Celebrating excellence in UK school design and construction

Celebrating the best of Britain’s schools
The BCSE Industry Awards, now in their third year, identify and reward excellence in the UK school design and construction sector. We were delighted with the quality of submissions this year across 15 categories that demonstrate the innovation and outstanding work being delivered across the public and private sector. The judges have chosen a range of projects, individuals and teams to recognise their contribution to school design in the last year. In particular, the Big School Makeover Award for the Best Remodelled School had some fantastic projects and will be an area of great interest in the coming years. The entries this year are a welcome opportunity to celebrate the best of Britain’s schools. In an ‘age of austerity’ the temptation may be to retreat into our shells, but this year, more than any other, we need to celebrate the world class work that our schools, local authorities, architects, contractors, suppliers and organizations have been doing across the sector. The strong shortlist and exciting list of winners shown in this booklet show that we have much to be proud of. We hope that you will find this book inspiring and both in the diversity of projects it contains and in the level of thinking that has gone into each school. We know that there are many more examples of great practice across the UK and we look forward to an even larger entry next year. Our thanks go to the panels who judged this year’s awards and in particular to Gareth Long who chaired the entire process. We also thank our sponsors without whom the Awards would not be possible. Ty Goddard Director ty@bcse.uk.net British Council for School Environments To join BCSE visit www.bcse.uk.net

Judging Panel
Gareth Long (Chair of Judging Panel) Ty Goddard (British Council for School Environments) Sean Fishlock (Navigant Consulting) Chris Terry (Partnerships for Schools) Ewan Willars (RIBA) Andy Beard (Andrew Beard Architects) Hal Maclean (CleverAtom) Peter Barton (London Borough of Southwark) Amanda Peck (DynaVox Mayer-Johnson)

Centre for School Design www.thecentreforschooldesign.org Big School Makeover www.bigschoolmakeover.org.uk

BCSE Industry Awards 2010

Index of Award Winners
Inspiring Design: Schools Clapham Manor Primary School Forest Way School The Pears National Centre for Autism Education Inspiring Design: Academy The City Academy Best School Contractor Willmott Dixon School Architect of the Year - The Jonathan Ibikunle Award Studio E Architects Local Authority of the Year Manchester City Council Furniture, Fittings and Equipment (FF+ E) Supplier of the Year ISIS Sustainable School of the Year St Luke’s CE Primary School Best School Extension, Refurbishment or Remodel - The Big School Makeover Award Coleridge Primary School Elm Court School Fellowship of the British Council for School Environments Paul Morrell, OBE Judges Award Clapham Manor School and dRMM Architects Inspirational School Leader Vonn Smith, John Perryn School Innovation in Student Engagement – The School Works Award Essex County Council Best Healthy Learning Environment Acland Burghley School Best Sport and Play Environment Kirkby Sports College for Learning Best Use of Learning Technology RM in Lambeth

sponsored by

BCSE Industry Awards 2010

Inspiring Design: Schools
Clapham Manor Primary School, Lambeth, dRMM

Clapham Manor Primary School has grown from a one- to two-form of entry, placing considerable pressure on successful curriculum delivery within the restrictions of the original building. This project has improved the pupils’ experience by providing facilities that support both learning and play. The dramatic free-standing new wing connects into the Victorian Board School and allows the school to work efficiently and holistically as a single entity. The extension includes learning spaces, performance space, an organisational hub, formal entrance and improved access whilst minimising the loss of external play space. The new extension is pulled away from the flank wall to sit parallel with a neighbouring Grade II Listed Odd Fellows Hall. The resultant space establishes a formal entrance into the school and improves security by acting as an organisational hub for access to the entire premises. The new entrance offers a triple height transparent atrium separating the new and old. Whilst it provides safer access for children, the improved passive supervision also affords the community greater security. The vibrant coloured glass panels of the exterior are upholstered on the inside allowing opportunities for the display and presentation of pupils’ work. Although vibrant outside, the interior learning spaces are calm and soft, with views framed at different heights reflecting the various sizes of the occupants and providing unexpected views over south London. The seamless cushioned floor allows teachers to shift from table to floor work for larger projects. In addition to new classrooms, students benefit from spaces for performance and dance, music practice, breakout learning, informal/ social and a medical room. Staff share a resource room, copy facilities, administration, plus a number of offices. Positioning the new building in an under-used corner of the school site, has maximised external play space and minimised disruption to learning. The atrium space that links the new and the old is a dynamic triple height space interspersed by walkways and stairs that criss-cross between different levels, reconciling the four contemporary storeys that have been created within the height of three Victorian storeys. Materials throughout have been selected for their durability, quality and tactile appeal, complementing the Victorian interiors. The judges were unanimous in their admiration for this building, appreciating its creativity, functionality and delight. The clear vision for learning and play, the use of colour and the wonderful linkages between the old and new was considered truly inspiring. There is no space wasted. The very bold contrast statement of the building shouts out school, creativity and fun, which engages students, staff, parents and the community alike. “This is recognition for a great addition to a great school” Ty Goddard

