Youngsters at Barlow Roman Catholic high school in Didsbury imagined the future, burying a time capsule as part of school's refurbishment

Robots that will do homework, computers that teach and moving walkways between classrooms are just some visions of the future as imagined by pupils at the Barlow Roman Catholic high school in Didsbury, Greater Manchester.

And these interpretations of what life will be like in 25 years were included in a time capsule that was buried this week as part of the refurbishment and rebuild of the school.

The 900-place school, with a specialism in science, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and is undergoing an £11.2 million renovation which is due for completion in February 2012.

Other items included in the time capsule were a commemorative cross given to all new staff, a copy of the school mission statement, memorabilia from the 25th anniversary including a mass booklet and photos and a prayer card featuring a picture of Paddy Barrett, the much-loved head of RE, who joined the school when it first opened and died a few years ago.

The capsule will not be opened until at least 2035. Work at the school will include a new high specification two-storey science block that will provide transformational learning and be at the heart of the school’s science specialism.

The building will house three specialist labs, two multi-use labs, a science garden, two science studios, an ICT learning area and two prep rooms.

There will also be a new assembly hall/drama space and refurbished and redesigned art, music, design and technology, maths and English spaces.

Pupils have shared their views of what they would like their new school to look like with key requisites being that it is modern, bright, colourful, spacious and high tech with lots of ICT provision.

Demolition of an existing two-storey gym and changing block will allow space to create a landscaped courtyard at the centre of the school. This will include a single-storey pavilion containing a food servery and student services.

The main entrance will be remodelled, a new all-weather pitch will be installed and the current drama space will become a new gym.
Claire McCarron, headteacher, said: “This year we are celebrating our 25th anniversary and have started a new chapter at the school. We are tremendously excited about the future.”