Published: Thursday, 7th October 2021

Work has begun to create a brand-new school which will unite pupils at St John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School.

Earlier this year, Medway Council granted planning permission for St. John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School’s new build on City Way. Today’s ceremony marks the formal breaking ground on the build, which is led by Wates Group and backed by the Department for Education, and made possible with the donation of the land from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark.

Situated at the top of the hill between Chatham and Rochester, with inspiring views looking out across the River Medway, the new build will offer a wide range of teaching spaces, including Multi-Use Games Areas (MUGA) pitches, state-of the-art IT systems, a football pitch, a library, a dance studio, gym and kiln room.

These facilities will be shared with the wider community outside of school hours. A video of the proposed design is available to view on our website at We look forward to moving in to the City Way Site in Spring 2023.

Fantastic learning environment

Cllr Martin Potter, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Education and Schools, said: “I am pleased work has begun on the new school building. This exciting project will create a fantastic learning environment for children and bring the school community together on one site. It also supports our Child-Friendly City ambition, putting children and young people at the heart of everything we do. I look forward to watching the works take shape.”

Outstanding facilities

Headteacher Dympna Lennon said: “This is a momentous time for our community. For the first time in the school’s history, we will be a single community. St. John Fisher has been transformed in recent years: we have seen a significant uplift in both our results and our Ofsted rating. Moving to a new school site will help us build on these successes in the years to come. It will provide the outstanding facilities that our students, staff and community deserve as we continue our ongoing mission to be a Catholic school that includes, involves and inspires everyone in it.”

First-class modern facilities

Chair of Governors, Clive Mailing said: “Whilst this has been a very long while in the making, we now have the fantastic opportunity to provide first-class modern facilities for all our students and staff. This will not only be able to be enjoyed by the majority of our existing students, but for future generations of Medway pupils and our local community.”

Delighted to reach this moment

Director of Education for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark, Dr. Simon Hughes said: “We are delighted that we have reached this moment after many years of negotiations and planning. Leaders at the school have transformed the quality of the provision and now deserve the opportunity to take it to the next level that this development affords. Archbishop John sends his blessings to all involved and looks forward to being present at the long-awaited school opening.”

Development of young people

Wates Representative Richard Shroll, Regional Managing Director – Wates Construction South, said: “We’re pleased to be awarded the important task of building St. John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School where we are delighted to have started on site – an appointment that reflects our credibility and experience in the education sector.

At Wates, we understand how learning environments have a direct impact upon the development of young people and attainment levels and we bring our appreciation to every stage of the process.

Everything we do is guided by our purpose of working together to inspire better ways of creating the places, communities and businesses of tomorrow.”

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