sponsored by

BCSE Industry Awards 2010

Inspiring Design: Schools
Forest Way School, Coalville, Leicestershire, Hunters

Forest Way is a new SEN school for pupils aged from 3 -19. It has been designed to push learning environment boundaries and meet the three main goals set by the Client and Design teams in order to achieve a truly extraordinary school: inclusivity, integration and excellence in its field. The school has worked to break down the perceived barriers between ‘main school’ and ‘special school’ with children, teachers, staff and parents comfortable in all environments. To achieve this, a campus idea was explored with the team collaborating with the local community and three adjacent schools. Forest Way’s facilities are now shared by all, including the hydrotherapy pool and assembly hall. Two conference rooms encourage community use. Nature has played an integral part in the design. Corridors ‘meander’ and the walls depict seasonal woodland scenery. The central heart of the building features a realistic oak tree draped like a canopy over a woodland floor where people can relax. The sound of birdsong and water are activated by those walking through to complete the illusion. External landscaping has been carefully incorporated to complement and reflect the principle teaching spaces within the school. Sensory gardens have been included within them to further support the curriculum, with the design bringing the outside in, and the inside out. Facilities include a plectrum shaped library/ICT suite clad in sweet chestnut, sensory rooms including a white/dark and virtual reality rooms signposted by metres of coiled fluorescent lights on the corridor wall, specialist rooms for art/design, science/technology, food technology and music/drama and a life-skills flat. The staff room has a separate work room, a café area and balcony with panoramic views. The school’s physical integration within its woodland surroundings and the use of nature throughout has significantly reduced behavioural problems, as well as benefiting student’s general well being. Both staff and parents have commented on how the environment keeps the children in a positive and calm frame of mind. It is reported that incidents of challenging behaviour amongst students have dropped by two-thirds since the new school opened. The judges felt that a considerable effort had been made to achieve a calm ordered and inclusive learning environment that reflects the setting the school is in. The creation of a whole woodland environment, emanating from the internal central space, has cleverly instilled a very special atmosphere that the judges are sure will continue to be inspirational and well suited to the needs of the students.

sponsored by

BCSE Industry Awards 2010

Inspiring Design: Schools
The Pears National Centre for Autism Education, Muswell Hill Penyore & Prasad
The Pears National Centre for Autism Education is the first school of its kind in the UK offering not only a school, but a national research, training centre and administrative workspace. (The Treehouse Trust is a pioneering autism education charity founded in 1997 by a group of parents dedicated to transforming lives of autistic children and their families and creating awareness and understanding of autism.) The centre is set into the slope at the back of a grassy site reducing visual impact and retaining a sense of openness. To aid integration, natural materials such as warm orange brick and natural timber were selected. The glass-clad building has a sloping green roof planted with sedum. The glass-clad building has a sloping green roof planted with sedum. The carefully researched design supports the challenges of autism education, which calls for specialist environments and a fine balance between the familiar and stimulating. Children with autism often find it difficult to transfer new skills from one setting to another. An individual curriculum is continually being developed for each child using the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis. The delicate balance between a life-affirming degree of sensory stimulus and calm remained a key issue in design throughout. The teaching spaces are simple, flexible, and repetitive with small workrooms, as well as life-skills environments such as kitchen, bathroom and laundry. Even back of house areas accommodate opportunistic learning potential. The school required classrooms that suited lower occupancy rates and a greater pupil-to-teacher ratio. The design responded to the need for increased hygiene facilities, sufficiently robust, easy to clean and well ventilated. To ensure a calm environment, lighting is even and temperatures constant. Particular accommodation for special needs was developed including review rooms where parents can have regular meetings with teachers and ABA therapists, in the absence of traditional end of the day report back from children to parents. Children with autism can become traumatised by having to negotiate new environments. This school includes a room for dental treatment so that they can receive treatment within a relatively familiar environment. Wider corridors allow areas for children to play on bikes and other toys developing their co-ordination in a safe environment. External areas provide a variety of learning and play spaces including a nature trail, balancing pond and mini eco system. The landscape strategy creates opportunities for learning with the bus turning circle designed as a safe, enclosed area where cycling and road safety skills might be taught. The school includes provision for children in local main-stream schools to use facilities for extra or specialist tuition. There is office space for 160 people including teachers, specialist therapists, researchers, administrators and campaigners. The result is a building that covers a range of educational provision whilst providing the functionality required in terms of class size, teacher work-space and relationship to the external environment. The judges were very impressed by the finished design of this very specialised school. A clever balance has been achieved of creating small spaces within an environment that also seems spacious, light and airy. The incredible collaboration in achieving this design reflects a clear passion to ensure that every aspect of this design, internal and external, promoted a variety of stimulating yet ‘safe’ and inspiring learning environments for these very special students.

