Windsor School Closure: A sad day for Service Children’s Education

18 July 2013

After 28 years Windsor, the secondary school on the Rheindahlen base - Joint Head Quarters for the Army near Dusseldorf in Germany has closed.

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(Image taken from film footage)

Catering for 11 to 19 year olds, Windsor is situated on Snyders Roads, Joint Head Quarters (JHQ). The school is a large secondary school on the first British army base created in Germany after the Second World War. A vast huge base - an extra ordinary place in the middle of a forest - and an unusual place to go to school!

Its students are a mix of daily pupils from the JHQ garrison, pupils bussed in from nearby Ministry of Defence garrisons and weekly and termly boarders accommodated within its two boarding house's, Windsor House and School House.

The school operates much like any normal British school and follows UK curricular and is subject to Ofsted reporting. At its height Windsor School catered for over 1000 students from military personnel. The school is a vast, minimalist building, full of fantastic art work - light and clean - with masses of grounds and play spaces.

However, due to the disbandment of the British Army in the Rhine in 1995 and related military draw downs since, and the recent large scale cuts to the MOD, Windsor will close this week: A sad moment - with many memories for all those young people who were educated there.

The film

A New Direction has worked with Windsor on a number of occasions as part of our partnership with SCE. We have always been welcomed by Brian Davies (head teacher and his staff team). We have over the last 5 years delivered many dynamic projects and partnerships that have been hugely embraced and enjoyed.

I have always personally learned a great deal from working with Windsor - our interventions although often quite small have had a huge impact on the culture of the school and the young people we worked with.

To mark the closure of the school Joy Harris, SCE Performing Arts Consultant, commissioned A New Direction's young filmmakers (Sandy, Shajna and Muzzammil) to create a short film.

The young filmmakers flew out from Stanstead early one morning to Dusseldorf to make the film in a day - mentored by Eelyn Lee.

They have created a beautiful testament to the school which truly captures the "Spirit of Windsor" and creates a platform to share the thoughts and reflections of the staff, students and parents - validating the memory of this extraordinary learning environment.

Thanks Joy for commissioning the film - and good luck to Brian, his staff team and the young people of Windsor in the future!