This new two-form entry primary school was a Pathfinder scheme for the DfES Primary Capital Programme required to meet high educational, environmental and design targets. Based on a vision for a landmark community building fit for 21st century learning, accommodation includes a 420 place primary school, a 25 place nursery and a vulnerable children’s unit. An on-site Children’s Centre provides shared flexible accommodation for healthcare visitors, a Travellers’ project, out-of-school clubs and a range of other community activities. The overall design creates a welcoming site with a strong civic presence that allows access by a variety of users, without compromising pupil or staff security.
The school is arranged over two floors to create a compact, light filled building that frees up much needed site area. The landscape strategy provides a variety of external spaces including outdoor classrooms, performance and multi-use games space and sustainable gardens.
An integrated, low energy design strategy incorporates thermal mass, nighttime cooling, cross ventilation and high levels of daylighting. A ground source heat pump provides 43% of the total heating load of the building utilising renewable energy to pre-heat water used in the under-floor heating system. In total the building design achieves a 33% reduction in CO2 over current building regulations requirement.
A pre-cast concrete panel wall and slab system allowed for rapid construction and a high quality exposed internal finish. Carefully phased construction ensured the school remained fully functional throughout.