sponsored by

BCSE Industry Awards 2010

Inspiring Design: Academy
The City Academy, Hackney, Studio E Architects

The City Academy is situated on a very tight site, split by a pedestrian passageway. The vision in creating the Academy was to increase social integration, create a vibrant education facility whilst creating a new heart for the community. Extensive community and student engagement helped create the brief and then a ‘young client group’ worked alongside the project team participating in design and construction activities. Site constraints have been embraced as assets, with such ideas as the public passage becoming the forecourt to the school forming a new urban piazza. Solving traffic noise has led to a glass façade that also addresses ventilation and acoustic issues; the mature trees have been cleverly incorporated into the overall design. The educational vision has been instrumental in the design of this building and it is obvious that this remained the priority for the architects at Studio E at every stage of the process, with clever design solutions creating a variety of learning areas. The result is an attractive colourful and noticeable building, with a real commitment to transparency throughout a wide range of learning spaces which are organised in curriculum areas. The extensive use of glass heightens the sense of combining the indoors and outdoors. The use of space has been maximised with the lack of conventional corridors and lots of clear vision lines ensuring easy passive supervision. The judges were all impressed by the design of The City Academy, Hackney and consider it a really inspiring building. They all thought the cleverness of the design, the use of transparency and the way it engages with the existing environment and community was very successful. They were particularly taken with the extensive use of glass, of natural light and colour to draw attention to the academy and help create a real focal point that promotes learning. The variety of teaching areas and celebration of learning addressed the needs of the school well. The judges agreed with the Academy Principal that this learning environment really was a “triumph of form and function”.

BCSE Industry Awards 2010

School Contractor of the Year
Willmott Dixon

Willmott Dixon is one of the leading building contractors in the Education sector. They are totally committed to working in real partnership with clients /and are proud of the fact that 50% of their work is in the education sector with 70% of work coming from repeat business – a sure sign of respect and appreciation for what they do. Willmott Dixon are always keen to introduce best practice and lessons learnt form previous projects where it helps. Innovation is reported as a key factor in the way they work. Recent education projects include an innovative solution for St. Agnes Primary School, Manchester. The brief called for a highly innovative exemplar school with inspirational spaces and a high level of sustainability. The response was a modular construction that was quick, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable. It featured a timber framed solution to a tight urban site. 3 floors, with a rooftop play deck, and a focus on using sustainability as a teaching tool Another example is John Perryn Primary School in Ealing. A precast concrete frame was erected in 35 days, 90% of the demolished school was recycled as piling mat material, a sustainable urban drainage system (SUDs) was constructed and ground-source heat pump installed. The result is an efficient building, with low carbon outputs that is assisting the staff in delivering a world class education to their community. It is cited as an example of best practice on the PfS website. Stakeholder engagement is high on the agenda for all schemes. As a minimum, Willmott Dixon establish fully integrated design teams that include Headteachers, local authority representatives, sponsors, local planners and any other key roles as discussed with the client team. They have pioneered the use of an IT based design consultation process “Coolwall”. The results are fed into the emerging design and help generate real ownership on the part of the contributors. Coolwall can be run as an IT lesson or accessed via the internet as the school wishes. Willmott Dixon offer all clients the opportunity to engage with enhancing the school curriculum through the presence of expert professionals. Pupils help design the external spaces, including informal gardens, allotments and environmental areas as well as interior spaces. The judges were impressed that Willmott Dixon more than demonstrated a commitment to providing fabulous learning environments though clear team work and consistent engagement with all stakeholders whilst ensuring that learning remained the focus of their work.

