lighting and a badly leaking roof. In 2012, the school launched a campaign to raise £5m to build the Discovery Centre: an innovative twelve laboratory, flagship science facility with flexible, independent study space and huge learning walls. The Discovery Centre plans were welcomed by a wide range of STEM professionals as an important link between the classroom, workplace and university. The school sits within the Oxford-Cambridge Technology Arc and at the heart of Carbon-Fibre Valley, and therefore plays an important role in educating the next generation of scientists and engineers that the region badly needs. The fundraising campaign was broad and diverse, and was supported by charitable trusts and foundations, alumni, parents, industry and statutory sources. People gave their support in many ways, whether through room sponsorship, special events or by joining one of several fundraising initiatives including buy a brick and the popular periodic table sponsorship scheme.

“The Discovery Centre is a magnificent building. It is certainly not just an ordinary science block – I’ve not seen anything else like it in the UK…truly commendable.” Professor Robert Winston

The Discovery Centre opened its doors to students in September 2015, just three years after the 600 Campaign launch. You can read more about the opening of the Discovery Centre by Lord Winston and The Rt Hon John Bercow MP here. Students are now able to study science in a warm, bright and contemporary science setting, which emulates university and commercial science facilities. The building has transformed science teaching and learning, and gives all students wishing to study science at A level the opportunity to do so in a first class 21st century environment. The innovative building layout allows for more independent study and greater collaboration between students and with teachers outside of the classroom. At its heart, the Discovery Centre features the Racelogic Innovation Lab, the Lillingstone Trust Community Laboratory, a Parent Lab and Alumni Lab and a Training Lab to help train the next generation of science teachers.

“Entering our first lesson, we see that an entire wall of the classroom is taken up with a detailed diagram of a cell’s ultrastructure, and the new water baths are bubbling at the side of the room – an indication of the dynamic lesson to come. The Discovery Centre has made a whole variety of exciting things possible. We’ve even turned the pod-shaped tables into a selection of cells and had the whole class simultaneously drawing diagrams on the idea walls – we have enjoyed some really unique and memorable lessons! The benefits of this new building are huge.” Grace, Year 13 Student.

Please contact us if you would like to visit or know more about the Discovery Centre, including available sponsorship opportunities. Without the support of everyone involved, construction of the Discovery Centre simply would not have been possible. We continue to be extremely grateful to our sponsors, donors and volunteers for their energy and commitment – THANK YOU!

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Phase Two: Sports Campus
Sport matters. Giving young people a positive sporting experience at school is vital for their development and is the essential foundation for lifelong fitness. Statutory funding is tight, and as the worst funded school in England, we know this more than most. But we don’t believe that a lack of funding is a good enough reason to justify under-investment in our sporting facilities, when there is so much at stake. We believe that UK state school sport is in need of a serious step change. Our vision for a Sports Campus is to:
  • create a sporting education which benefits young people, their future employers, and our community
  • encourage sport for all and nurture emerging talent
  • support a whole school sporting ethos
  • invest in facilities that inspire everyone to raise their game

The Royal Latin School has a unique opportunity to build on 600 years of educational excellence to deliver this step change, and to share that expertise with others – but doing so will require a level of investment in sporting facilities that cannot be met from public funding alone. In June 2016 we launched a £3m fundraising campaign to meet the cost of new sports facilities for our 1280 students and community partners. We are seeking support from Sport England, sports governing bodies, corporate sponsors, professional sportspeople, community organisations, parents, alumni – and everyone who shares our sporting values and ambitions. We hope you will want to play your part. Please explore this website to find out more, and contact us if you would like to get involved.
Phase Three: Arts Centre

We have an established reputation as a school which nurtures the artistic talents of students, and have produced some noteworthy world class actors and musicians. This is despite having no dedicated rehearsal or performance space – or even any stage curtains.

It is time to do our emerging young artists and artistes justice, and design a multi-use arts, drama, music and dance facility so that we can showcase talent but also provide a much-needed facility to enable us to work closely with other schools and community arts groups.

The third phase of the 600 Campaign – scheduled to launch in 2019/20 – will endeavour to secure sufficient funding to create this accessible new facility at the heart of the school site.