Acland Burghley School

Acland Burghley School

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Students designing the laser show for the Lighting up event
Better Spaces Project (ABBS)

We love our school, but we know that it could look a lot better from the outside – plus our assembly hall could be a much better performance space.

So we have set up the Acland Burghley Better Spaces project – ABBS for short. It is kicking off in earnest this year to mark the school’s 50th anniversary. We would like to make our Brutalist building look as friendly on the outside as our school is on the inside – but we need money to do it! We are giving ourselves a year to raise as much money as possible to make the grounds more green and make the assembly hall the great performance space is was intended to be.

Lighting up event & Open House London
50th year Anniversary Celebrations 

We began our fundraising by lighting up the front of the school on the evening of January 27th 2016. Actor and local resident Damian Lewis kindly agreed switched on two displays, both designed by our own students. You can read more about the event on the News section.
The exhibition

We then celebrated the school achieving a Grade II listing by taking part in the annual Open House weekend on Saturday 17th September 2016. The school was among hundreds of buildings in London that were open to the public because they are considered to be significant architecturally and was open from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm with refreshments served. You can read more about the school's History below and more about the event in the News item here.

Help Fundraise/Support ABBS

If you would like to get involved in fundraising or would like to make a donation yourself – however large or small, please give to our school’s own fundraising body, Acland Burghley School Trust, via CAF (the Charities Aid Foundation).

You can also use your smart phone with the QR Code below.

You can also make a regular donation to ABBS via the trust – you can read more at:

We would like to do more than just green up and grounds and improve the assembly hall – we have come up with some initial ideas which you can read about here: (link to exhibition).

We used these ideas as the basis for a school-wide consultation. Every tutor group has spent an hour discussing how they would like to improve the school’s grounds and spaces. We are currently compiling the results. A smaller group of students – called Young ABBS – will soon begin a workshop in which they can work out ideas in detail.

Lighting Up the School

Inspired by the Light up event, one big idea is to light up the school permanently at night, a bit like the South Bank on the Thames. We have a couple of big ideas we are working on, and we hope to share them with the wider community to find out what they like. Watch this space for updates.

Acland Burghley’s History

Our school was built by a celebrated architectural practice, Howell Killick Partridge and Amis. They also built the Young Vic theatre and various colleges and buildings at Oxford and Cambridge University. They were inspired by the ideas of the iconic French architect le Corbusier.

Acland Burghley was the only school that HKPA built. Because so many schools were knocked down and rebuilt by the government prior to 2010, there are not many schools left in England with our Brutalist look. This is why the Government gave the school a Grade II listing in March 2016, so that key parts would be preserved for future generations. Acland Burghley is described as “an important example of 1960s comprehensive school design in the Brutalist style.”