BCSE Industry Awards 2010

The Jonathan Ibikunle Award School Architect of the Year
Studio E Architects

Studio E Architects underlying aim is to always provide wonderful buildings and environments for young people, comfortable and uplifting but also life-enhancing and unique. With a firm belief that buildings have the power to bring about change in social behaviour, leading in turn to change in attitude. Their inspiration is derived from investigation, research, analysis, teamwork and consultation and their best results are achieved through a collaboration between enlightened clients and like minded designers and contractors – sustainable integrated working. Examples of their work include the City Academy in Hackney which opened for the first cohort of student in 2009. Students were engaged throughout the design and construction process and now actively monitor it in it’s use. This flexible inspirational and inclusive learning environment has been created around the educational vision. Clustered, transparent learning spaces are organised around curriculum areas. There are no corridors with circulation through interactive day lit concourses. The Principal Mark Emmerson observed: “The building we occupy is a triumph of form and function, a landmark piece of architecture which lifts the environment for our students, teachers and the local community as a whole.” Other impressive work includes: • Classroom of the Future at St Francis of Assisi Primary School, North Kensington - A building that looks to the future of primary education • Townley Grammar School for Girls, Bexley - An extension that provides a performing arts space, gallery, computer suite, sports hall, science laboratories and enclosed external spaces, that has transformed the existing school • Larmenier & Sacred Heart Primary School, Hammersmith - A school that takes great care to introduce daylight and fresh air into the heart of the building • The City of London Academy, Southwark, is said to have created a new heart for the community The judges have been impressed by Studio E’s real commitment to ensuring designs follow the education vision for new schools and their very great commitment to the impact of student voice. This way of working has become a powerful vehicle for maximising the potential that a school building project may offer to the learning of all stakeholders.

Highly Commended:

Cotterell & Vermeulen

BCSE Industry Awards 2010

Local Authority of the year
Manchester City Council

Ongoing improvement and changing people’s lives by giving them a positive start in life with skills and qualifications to become active citizens today and in the future, is the goal of Manchester. They have a comprehensive approach to achieving this - only a few initiatives are mentioned below. Considerable investment in school buildings through BSF, the Academies and Primary Capital Programmes and with major refurbishment and rebuild of Sure Start centres, means that students of every age learn in modern up to date and ‘future proofed’ environments. Manchester City Council have worked hard to develop innovative approaches to procurement and partnering , and built confidence in the supply chain. They are overcoming challenges to provide better solutions by: co-locating special with mainstream schools, combining capital programmes (e.g: BSF and Primary, BSF and Libraries), using lessons learnt for continuous improvement, and trialing new construction methods, including the first timber engineered primary schools at St Agnes. A focus on working with partners, innovative designs and stakeholder engagement is resulting in schools set right at the heart of neighbourhoods, which are exciting places learn. Designs are agile to accommodate varying teaching methods with the full integration and implementation of ICT. The new designs receive considerable student input which encourages a greater sense of ownership, respect and responsibility whilst reducing bullying and damage and ensures that they feel safe and able to learn. At Newell Green High School, student’s vision and design ideas for their new school were incorporated in the new school environment and they helped co-design the entrance and courtyard facades. This focus on student wellbeing has also resulted in other benefits, including a significant increase in the take up of healthy eating school meals. Students achievement at GCSE level has risen year on year. The construction process is used as a learning opportunity for schools and ideas include ‘Young People’s Initiative’ that awarded 20 apprenticeships last year, students spending time with construction companies and the creation of a pool of ‘Construction Ambassadors’ giving students a real perspective of the construction industry. Manchester City Council’s focus on engaging with school stakeholders includes allocating 3 months to fully understanding each schools education and ICT visions and intentions for curriculum delivery. They also work with schools and regeneration teams to develop a community hub statement to place the school at the heart of the community. The result is uptake by students at after school activities has tripled and community use of school facilities has doubled since new openings. The judges were very impressed with the range and breadth of initiatives undertaken by Manchester City Council. Their focus on engagement with teachers, students, communities, and utilising lessons learnt for continuous improvement is a very good model. The fact that results are rising and use of schools increasing are just some indicators that their approach is working.

