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The Ockendon Academy opens up a ‘school within a school’ called Ockendon Studio School, for fourteen to nineteen years olds. The focus is on connecting education with employment, making students ready to enter the world of work or further education.
The name ‘Studio School’ comes from the concept of the Renaissance studio, where working and learning were integrated.
Our current principal, Mrs. Barbara King joined the staff of The Ockendon School in 2000 and helped to turn around what was then a seriously failing School into the high achieving, outstanding school that we are today. Our conversion to a new-style Academy in January 2011 marks a new benchmark in the history and development of our outstanding establishment.
The Culverhouse Girls’ building was demolished following the closure of the site, leaving only a small section of the School’s former entrance on Barle Gardens to give away that anything more than a park was there. The Culverhouse Boys’ remains intact as a building, taken back into the control of Thurrock Council and is now known as The Culver Centre, where the Pupil Referral Unit and Thurrock Music Services are located, as well as other departments of the Council’s Department of Children, Schools and Families.
In 1971, Lennards was merged with the two Culverhouse Schools to create The Culverhouse School, which was based in Barle Gardens, South Ockendon with the former Lennards site being used for lower school (year 1 students), Culverhouse Girls’ for middle school (year 2 and 3 students) and Culverhouse Boys’ for upper school (Years 4 and 5).
The School itself began life with the opening of what was then known as Lennard’s Secondary Modern School in 1954, on Erriff Drive of the London County Council’s Belhus Estate to cater for 600 pupils. The school was the second senior school on the estate, being built in addition to the Courts School, which closed during the 1970s. A small number of years later, as the estate developed into what is now South Ockendon, two additional senior schools were added to the estate Culverhouse School for Boys’, opening in 1956 and Culvehouse School for Girls’ opening in 1957 and built on the Culverhouse Farm estate.