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Holbrook Primary School

A purpose built KS2 primary school centred around healthy learning environments


Trowbridge, Wiltshire

The success of this project has been the impact on whole school behaviour and wellbeing. At Footprint Architects we recognise that good school design can have a positive impact on educational outcomes for children and young people. The new school building at Holbrook has successfully provided an uplifting learning environment, that effectively supports educational activities, whilst minimising operational burdens.

“I can’t really explain enough the impact that this building has had. At the start I thought it would impact on the children in this building, but it’s impacted every child in the whole school. The impact on staff has been huge as well” (Headteacher - Vicki Cottrell)

We design schools to create inspiring, flexible and sustainable educational environments for the next generation. Working closely with the teachers, pupils and Wiltshire Council, the new school building responds and enhances the existing school’s provision creating child centred internal and external learning spaces.

Recent research by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has identified that a well designed primary school and secondary school classroom has been shown to explain a 16% increase in learning progress over a year, that’s equivalent to one years worth of pupil progress! Cost-effectiveness and a learning environment that has a positive impact upon pupils and staff can be mutually reinforcing.

“Using simple but robust construction techniques and working with the contractors early on in the project allowed for playful moments where they would have the biggest impact.” (Project Architect – Lucy Parkinson)

Holbrook Primary School in Trowbridge, Wiltshire uses traditional masonry construction with exposed Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) to create the high-ceiling, naturally lit, and healthy classroom environments. An abundance of natural daylight, with minimal glare, creates an engaging and stimulating learning environment. The use of natural daylighting has reduced the reliance on artificial lighting, improved pupil and teacher wellbeing and reduced energy consumption.

“The lighting is beautiful, there’s a really calm feel to the classrooms, and the children feel that and have been very very calm.” (Headteacher - Vicki Cottrell)

At Footprint Architects we run workshops with schools at an early stage to discuss ideas and allow staff and pupils to feed into the design. We develop a digital model and use virtual reality headsets to enable pupils to walk through and experience their new classrooms before any work has started on site. Engaging with pupils, teachers and end users at an early design stage ensures that needs and aspirations can be considered and integrated effectively within the scheme. This allows the children to have a sense of ownership of their new school, prompting positive social interaction and increasing pupil engagement and education.

“The finish project has flown well beyond our expectations. We are delighted, absolutely delighted.” (Headteacher - Vicki Cottrell)

Behind The Scenes

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