BCSE Industry Awards 2010

Furniture, Fittings and Equipment (FF+ E) Supplier of the Year
ISIS

The whole issue of high quality versatile FF&E in schools is increasing in importance throughout the country. Isis passionately believes in the power of well-designed furniture to transform learning environments from static, pre-defined areas to flexible, dynamic and versatile spaces that stimulate, engage and inspire. Importantly Isis have placed high priority on the successful integration of ICT into learning spaces. They have designed furniture that resolves power and data delivery, making ICT ‘ready to use’, thereby enabling and encouraging learning at any time. In bidding for new projects it is evident that design solutions are educationally led and fully integrated with design solutions. To maximise the benefit for the schools Isis are often commended for the time that they put into engaging with stakeholders so that there is a real understanding of the vision and how their solution meets the need of the client. In the past year Isis has delivered BSF schools in Kent and collaborated with Skanska and RM on the winning BSF bid for Essex. In addition they have furnished schools across the country including: three Primary schools in Northumberland and one in Essex, a City Learning Centre in Birmingham, a new-build sixth form block in Middlesex. Because Isis is a manufacturer as well as a designer, it can design and make bespoke solutions to individual challenges. If there is no standard, off-the-shelf product that meets the brief, Isis has demonstrated that they can make it. At Newsham Primary School in Blyth, the head teacher wanted an area that nurtured children’s emotional wellbeing, where they could curl up with a book feeling safe and secure. Drawing on the area’s nautical heritage as inspiration, Isis designed and made a circular, upholstered liferaft filled with beanbags with a bright orange, translucent canopy. It acts as a safe, secure space where children can read and relax. The judges were very pleased to see the range and commitment of producing high quality innovative and integrated FF&E solutions to a range of challenges. They were unanimous in agreeing that the entry by Isis was easily the strongest in this category and could easily see how their ideas could transform the educational experience of learners.

Highly Commended: • Safehinge

BCSE Industry Awards 2010

Sustainable School of the Year
St Luke’s Primary School, Wolverhampton, Architype

St Luke’s is the first primary school in Britain to achieve an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating. In contrast to the usual UK approach of adding sustainable features and micro-renewables to offset energy, at St Luke’s sustainability is integrated into design from first principles – an approach described as ‘Eco-minimalism’. The building was constructed for a standard budget of £2,000/sqm, and achieves significantly reduced running costs. Carbon emissions are reduced by 60% over building regulations, and both children and teachers report that the healthy, well daylit and naturally ventilated spaces enhance their enjoyment and ability to concentrate. Key design features include: • automatically controlled windows to provide optimum thermal comfort and indoor air quality • secure overnight ventilation to allow free cooling in summer. • automatic toilet extract ventilation and lighting systems minimise on-time for both lights and fans. • lighting controls automatically dim the lights when there is sufficient daylight in the classrooms, and when the classrooms are unoccupied. • automatic shut off valves on water pipework serving the WCs, close when toilets are unoccupied. • a building management system provides control and monitoring. • a biomass boiler • sustainably sourced non-toxic materials including, recycled newspaper insulation, UK grown douglas fir cladding, Cedar shingle roof tiles, plywood finished with natural oils, linoleum and rubber fl ooring, matting made from recycled car tyres, slatted timber and heraklith acoustic ceilings

The judges felt that St Luke’s stood well above the rest, having made a serious attempt at a wide range of issues including the process of delivery and fine-tuning to produce a simple but sophisticated design solution.

sponsored by

BCSE Industry Awards 2010

The Big School Makeover Award Best School Extension, Refurbishment or Remodel
Coleridge Primary School, Haringay, Nicholas Hare Architects

Due to a potential doubling in size from two to four form entry, Coleridge Primary School in Haringey needed more space. To facilitate this, the London Borough of Haringey bought a site opposite the existing school that would enable infants to be housed on one site and juniors on the other. Due to conservation constraints, Nicholas Hare Architects had to work with a requirement that half of the existing buildings on the new site should be retained. The steeply sloping site was home to the former TUC training centre and originally the Hornsey School of Art, an imposing, if rather oddly proportioned classical building. The design for the new site removed somewhat ad hoc additions to the original School of Art building. The central wing was retained and two new teaching wings were created, each containing top-lit clusters of four classrooms forming a year base. Each classroom has access to outside space either directly into the grounds or onto balconies. The existing building contains the main hall and shared teaching facilities as well as a nursery adjacent to the new reception wing. The proposal was developed to accommodate the slope of the site yet create a completely accessible environment for the children. Gareth Long, chair of the BCSE Awards said: The Judges were extremely impressed by this extension to Coleridge Primary School. The new wings join onto the existing building extremely well, on what is a very compact side. They liked the formation of teaching spaces, the use of colour, the sense of scale and great inside outside linkages. They thought that students would find it an inspiring place to be and for staff to work in.

sponsored by

BCSE Industry Awards 2010

The Big School Makeover Award Best School Extension, Refurbishment or Remodel
Elm Court School, Lambeth, JM Architects

Elm Court School is a 100 place 11-16 school for pupils with moderate learning difficulties (MLD) ranging from BESD (behavioral, emotional and social difficulties) to ASD (autistic spectrum disorder). The new school represents a striking solution to the challenge which was to transform a much-loved but dilapidated Edwardian grammar school premises with listed building status into a modern learning environment. The resulting £9 million redesign/refurbishment project completed in September 2009 is already cited by English Heritage as a case study of best practice in the refurbishment of historical buildings. A number of innovative design interventions make this a really effective refurbishment. The new external glass stair tower adds a visually elegant and transparent structure that brings a contemporary note countering the rather dour main façade. To provide additional office and therapy spaces, a mezzanine was added whilst still maintaining the open space of the hall with 5 meter high soffits. Raising the hall floor has made it possible to look out of the stunning 4.5 meter high hall windows changing the whole feel of the space. The second floor above the hall was also raised, giving views out over central London for the first time. The addition of a central atrium addressed the height difference between the front and rear of the building whilst providing a new meeting space, a social environment and heart for the school – a place for pupils to congregate throughout the day, with a locker area, and seating areas which double as dining space for the oldest children. “The Judges of the BCSE Awards were extremely impressed by this design and especially the exciting spaces created by changing floor levels in the original building. The atrium with its walkways through add character and cohesiveness. The boldness of incorporating new and old have resulted in a truly exciting refurbishment scheme.” Ty Goddard

Highly Commended:
• •

Northbury Infant & Junior School, Greenhill Jenner Architects The Parabola Arts Centre at Cheltenham Ladies College, Foster Wilson Architects

BCSE Industry Awards 2010

Best Use of Learning Technology
RM in Lambeth

The success of the Lambeth BSF programme has been down to a shared objective by all stakeholders, to ‘transform learning’ – to make equitable access to learning resources a reality, bridging the digital divide and providing a platform to support higher aspiration and achievement for all our learners and their families. In supporting this vision, RM have been committed to providing: • A holistic and extensive service solution • Appropriate ICT equipment and software • Network facilities to support education • A maintained and supported ICT environment • Learning Environments (managed and virtual) • ICT solutions that encourage new Learning and Teaching methods

Engaging all stakeholders has been hugely important to this programme, RM have a team of on the ground educationalists who support the schools through: open training, small focus groups, one-on-one sessions and drop in surgeries. They have also supported staff through adopting the new technologies, working on specific projects and helping to embed the learning platform. The provision of home access devices and the RM Kaleidos Learning Platform has not only enabled 24-7 learning for students across Lambeth, but has also enabled the introduction of a parent portal. Equally they have supported young people in projects outside of the school day, combining sports projects with other social programmes delivered through the BSF infrastructure. The RM Managed Service in Lambeth employs over 20 people. Almost half of these are local residents, making a significant contribution to the local economy of the area. There are multiple stakeholders involved in the project but through working together, good communication and shared objectives, Lambeth BSF is a great success and has enhanced the learning environment for students and staff. The judges were delighted to see the effect of a positive partnership and thought it a very good example of how effective ICT services can build on and enhance the education opportunities for students and staff.

BCSE Industry Awards 2010

Best Outdoor Learning Environment
Park Campus Pupil Referral Unit, Lambeth, Plincke

Park Campus is a pupil referral unit that provides short-term education for students who have been excluded or have behavioural problems from mainstream secondary schools in the London Borough of Lambeth. Intended for 110 pupils the project also accommodates Lambeth’s Behaviour & Education Support Teams. It is the first school of its kind to be built for a generation. The transient nature of the students posed challenges for designing the external spaces. The core requirement was a social space that would act as a catalyst for social interaction rather than formal learning or vocational project areas. To maximize the value of the external space, a strong performance bias on the outdoor learning opportunities was developed. Responding with a central ‘heart’ space, in the form of a secure courtyard, Plincke have subtly segregated it into 4-social zones. • A canopy provides shade and shelter over a broad terrace to encourage students outside, particularly as dining connects to this space. • A small area of lawn introduces the calming quality of soft landscape into the space • A centrally positioned terraced amphitheatre that can accommodate the whole school community for either social activities or outdoor assemblies. The circular form was deliberately chosen to break down a ‘taking sides’ mentality. The curved form encourages interaction between students both during breaks and as a setting for performances. • Alcoves incorporated into the raised terraces encourage students to personalize space by bringing chairs out of the classroom into these ‘cave’ type spaces.

The materials palette is simple, robust and avoids tarmac. A clear message of value and trust is made in the design of the space with the inclusion of planters and timber furniture. Beyond the central courtyard space, a synthetic all weather pitch provides for both the school’s and extended community’s need for access to sport. The judges considered that Plincke have really created a clever design, providing a number of external areas which has maximised the range of uses and will greatly enhance the environment for these particular pupils.

Highly Commended:

Mayflower Community School, Devon Contractors

BCSE Industry Awards 2010

Best Sport and Play Environment
Kirby Sports College, Knowsley, Aedas

The design of the Kirkby Sports College was driven by a desire to re-engage the school with the community it serves and to get children involved with sport and encourage more participation in physical activity. It is the belief of the school and Knowsley Council that pupils set goals based upon what the environment around them tells them to believe is possible. By creating some of the best school sporting facilities in the country at Kirby Sports College, it is hoped that pupils and the community will achieve their potential in sports and education. Beyond the typical provision for a school of this size, the school boasts an outdoor 400m synthetic running track, a full size all weather pitch and a covered multi use games area integrated into the fabric of the building. A further plan to co locate of one of the largest SEN schools in the country, will develop additional disabled sports facilities to rival any provision within the UK. The covered games area was developed in consultation with pupils who wanted sports spaces where they could play all kinds of street sports and physical activity in a covered space. Once inside the building, the Olympic and Paralympic values underpin the school’s ethos. The house bases are named after some of our greatest Olympians as a source of inspiration as to what pupils here can achieve if they stay engaged with education and sport. There is a very close relationship between internal learning spaces and the adjacent external sports facilities. The school facilities in Kirby are so good that the Namibian squad will use the centre as their training base for the 2012 Olympics, which again will ensure a positive impact will be left on the community for years to come. The judges really liked the way that the design has achieved the education and sporting vision for the school. This school has excellent sporting facilities that are an integral focus of the life of the school with a really interesting link between the internal and external spaces.

Highly Commended:

Dunraven School, SCABAL

sponsored by

BCSE Industry Awards 2010

Best Healthy Learning Environment
Acland Burley Secondary School, Camden, SCABAL

As part of Camden’s BSF project, Acland Burghley Secondary School asked SCABAL to create an experimental learning environment. The design and layout of the Superclass evolved through a dialogue with the school’s staff and its governors. The outcome was a number of experimental settings and spaces that will allow the school to test and observe a variety learning methods over a year to inform the requirements for the school’s brief for phase 2 of Camden’s BSF project. The Superclass acts as a large classroom where pupils can follow a project-based curriculum and work in groups of differing sizes, from whole group to paired or individual working. Work included creating a new lighting atmsphere, drilling holes in the concrete wall between the main space and the corridor has formed smaller and more intimate group areas, and recycling obsolete in-house furniture has provided a new and interesting life cycle to redundant equipment. Pupils work together in groups of varying size on a range of activities using the variety of spaces and furniture. A classroom set-up allows for a more conventional lecture format whilst the main open space allows for a variety of learning styles, from sofas to individual workstations and group workshops. All areas of the room have visual connections between them providing teachers and pupils the opportunity to observe other groups in different parts of the room. Flexibility, brightness, diversity, experimentation and playfulness are a few of the qualities that have been embodied in the design of the Superclass. The judges were impressed by the thought and design of the spaces within this learning area and the attention to detail in areas such as lighting. They also appreciated the effectiveness of using and remodelling old furniture, whilst creating a variety of interesting spaces and effects without major building works. They viewed this as a creative and innovative response to the challenge set.

BCSE Industry Awards 2010

The School Works Award Innovation in Student Engagement
Essex County Council

Essex Council are totally committed to involving students in every stage of considering future learning and school design. In BSF projects, student engagement is integral to the development of schemes. Essex were the first local authority to engage with 50% of the first wave of BSF schools as Special schools with a focus on social inclusion from the start. Early activities with the Sorrell Foundation workshops resulted in students creating a joint design brief and demonstrating to staff and governors how to lead future school developments forward. This developed further with young peoples workshops featuring all through the process including working with FF&E designers to create bespoke furniture. Developing innovative SEN learning was achieved by young people helping develop fully immersive environments and tested in ‘mock ups’. Leading researchers, including Professor Michael Fielding, support this student engagement process. He has worked with young people from both mainstream and special schools to ensure that there was a consistent learning and improvement. The ongoing dialogue between students and staff looking at design and curriculum has produced some excellent results. The Chair of Governors at Woodlands School was so impressed with the dialogue created through workshops that she invited students to attend the Governing body to present their views and ideas. Students generally are increasingly positive about their role and seeing more evidence of outcomes from their participation activities. The recent development of a Young Persons LEP with three committees on 21st Century Learning Spaces, Environment and Extended Service / Leisure, reporting to the Young People Assembly, ensures that student engagement remains an ongoing feature. Students feel that this will maintain the status achieved through the design work and give them a role as ambassadors in evaluating best practice learning design. Equally students are included in a myriad of workshops including ‘How I like to Learn’, including the use of technology, groupings through to types of seating. This has extended to Learning and teaching, with students presenting evaluations of lessons and teaching styles to show the impact of the delivery styles used. The judges were extremely impressed with the commitment to student engagement and the demonstration of its effectiveness. The continuous integrated programme, rather than a series of ‘one off’ events, is very impressive and a very good model.

BCSE Industry Awards 2010

Judges Grand Prix Award
Clapham Manor Primary School and dRMM Architects

Clapham Manor Primary School has excelled under the leadership of Headteacher Brian Hazell and his team achieving Ofsted ‘Outstanding school’ status, despite the significant physical constraints experienced in the existing building. In designing a much needed extension, the views of the students, staff, and local community were fully considered and at the heart of developing a masterplan. During this stage it became apparent that the school was successful because everything was ‘under one roof’. Therefore the new wing was designed to enhance this quality. Community consultation informed issues throughout the process, ranging from the colour of the facade to furniture selection and signage design. The new building responds to its users’ needs: parents now have a clearly defined area to drop off and wait for children, as well as to socialise, with good lighting, bench seating, and cycle parking; the glazed ground floor and lobby arrangement allows light, views and passive surveillance through to the play spaces behind, while controlling entry depending on time of day. The local community can enjoy the benefits of these facilities, extending the agenda of lifelong learning. There are soft play and informal spaces for quiet reading and conversation situated around the new extension, as well as secure cycle storage. Externally the new facade imbues the playground with a colour and reflection, and presents a strong identity to the local community. The internal circulation of the new block addresses accessibility issues that previously made most of the school impossible to negotiate for those with mobility requirements. The lift and stairwell now connect the four levels of the new extension with the three levels of the Victorian building. As the circulation is clearly on display within the atrium it also rationalises wayfinding on this constrained site. Accessible toilets, induction loop and enhanced acoustics further support the needs of all users ensuring maximum inclusiveness. “The Judges were delighted to identify Clapham Manor Primary School and dRMM for this Judges Award. They felt that the extension building is a truly remarkable, innovative and brave design that clearly identifies the school as a landmark building in the heart of its community. It is also a design that will really inspire even greater success for students and the school as they benefit from the extra spaces they were so short of.” Ty Goddard

Award sponsors

National School Environments Week sponsors

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful